Northwestern University Music in May
Bienen School to present rollicking performances of Gilbert and Sullivan’s opera “Ruddigore”
EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Midwest premiere of “Lost Objects” -- a work for voices, electric guitar, baroque orchestra and keyboards -- by Bang on a Can composers Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe, is just one of the many tempting reasons to attend a Northwestern University music event this spring.
Presented by Northwestern’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, “Lost Objects” will first be performed indoors on the Evanston campus at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall on May 1. It will be repeated outdoors May 24 in downtown Chicago at the Pritzker Pavilion during the Bienen School’s annual Memorial Day weekend concert at Millennium Park.
Other May programs will include a vocal master class led by Frederica von Stade, one of America’s leading mezzo-sopranos; a recital by guest pianist Alexander Kobrin, the grand prizewinner at the 2005 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition; and four performances of Northwestern University Opera Theater’s Spring 2015 production of “Ruddigore,” Gilbert and Sullivan’s parody of a Victorian melodrama, which will be sung in English and staged by Michael M. Ehrman, the Bienen School’s artist-in-residence and director of opera.
The Bienen School also will host the annual Thaviu-Isaak Endowed Piano Scholarship Competition on May 9 and the Samuel and Elinor Thaviu Endowed Scholarship Competition in String Performance on May 10. Both competitions are free and feature top Northwestern student artists.
All May 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; Lutkin Hall, 700 University Place; Regenstein Recital Hall, 60 Arts Circle Drive; and Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Road; or at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, 201 East Randolph St., in downtown Chicago, as noted.
The Bienen School Ticket Office is located in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Concert ticket prices are offered at three levels: the first for the general public and the second for full-time students with IDs. Northwestern faculty and staff with a valid WildCARD receive a 15 percent discount off the general public ticket price.
For series brochures or further information, call 847-491-5441 or email requests to email@example.com. To join the Bienen School’s concerts and events list and receive a monthly events newsletter as well as special discount offers, send your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org. For updates on parking and directions, visit www.pickstaiger.org/construction.
MAY 2015 MUSIC EVENTS
• Midwest Premiere, Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble and Contemporary Music Ensemble: “Lost Objects” 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 1, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall and repeated at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 24, at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Chicago. Donald Nally, director of choral organizations, will conduct a musical exploration of the meaning of memory by Bang on a Can composers Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe. This work for voices, electric guitar, baroque orchestra and keyboards is described by librettist Deborah Artman as “a prayer hall, a hymn, but also an invention; in the tenuous and hurried climate of the times we live in now, ‘Lost Objects’ asks us to pause and consider the grace bestowed upon each thing, person, animal and idea, the ordinary and the not-so-ordinary lost objects of our shared and vanishing culture.” Admission is free.
• Frederica von Stade Vocal Master Class, 2 p.m. Saturday, May 2, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Described by The New York Times as “one of America’s finest artists and singers,” mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade is one of the music world’s most beloved figures. Her more than 60 recordings for every major label -- including complete operas, aria albums, symphonic works, solo recital programs and popular crossover albums -- have garnered six Grammy nominations, two Grand Prix du Disque awards, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, and “Best of the Year” citations by Stereo Review and Opera News. Her upcoming engagements include the Dallas Opera world premiere of Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally’s “Great Scott.” Von Stade’s program is part of the Bienen School’s Robert M. and Maya L. Tichio Vocal Master Class Series. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.
• Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 2, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Robert G. Hasty will conduct the orchestra in a program featuring Donald Crockett’s “Roethke Preludes,” Elliott Carter’s Symphony No. 1, Eric Whitacre’s “Goodnight Moon” and John Corigliano’s “Gazebo Dances.” Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.
• Victor Goines and Jazz Students, “The Roots of Ragtime,” 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 4. Regenstein Recital Hall. A member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and the Wynton Marsalis Septet, Victor Goines, director of jazz studies, also performs with his quartet throughout the world. With the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra he has collaborated with Bobby McFerrin, Garth Fagan Dance, Alvin Ailey Dance, the New York City Ballet, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon and many others. This program will feature new arrangements of works by ragtime’s “big three” -- Scott Joplin, Joseph Lamb and James Scott. Featured student artists will include flutist and piccolo player Alexandria Hoffman; tenor saxophonist, clarinetist and bass clarinetist Kamila Muhammad; alto and soprano saxophonist Zakkary Garner; trumpet players Michael Jones and Justin Copeland; trombonist Adam Thornburg; vibraphonist and marimba player Thaddeus Tukes; guitarist Erik Skov; pianist Julius Tucker; bassist Alex Warshawsky and percussionist Alvin Cobb. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.
• Pianist Alexander Kobrin, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 5, Lutkin Hall. The grand prizewinner at the 2005 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Alexander Kobrin has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic and Russian National Orchestra. He has appeared in recitals at major venues worldwide, including the Louvre Auditorium and Salle Cortot in Paris, Albert Hall and Wigmore Hall in London and Avery Fisher Hall in New York. Kobrin’s program includes music of Haydn, Chopin, Schubert and Scriabin. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.
• Northwestern University Saxophone Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 6, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. The ensemble will perform a diverse program of works for the saxophone. Admission is free.
• Symphonic Band, 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 8, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Shawn Vondran, associate director of bands, will conduct a diverse program of compositions and arrangements for wind band. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.
• Thaviu-Isaak Endowed Piano Scholarship Competition, 3 p.m. Saturday, May 9, Lutkin Hall. This annual competition features Northwestern piano students nominated by Bienen School piano faculty. Honoring the school’s late professors Samuel Thaviu and Donald Isaak, the scholarship is the Northwestern piano program’s most prestigious honor. Admission is free.
