Northwestern Hosts Annual Winter Chamber Music Festival
World-renowned musicians to perform works that will warm the heart and soul
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University’s 19th annual Winter Chamber Music Festival will focus on the chamber works of Beethoven, providing an overview of the composer’s music for string quartets and small ensembles. The six-concert series opens Jan. 9 and runs through Jan. 25.
Presented by the University’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, this season’s festival will feature the New Orford String Quartet, the 16-member Dogma Chamber Orchestra, Lincoln String Quartet with pianist Winston Choi, violinist Simone Lamsma and guest artists, Bienen School faculty and guests, including Chicago Symphony Orchestra members, and the Dover Quartet.
Blair Milton, an adjunct associate professor of violin at the Bienen School of Music and a Chicago Symphony Orchestra member since 1975, has directed the annual Winter Chamber Music Festival since it was launched in January 1997. Milton also will perform as an ensemble member during the Jan. 23 concert featuring Bienen School faculty and guest artists.
All of the following 2015 Winter Chamber Music Festival concerts will take place at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, on the University’s Evanston campus.
Winter Chamber Music Festival 2015 concerts
• The New Orford String Quartet will launch the winter 2015 festival at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 9 with Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 11 in F Minor; Gary Kulesha’s String Quartet; and Brahms’ String Quartet No. 1 in C Minor. The quartet has garnered two Opus awards for Concert of the Year, and its debut album was nominated for a JUNO award in 2012. The group is comprised of violinists Jonathan Crow and Andrew Wan, violist Eric Nowlin and cellist Brian Manker. Single tickets are $24 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.
• Germany’s Dogma Chamber Orchestra will perform at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 11. The ensemble’s program includes Foote’s Suite in E Major, Mendelssohn’s String Symphony No. 12 in G Minor and Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings in C Major. This year, the Hamburg-based Dogma Chamber Orchestra received the Echo Klassik Award for Best Symphonic Recording of the Year for their Shostakovich album. Mikhail Gurewitsch is the 16-member orchestra’s concertmaster and artistic director. Single tickets are $24 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.
• The Lincoln String Quartet -- a staple of the Chicago music scene since its founding in 1997 -- will perform a range of Beethoven’s works with guest pianist Winston Choi at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 16. Comprised of current members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the quartet performs regularly at Chicago area venues, including Symphony Center, the Art Institute of Chicago and Northwestern University, as well as at many private homes throughout the metropolitan area. The ensemble features violinists Lei Hou and Qing Hou, violist Lawrence Neuman and cellist Kenneth Olsen. Their chamber festival program includes Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 3 in D Major, Cello Sonata No. 3 in A Major and String Quartet No. 15 in A Minor. Single tickets are $24 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.
• Violinist Simone Lamsma, who will perform as a septet member at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 18, has been hailed by critics around the world for her “distinct voice, maturity, technical brilliance and heartfelt musicianship.” Lamsma will be part of an ensemble comprised of Chicago Symphony Orchestra members, including violinist Stephanie Jeong; violists Lawrence Neuman and Yukiko Ogura; cellists Brant Taylor and Kenneth Olsen; and pianist Alessio Bax. Their program features Beethoven’s String Trio in C Minor, Mendelssohn’s Violin Sonata in F Major and Brahms’ String Sextet No. 2 in G Major. Single tickets are $26 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.
Northwestern’s Bienen School faculty and guest artists will play works by Beethoven, Glinka and Zwilich at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23. Performers include violinists Gerardo Ribeiro and Blair Milton; violist Rami Solomonow; cellists Karen Buranskas and Calum Cook; bassist Andrew Raciti; pianists James Giles and Andrea Swan; clarinetist Steven Cohen; bassoonist Lewis Kirk; and hornist Gail Williams. The program features Beethoven’s Piano Trio No. 1 in E-flat Major and Septet in E-flat Major; Glinka’s “Trio pathétique” in D Minor for clarinet, bassoon and piano; and Zwilich’s Violin Sonata. Single tickets are $22 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.
The Dover Quartet -- a young American string quartet that is becoming one of the most in-demand ensembles in the world -- will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25. The group will perform Mozart’s String Quartet No. 20 in D Major; Kaija Saariaho’s “Terra Memoria” and Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 9 in C Major (“Razumovsky”). The quartet won the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition. The quartet is comprised of violinists Joel Link and Bryan Lee, violist Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt and cellist Camden Shaw. Single tickets are $26 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.
Subscriptions for the 2015 Winter Chamber Music Festival are $125 for the general public and $51 for students with valid IDs and are available at the Bienen School Ticket Office, located in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, or by calling 847-467-4000.