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Bienen School Of Music Hosts International Guest Artists

Winter guests include some of the best performers in the world

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The New York-based contemporary music ensemble loadbang; the International Contemporary Ensemble, also known as ICE; and the traditional Irish group Danú, are among the variety of guest ensembles who will take the stage to perform for Northwestern University audiences this winter.

Presented by the University’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, other guest artist events will include a vocal master class by bass-baritone Eric Owens, who has earned international acclaim as both an esteemed interpreter of the classics and a champion of new music. Owens’ master class is part of the Robert M. and Maya L. Tichio Vocal Master Class Series. Also scheduled is a “Samba Exotico” guitar program led by brothers Sergio and Odair Assad, who will perform with Brazilian jazz guitarist Romero Lubambo.

The following events will be held on the Evanston campus at Lutkin Hall, 700 University Place; Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Road; and Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive; or at St. James Cathedral, 65 E. Huron St., in Chicago, as noted.

Winter 2015 Guest Artists

• Thomas Robertello will host a flute master class at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 15,  at Lutkin Hall. Robertello has appeared as guest principal flutist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Houston Grand Opera. He is a former member of the Pittsburgh Symphony, National Symphony and Cleveland orchestras and has held faculty positions at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Notre Dame, Roosevelt University and the Cleveland Institute of Music. He is currently on faculty at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. This event is free and open to the general public.           

• The ensemble loadbang will perform works by Elliot T. Cless, Taylor Brook, Jenna Lyle, Alex Minceck and Joan Pàmies at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 18, at Lutkin Hall. The group is comprised of bass clarinetist Adrián Sandi, trumpet player Andy Kozar, vocalist Jeffrey Gavett and trombonist William Lang. This event is presented by the Bienen School’s Institute for New Music and made possible in part by The Davee Foundation. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.         

• Piffaroa Philadelphia-based Renaissance band, will host an early instrument demonstration and master class in collaboration with the annual Evelyn Dunbar Early Music Festivalat 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, at Lutkin Hall. Piffaro specializes in recreations of music from the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The group’s ever-expanding instruments from the period include shawmsdulcianssackbutsrecorderskrumhornsbagpipeslutesguitarsharps and a variety of percussion instruments. In 2011, the group received the Laurette Goldberg Lifetime Achievement Award in Early Music Outreach. This master class/demonstration is free and open to the general public.

• The Bienen Contemporary and Early Vocal Ensemble will perform with Piffaro at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24 at Alice Millar Chapel, and at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25, at St. James Cathedral in Chicago. The program will feature Kyle Smith’s 2008 work “Vespers.” Organized and conducted by faculty member Donald Nally, this event is presented in collaboration with the Evelyn Dunbar Early Music Festival. Both concerts are free and open to the general public. In addition to this performance, there will be a pre-concert discussion at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24 at Vail Chapel. Admission is free.

• Croatian-born guitarist Ana Vidović will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31,at Lutkin Hall, as part of the 2015 Segovia Classical Guitar Series. Vidović has won competitions, including New York’s Young Concert Artists International Auditions and Rome’s Fernando Sor Competition. Her program will feature works by Fernando Sor, Agustin Mangore and Bach. This event is $20 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.     

• International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) will present an eclectic program of new music at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 1, at Lutkin Hall. ICE has premiered more than 500 compositions. The group has received the American Music Center’s Trailblazer Award, the ASCAP/Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming, and Musical America Worldwide’s Ensemble of the Year Award in 2013. Presented by the Institute for New Music, the group’s program will include works by György Kurtág, Dai Fujikura and Kaija Saariaho. This event is sponsored by the Bienen School’s Institute for New Music and is part of visiting artist and flutist Claire Chase’s residency. Chase is co-founder of ICE. Tickets are $20 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.

• Bass-baritone Eric Owens will lead a vocal master class as part of the Robert M. and Maya L. Tichio Vocal Master Class Series at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 2, at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Owens is currently serving as community ambassador at Lyric Opera of Chicago. His season engagements include Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion” at the Lucerne Festival, “Porgy and Bess” at Lyric Opera of Chicago, and his debut in the title role of “Der fliegende Holländer” with the Washington National Opera. Owens’ master class is $10 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.

• Oboist James Austin Smitha Bienen School alumnus, will give an oboe recital and master class at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 2, at Lutkin Hall. Smith is an artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society Two, the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Cygnus Ensemble, Decoda and the Talea Ensemble. This event is free and open to the general public.   

• The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) will showcase works by Bienen School composition students at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4, at Lutkin Hall. Free and open to the public, the concert is presented by the Bienen School’s Institute for New Music.

• The Contemporary Music Ensemble will perform with the International Contemporary Ensemble at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. The two groups will present works by Julio Estrada, Jeremy Podgursky, Iannis Xenakis and a new work by Wilson Tanner Smith. This event is $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.

• Alyce Johnson, piccolo player and acting assistant principal flute of the Lyric Opera Orchestra, will host a flute master class at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, at Lutkin Hall. Johnson also performs with the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra and is a faculty member at the DePaul University School of Music. She has appeared as a soloist with the New World Symphony, Chicago Philharmonic and Bach Week Festival. Her master class is free and open to the general public.

• Pianist Jeffrey Siegel will present “Grieg and Chopin – A Musical Friendship,”one of his popular Keyboard Conversations concerts with commentary at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13, at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Siegel’s program will include Chopin’s “Grande Polonaise,” Grieg’s “Halling” and the storytelling of their respective Ballades. This concert is $22 for the general public and $16 for students with valid IDs.

• Russian guitarist Anton Baranov will perform works by Legnani, Barrios, Anton Abril and others at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14, at Lutkin Hall, as part of the 2015 Segovia Classical Guitar Series. Baranov has won more than 15 international guitar competitions, including the Andrés Segovia, Agustín Barrios and Pittaluga Guitar Competitions and has toured throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada and Brazil. He recently completed his first recording for the Naxos label. Tickets are $20 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.

• The Assad Brothers – Sergio and Odair -- will perform with Brazilian jazz guitarist Romero Lubambo in a Segovia Classical Guitar Series program titled “Samba Exotico,” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17, at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Their repertoire includes original compositions and arrangements by Sérgio Assad, transcriptions of baroque keyboard literature, and adaptations of works by Gershwin, Ginastera and Debussy. This concert is $26 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.         

• Danú, one of today’s leading traditional Irish ensembles, will present a lively performance of Celtic music at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 23, at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. The group’s flute, tin whistle, fiddle, accordion, bouzouki and vocal virtuosos have been performed worldwide for two decades. They also have recorded seven critically acclaimed albums. Group members hail from counties Waterford, Kerry, Dublin and Donegal. Tickets are $24 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.         

• Belgium’s Raphaella Smits and Adrien Brogna will perform mid-19th-century repertoire on eight-string guitars at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at Lutkin Hall. This event is part of the 2015 Segovia Classical Guitar Series. Tickets are $22 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.

For more information, call the Bienen School’s Concert Management Office at 847-491-5441 or visit www.pickstaiger.org. To order single tickets, call 847-467-4000 or visit www.pickstaiger.org.

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