• Samuel and Elinor Thaviu Endowed Scholarship Competition in String Performance,
3 p.m. Sunday, May 10, Lutkin Hall. Northwestern’s top string students perform in this prestigious competition honoring the late Samuel Thaviu, longtime Bienen School violin professor. Admission is free.
• Percussion Ensemble, 3 p.m. Sunday, May 10, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Bienen School faculty member She-e Wu will conduct an afternoon of eclectic rhythms. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.
• Symphonic Wind Ensemble and University Chorale, 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 15, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Mallory Thompson will conduct a program featuring Stravinsky’s “Symphony of Psalms” and David Maslanka’s Symphony No. 4. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.
• Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra, “American Explorer,” 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 16, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Victor Yampolsky will conduct the orchestra in a performance of Lopatnikov’s “Festival Overture,” Stanley Friedman’s “Kolot Shketim” and Ives’ Symphony No. 2. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.
• Concert Band, 3 p.m. Sunday, May 17, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Daniel J. Farris will conduct students from across the Northwestern campus in a concert of band standards. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.
• Alice Millar Spring Festival Concert, 5 p.m. Sunday, May 17, Alice Millar Chapel.
Stephen Alltop will conduct a concert featuring the Mass No. 9 in D by Heinichen, one of the Baroque era’s most imaginative composers. Complementing this rarely heard work will be Vierne’s Mass for Two Organs and baroque concertos featuring outstanding senior soloists, the Alice Millar Chapel Choir and Baroque Music Ensemble and organist Eric Budzynski. Admission is free; an offering will be accepted.
• Guitar Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 17, Lutkin Hall. Anne Waller will direct a program featuring compositions and arrangements for large guitar ensemble and small groups. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.
• Contemporary Music Ensemble and Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 18, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. The performance celebrates the music of the Bienen School’s 2014 Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize winner, Esa-Pekka Salonen. Salonen is principal conductor and artistic adviser for London’s Philharmonia Orchestra and conductor laureate of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he served as music director from 1992 until 2009. His current season engagements have included appearances with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the New York Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. This concert concludes the first portion of Salonen’s Nemmers Prize Evanston campus residency. The program includes Salonen’s Concert Etude for Solo Horn, “Two Songs from Kalender Röd” and “Five Images after Sappho.” Ligeti’s Chamber Concerto and a new work by Carlo Diaz also will be performed. Alan Pierson, Benjamin Bolter and Donald Nally and horn player Russell Rybicki and soprano Rachel Sparrow will be the featured soloists. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.
• Northwestern University Jazz Orchestra, “New Orchestral Jazz Sounds,” 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 19, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Victor Goines, director of jazz studies, will conduct a program of new compositions and arrangements by Bienen School jazz students for a large ensemble. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.
• Evening of Brass, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 20, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.
Gail Williams will direct a program of compositions and arrangements for brass ensemble, including the final two movements of Berlioz’s “Symphonie fantastique” as transcribed by Erik Saras. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.
• Spring Opera, Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Ruddigore,” 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 21; 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 22; and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, May 23, Cahn Auditorium. Michael M. Ehrman will stage this riotous parody of a stock melodrama, featuring music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W.S. Gilbert. A curse on the Murgatroyd line decrees that every baronet of Ruddigore must commit a daily crime or succumb to an agonizing death. When the latest baronet, living in disguise to escape the curse, seeks the hand of the most eligible bachelorette in the village of Rederring, wicked deeds, multiple betrothals and visits from ancestral ghosts ensue. “Ruddigore” will be performed in English. Tickets are $18 for the general public and $8 for students with valid IDs.
• (NEW DATE AND LOCATION) Women’s Chorus with La Caccina, “Sacred and Profane,” 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 21, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Joined by La Caccina, a Chicago-based women’s professional vocal ensemble, the Women’s Chorus will perform Mozart’s “Sparrow” Mass (Missa Brevis in C Major) as well as works by Poulenc, Britten, Mendelssohn and Toivo Tulev. Christopher Walsh will conduct the chorus and Bienen School strings. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.
• Keyboard Conversations, “Music of Joyous Celebration” 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 22, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Pianist Jeffrey Siegel will perform festive and uplifting music to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Keyboard Conversations, his “concerts with commentary series.” The program includes Bach’s and Busoni’s “Rejoice!”; Schumann’s Novelette in D, Op. 21, No. 2; Chopin’s Nocturne in F-sharp Major, Op. 15, No. 2 and Tarantelle, Op. 43; Poulenc’s “Trois Mouvements Perpétuels”; de Falla’s “Ritual Fire Dance”; Nielsen’s “Festive Prelude”; Sinding’s “Rustle of Spring,” Op. 32, No. 3; Griegs’ “At the Cradle” and Kreisler’s and Rachmaninoff’s “Liebesfreud” (“Love's Joy”). Siegel’s program also will include a Q&A session. Single tickets are $22 for the general public and $16 for full-time students with valid IDs.
• Philharmonia, “Night at the Ballet,” 7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 31, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Robert G. Hasty and graduate assistant conductor Aaron Davis will direct a program featuring Beethoven’s “The Creatures of Prometheus,” the ballet music Overture from Massenet’s opera “Le Cid” and Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” Suite. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.
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, and 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 on the Evanston campus also is available in the new Segal Visitors Center at 1841 Sheridan Road. For more information, call 847-491-5441 or visit www.pickstaiger.org.