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Bienen School To Host Some Of The World’s Finest Performers

Internationally known guest artists to appear at Northwestern University this fall

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Hungarian pianist Peter Kiss, soprano Renee Fleming, flutist and cultural activist Claire Chase, and the Russian Guitar Quartet are among the array of pre-eminent internationally recognized guest artists and ensembles who will appear on the stages of Northwestern University’s music venues this fall.

­Presented by the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, these and other top performers have been invited to campus to share their various talents with Chicago-area audiences. 

Programs listed below are open to the public. They will take place on the University’s Evanston campus at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive; Regenstein Recital Hall, 60 Arts Circle Drive; Lutkin Hall, 700 University Place; or Vail Chapel, adjacent to Alice S. Millar Chapel and Religious Center, 1870 Sheridan Road, as noted.

For more information about the following events, visit or call 847-491-5441. For updates on parking and directions as the south campus construction project progresses, visit


Hungarian pianist Peter Kiss will give a solo recital at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, in Lutkin Hall. Kiss’ program is sponsored by The Hungary Initiatives Foundation. Committed to contemporary music, Kiss has given multiple world and national premieres and is a frequent collaborator with Hungary’s UMZE Ensemble. He also is a member of Trio Inception and the Ludium Ensemble. His program includes Bartok’s “Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs,” Ligeti’s “Musica ricercata,” Peter Eotvos’ “Kosmos” and “Dances of the Brush-Footed Butterfly.” Selections from Gyorgy Kurtag’s “Games” and the world premiere of Gregory Vajda’s “sol Etude” are also on the program. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.

Benjamin Pierce, tuba and euphonium master class, 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, Vail Chapel, adjacent to Alice S. Millar Chapel and Religious Center. Winner of tuba and euphonium competitions throughout the world, Pierce performs solo recitals and concerti with top U.S. military bands and orchestras, including the Tokyo Symphony, Finland’s Oulu Symphony and Germany’s Vogtland Philharmonie. He also appears withHH  the Detroit Symphony, Detroit Chamber Brass, Toledo Symphony and Tulsa Symphony. In this master class, he will coach Bienen School of Music students. Pierce will follow his master class with a free solo recital (see below). Admission is free.

Benjamin Pierce, tuba, 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, Regenstein Recital Hall. Pierce, an internationally renowned tuba and euphonium player and a member of the University of Arkansas faculty, will perform Locatelli’s Sonata in G Minor; Gardonyi’s Sonate; David Gillingham’s “Jabberwocky”; Rodney Newton’s “Five Portraits from Middle Earth”; Butterworth’s Partita; and Pierce’s transcription of Barber’s mvt. IV “Moto Perpetuo” from Concerto for Violin. Pierce will be accompanied by pianist Tomoko Kashiwagi. Admission is free.

Pianist Jeffrey Siegel begins the 2014-15 season of Keyboard Conversations with “The Miracle of Mozart” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Siegel’s “concert with commentary” will feature Mozart’s variations on “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”; his Adagio in B Minor; and the A Minor Sonata, written after the death of Mozart’s mother. Tickets are $22 for the general public and $16 for students with valid IDs.

Soprano Renee Fleming will lead a vocal master class at 11:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 27, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Fleming was awarded the National Medal of Arts and a Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo in 2013. In February 2014, she became the first classical singer ever to perform the national anthem at the Super Bowl. Her 2014-15 season engagements include performances at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York’s Metropolitan Opera and Semperoper Dresden. In this master class -- the first in the Robert M. and Maya L. Tichio Vocal Master Class Series -- Fleming will coach voice and opera students from the Bienen School of Music. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.

Cynthia Meyers will lead a flute master class and coach Bienen School students at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28, in Lutkin Hall. Meyers, a piccolo player with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, previously served as principal piccolo of the Houston Symphony and principal flute of the Omaha Symphony. She also has performed with the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Minnesota Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Admission is free.

Soloist, collaborative artist and cultural activist Claire Chase will give a solo flute recital at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5, in Lutkin Hall, as part of her residency with the Bienen School’s Institute for New Music. Chase, a 2012 MacArthur Fellow, has premiered more than 100 works and performed at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. This year, Chase launched an ambitious 22-year project to commission and record an entirely new repertoire for solo flute -- inspired by Varèse’s “Density 21.5” -- between now and that work’s 100th anniversary in 2036. For the project’s first installment, and her first solo performance as the Institute’s resident artist, Chase will premiere a 70-minute program of newly-commissioned works for flute and electronics by George Lewis, Matthias Pintscher, Felipe Lara and Du Yun. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.

The Russian Guitar Quartet will open the Bienen School and the Chicago Classical Guitar Society’s 2014-15 Segovia Classical Guitar Series at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, in Lutkin Hall. The group is devoted to preserving the rare seven-string Russian guitar. Because very little music for this instrument has survived, the quartet bases its repertoire on transcriptions and paraphrases of orchestral, operatic and piano music. Founder Oleg Timofeyev has focused his research, recordings and performances on “Moguchaia Kuchka” (“The Mighty Handful”), the influential “Russian Five” composers Borodin, Cui, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Balakirev. Subscriptions to the six-concert series are available at $115 for the general public and $54 for students with valid IDs. Single tickets, on sale October 20, are $18 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.

Based in Hungary and celebrating their 30th anniversary this year, the Amadinda Percussion Group will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 25, at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Committed to performing both traditional percussion music and new compositions, the ensemble has appeared at London’s Royal Albert Hall, Taipei’s National Concert Hall, Sydney’s Eugene Goossens Hall and New York’s Carnegie Hall. Amadinda has premiered works by Cage, Ligeti and Steve Reich. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.

The 45th anniversary season of pianist Jeffrey Siegel’s Keyboard Conversations will continue with “Three Great Bs -- Beethoven, Bach…and Bartok!” It will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12, at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Siegel will explore Beethoven’s Sonata in F-sharp, Op. 78; Bach’s preludes and Bartok’s “Romanian Dances” and humorous Rondo. Tickets are $22 for the general public and $16 for students with valid IDs.

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