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Bienen School Continues New Year With New Music

Upcoming concerts will take place at Pick-Staiger and two Ryan Center venues

  • Symphonic Wind Ensemble to perform world premiere of work by Joel Puckett
  • Benjamin Hjertmann’s yet-to-be-titled piece to receive world premiere   
  • Members of Ensemble Dal Niente to join Contemporary Music Ensemble on stage

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The new music season at Northwestern University continues this winter with performances of new works, including the world premieres of pieces by composers Joel Puckett and Benjamin Hjertmann. 

A live stream of the Feb. 5 Symphonic Wind Ensemble concert, featuring the world premiere of Puckett’s “the secret by the river,” is made possible in part by The Davee Foundation. Visit 10 minutes prior to the performance to view the live stream. 

Presented by the University’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, the upcoming events will take place in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, as well as several venues in the new Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical Arts, 70 Arts Circle Drive.

Pick-Staiger, a 989-seat hall located on Northwestern’s Arts Circle, has 30 adjustable “sound cloud” reflectors overhead that control the strength and projection of sound throughout the hall and contribute to the venue’s state-of-the-art acoustics. 

Ryan Center venues include the Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall, a 400-seat hall with main floor and balcony seating, featuring state-of-the-art sound and video equipment and a 40-foot glass wall offering spectacular views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline; the David and Carol McClintock Choral and Recital Room, a flexible space for small ensemble performances, student recitals and choral rehearsals that seats 120; and the Shirley Welsh Ryan Opera Theater, a versatile theater space for intimate opera performances and recitals that seats 163.


  • The Symphonic Wind Ensemble will premiere Joel Puckett’s “the secret by the river” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5, at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Faculty member Mallory Thompson, professor and director of bands, will conduct a concert featuring the premiere of a new work by composer Joel Puckett, commissioned for the Bienen School’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble in celebration of the opening of Northwestern’s Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical Arts. Hailed as a “visionary” by the Washington Post, Joel Puckett was named one of National Public Radio listeners’ favorite composers under age 40. He is the recipient of awards from the American Composers Forum, BMI, Chorus America and the American Bandmasters Association. Recent commissions include works for flutist Marina Piccinini, the award-winning reed quintet Akropolis and the Philadelphia chamber choir The Crossing. The program will feature Paul Dooley’s arrangement of William Bolcom’s “Circus Overture,” Carter Pann’s “Serenade for Winds,” Michael Daugherty’s “Bells for Stokowski,” Douglas Townsend’s arrangement of Hyacinthe Jadin’s Overture in F; and the world premiere of Puckett’s “the secret by the river.” A live stream of the concert is made possible in part by The Davee Foundation. Visit 10 minutes prior to the performance to view the live stream. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.

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

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