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Bienen School to Launch New Year with Early Music Concerts

The Newberry Consort, Paul O’Dette and two Bienen School ensembles to perform

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Newberry Consort, the Bienen School’s ensemble-in-residence; Grammy-nominated guest lutenist Paul O’Dette, and two Northwestern student groups -- the Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble and Baroque Music Ensemble -- are among the featured performers in an array of early music performances on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus this winter. 

Presented by Northwestern’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, the featured programs of medieval, Renaissance and early baroque music include some revived works that will be played on period instruments.

The events will take place on the University’s Evanston campus at Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Road and the new Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical Arts’ Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall, 70 Arts Circle Drive, as noted. 

Winter 2016 Early Music concerts 

  • A 2 p.m. lecture will precede a 3 p.m. “Le Roman de Fauvel” concert by The Newberry Consort, the Bienen School’s ensemble-in-residence, Sunday, Jan. 10, in Alice Millar Chapel. The program sets the medieval tale of Fauvel (an acrostic or puzzle -- in which certain letters in each line form a word -- representing the vices Flattery, Avarice, Vileness, Fickleness and Envy) to poetry and music. Fauvel’s story tells of his rise to prominence in the French royal court and satirizes the hedonism, hypocrisy and excess of the ruling orders, both secular and ecclesiastical. Performers on authentic instruments of the period will include violinist David Douglass; soprano Ellen Hargis; vocalist, harpist and medieval wind player Debra Nagy; harpist, bagpiper and shawm (a forerunner of the oboe) player Christa Patton; medieval wind player Dan Stillman; and The Rookery vocal ensemble. Tickets are $40 for the general public ($35 if purchased in advance) and $5 for students with valid IDs.
  • The Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble’s “Sound in Architecture” concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 10, will be held in the Ryan Center’s Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall. Donald Nally, the Bienen School’s director of choral organizations, will conduct as the ensemble continues the yearlong celebration of its new home with two works written for iconic buildings: Guillaume Dufay’s “Nuper rosarum flores,” written for the Florence Cathedral, and Morton Feldman’s “Rothko Chapel” for viola, percussion and choir, written for the eponymous chapel in Houston. Also on the program will be Bo Holten’s “In nomine,” based on music of 16th-century English composer John Taverner, and Santa Ratniece’s ‘horo hata hata.” The concert will be preceded by a 3 p.m. lecture by Ryan Dohoney, assistant professor of musicology, in the Ryan Center’s David and Carol McClintock Choral and Recital Room. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.
  • Grammy-nominated lutenist Paul O’Dette will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23, as part of the 2015-16 Segovia Classical Guitar Series in the Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall. Best known for his recitals and recordings of virtuoso solo lute music, O’Dette has performed and conducted at festivals in Boston, Sweden, Paris, London, Barcelona and many other locations throughout the world. His more than 100 recordings include nominees for Grammy awards and for Gramophone magazine’s Record of the Year. O’Dette’s program will showcase his mastery of the music of English composer, virtuoso lutenist and singer John Dowland (1563-1626), one of the most famous musicians of his time. Subscriptions for the series are still available and single tickets are $30 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.
  • The Baroque Music Ensemble’s “Baroque Surround Sound” program at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, will highlight the sonic capabilities of the Bienen School’s Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall. Conducted by Bienen School faculty member Stephen Alltop, director of music for Alice Millar Chapel, the concert will feature violin soloist David Douglass. The program will include multiple instrumental choirs performing the music of Gabrieli, in addition to Albinoni’s Adagio for Organ and Strings and Telemann’s Concerto for Three Trumpets, Timpani and Orchestra. 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 Tickets are available by phone or online, by contacting  the Bienen School Ticket Office at 847-467-4000 or visiting

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