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Bienen School Featured In WFMT Bach Keyboard Festival

Faculty and students perform Bach’s piano and harpsichord works Oct. 11, 25
  • WFMT Bach Keyboard Festival runs through Nov. 1
  • Festival coordinated by Northwestern University faculty member Stephen Alltop
  • Bienen School of Music performances in new Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall
  • Thirty-four faculty and student performers featured in two October concerts

EVANSTON, Ill. --- This fall, Northwestern University’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music will play a key role in 98.7 WFMT’s 2015 Bach Keyboard Festival.

The Oct. 11 and Oct. 25 concerts led by Bienen School faculty member Stephen Alltop, will include an array of Northwestern pianists and harpsichordists who will perform in the Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall, a lakefront venue that is a crown jewel of Northwestern’s stunning new Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical Arts.

Alltop also coordinated the Chicago fine arts and classical music station’s fall 2014 WFMT Bach Organ Project.

“While few composers permeate the lives and performances of musicians more than Johann Sebastian Bach, it is amazing how many gems in his keyboard works go largely unheard,” Alltop noted. 

“This festival is providing a wonderful opportunity to experience the breadth and history of Bach’s lifelong involvement with the ‘clavier.’ I am delighted that these recitals take place within days of the opening [of the Galvin Recital Hall]. It is an exciting showcase of so many Bienen School performers in a world-class venue.”

This year’s Bach Keyboard Festival artists include Jory Vinikour, David Schrader, Winston Choi, Adam Neiman, Anthony Molinaro, Lara Downes and Jason Moy, as well as Bienen School associate professor of piano Sylvia Wang, nearly three dozen Bienen School students, and faculty and students from the keyboard programs of DePaul University, Roosevelt University, the University of Chicago and Wheaton College.

“With the involvement of 94 performers of all ages, including 32 from the Bienen School’s keyboard program, this undertaking is something for which the community at large can be proud,” Alltop said.

The festival, which is being held at multiple locations throughout the Chicago and suburban area, including Northwestern University, began Sept. 18 and runs through Nov. 1, totaling 21 hours of music and showcasing many of Bach’s lesser-known works. 

The following two festival Sunday performances featuring Bienen School faculty and students -- Oct. 11 and Oct. 25 -- will take place in the school’s new Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall, located in the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical Arts, 70 Arts Circle Drive, on Northwestern’s Evanston campus.


3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11, (2 p.m. preconcert recital), Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall. Pre-concert recital performers include Alex Yang Ge, Xun Zheng, Frank Lin, Alice Zhu, Dan Cao, Xinzhe Jiang, Timothy Zhou, Andrew Lu and Alisa Hwang. Concert performers include Natasha Stojanovska, Stephen Alltop, Qiyun Dai, Dong-Wan Ha, Heejin An, EunAe Lee, JiYoung Lee, Xuan He and Hyejin Joo. The program features the Concerto in G Minor (BWV 985), “Aria variata alla maniera italiana” in A Minor, French Suite No. 4 in E-flat Major, Fugue in A Major on a Theme by Tomaso Albinoni, Suite in A Major and Toccata in G Minor.

3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25, (2 p.m. preconcert recital), Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall. Pre-concert recital performers include Robert McConnell, Derek Hartman, Megan Lee, Joshua Curtis, Pan Xiao, Bo-kyung Hwang, Paul Juhn and Connie Wang. Concert performers include Sylvia Wang, Stephen Alltop, Ying-Ying Su, Jue He, Xuan He, Chen-Shen Fan, Kevin Lie, Yumy Lee Kim and Jialiang Wu. The program features the Partita No. 1 in B-flat Major, Concerto in G Major (BWV 986) and Prelude and Fugue No. 21 in B-flat Major from Book II of “The Well-Tempered Clavier.”

Tickets for each concert are $25 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs. They may be purchased through WFMT or the Bienen School of Music