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Northwestern Spring Choral Season Combines Ensembles

Bienen School of Music to present Midwest and world premieres

  • Midwest premiere of “Lost Objects” set for Pick-Staiger and Millennium Park
  • “Vive la France” program features works by Massenet and Ravel
  • Alice Millar Chapel Festival concert includes rarely heard Mass No. 9 in D
  • Concert marking 150th anniversary of Civil War’s end features world premiere

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Midwest premiere of “Lost Objects” by three Bang on a Can new music composers -- and the world premiere of “Canticle” by composer Imant Raminsh during a concert commemorating the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War -- are among the choral and collaborative performances taking place at Northwestern University this spring.

Presented by Northwestern’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, and open to the public, these events include performances by the Northwestern University Chorale, University Singers and the Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble.

They will take place on the University’s Evanston campus at Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Road; Lutkin Hall, 700 University Place; Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion in downtown Chicago; and Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, as noted below.

SPRING CHORAL EVENTS

• The Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra and University Chorale’s “Vive la France” program at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 25, at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, will be conducted by Victor Yampolsky, director of orchestras. The combined ensembles will perform Massenet’s Overture to “Phèdre,” Dukas’ “La Péri: Poème dansé” and Ravel’s complete ballet “Daphnis et Chloé.” Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.

• The Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble and the Contemporary Music Ensemble will perform the Midwest premiere of “Lost Objects” indoors at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 1, at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, and repeat the performance outdoors Memorial Day weekend at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 24, at Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion in downtown Chicago. Donald Nally, director of choral organizations, will conduct this musical exploration of the meaning of memory by Bang on a Can composers Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe. The work is written for voices, electric guitar, baroque orchestra and keyboards. Both performances are free and open to the general public.

• The Symphonic Wind Ensemble will perform with the University Chorale at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 15, at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Mallory Thompson, director of bands, will conduct the groups in “Symphony of Psalms” by Stravinsky and Symphony No. 4 by Maslanka. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.

Stephen Alltop, senior lecturer, will conduct the Alice Millar Spring Festival Concert at 5 p.m. Sunday, May 17, at Alice Millar Chapel, featuring the Alice Millar Chapel Choir and soloists, the Baroque Music Ensemble and organist Eric Budzynski. The combined ensembles will perform Heinichen’s rarely heard Mass No. 9 in D, along with French organist and composer Vierne’s Mass for Two Organs. The event is free and open to the general public. An offering will be accepted.

Works by Finnish composer Esa-Pekka Salonen -- the 2014 winner of the Bienen School’s prestigious $100,000 Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Music Composition -- will be celebrated at 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 18, at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. The program will feature the Contemporary Music Ensemble and the Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble. The concert will include Salonen’s Concert Etude for Solo Horn, “Two Songs from Kalender Röd” and “Five Images after Sappho.” Piano faculty member James Giles will perform Salonen’s work “Sisar.” Ligeti’s Chamber Concerto and a new work by Carlo Diaz also will be performed. Alan Pierson, Benjamin Bolter and Donald Nally will conduct. Horn player Russell Rybicki and soprano Rachel Sparrow will be the featured  Bienen School soloists. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.

(New date and location) Northwestern’s Women’s Chorus and La Caccina, a Chicago women’s professional vocal ensemble, will be featured in the “Sacred and Profane” program at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 21, at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Together, the groups will perform Mozart’s “Sparrow” Mass as well as works by Britten, Toivo Tulev, Poulenc and Mendelssohn. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.

(World Premiere) The University Singers’ “Remembrance: A House Divided” program at 7:30 p.m. Monday, June 1, at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War. Emily Ellsworth, lecturer, will conduct a concert featuring Chicago composer Paul Carey’s “Civil War Requiem,” James Syler’s “Dear Sarah,” Gwyneth Walker’s “The Tree of Peace” and the world premiere of Canadian composer Imant Raminsh’s “Canticle.” Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.

For more information, call the Bienen School of Music Concert Management Office at 847-491-5441 or visit www.pickstaiger.org. To order tickets by phone, call the Bienen School Ticket Office at 847-467-4000 or visit www.pickstaiger.org.

ARTS CIRCLE DRIVE

Northwestern’s Arts Circle Drive has reopened for vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The road, drive-up handicap access to Arts Circle Drive venues, the pedestrian path at the lakefront and all sidewalks are now open for public use. New improvements to the South Beach Garage have also eliminated the need to use the stairways since both levels of the two-story parking structure are now accessible to persons with disabilities for easy access to Bienen School of Music venues. Additional parking is also available in the new Segal Visitors Center at 1841 Sheridan Road. For more information, call 847-491-5441 or visit www.pickstaiger.org.

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