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Bienen School Presents Spring Celebration Events

Events will honor the Bienen School’s new Ryan Center for the Musical Arts
  • “Sounding Spaces” will explore intersections between music and architecture April 7-8
  • World premiere of David Lang’s commissioned work by a Bienen School ensemble April 17
  • Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony in Evanston May 27 and Millennium Park May 29
  • Bienen School’s Horn Festival to feature faculty and guest artists 

EVANSTON, Ill. --- A two-day workshop on sound and space; the world premiere of a commissioned work by David Lang that includes a visit by the composer; a performance of Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony at the Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago’s Millennium Park; and a three-day Horn Festival. They all continue a yearlong celebration of Northwestern University’s new Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical Arts.

All of the upcoming events are presented by Northwestern’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music.

Throughout the 2015-16 academic year, celebration events have commemorated the new home of the Bienen School of Music, beginning last September with the Midwest premiere of “Sila: The Breath of the World” by John Luther Adams, 2010 winner of the Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Music Composition, and continuing with events including the recent Northwestern University Jazz Orchestra concert with special guest saxophonist Branford Marsalis, which featured two works by Bienen professor and director of jazz studies Victor Goines

All spring celebration programs listed below are open to the public. They will take place on Northwestern’s Evanston campus at the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical Arts’ Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall; David and Carol McClintock Choral and Recital Room; and Jean Gimbel Lane Reception Room, 70 Arts Circle Drive; Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive; or at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, 201 East Randolph St., in downtown Chicago, as noted.


  • “Sounding Spaces: A Workshop for Music, Urban Space, Landscape and Architecture”; Keynote Address: 4 p.m. Thursday, April 7, in the Ryan Center’s David and Carol McClintock Choral and Recital Room and Workshop: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, April 8, in the Jean Gimbel Lane Reception Room. This two-day workshop brings together scholars studying the intersections of sound and space, placing them in dialogue with the Bienen School’s music studies faculty and students. Keynote speaker Tamara Levitz, professor of musicology at the University of California, Los Angeles, will present “Decolonizing the American Musicological Society II: Geographies of White Supremacy” on April 7. The all-day workshop April 8 will feature several presentations and panel discussions, allowing scholars to explore how music and space are inherently linked to show the merits of thinking of them in tandem. Visiting scholars will each discuss a particular aspect of sound and space, with topics cutting across centuries, geographies and genres. Bienen School faculty participants include professor Inna Naroditskaya, associate professor Drew Edward Davies, and assistant professor Ryan Dohoney, all from the musicology program. The full schedule is available online. Admission is free.
  • World Premiere of David Lang’s commissioned work by Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble. Meet the composer David Lang, 3 p.m. Sunday, April 17 in the David and Carol McClintock Choral and Recital Room; followed by the concert at 4 p.m. in Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall. Two Bienen School ensembles come together for an all-Lang program featuring a new composition by the 2008 Pulitzer Prize winner commissioned by the Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble to celebrate the opening of the Ryan Center for the Musical Arts. The half-hour unaccompanied work, “a house,” will be conducted by Donald Nally, professor and director of choral organizations. The program includes Lang’s setting of text from the Book of Ruth, “where you go,” as well as the chamber orchestral works “Increase” and “Forced March” featuring the Contemporary Music Ensemble. The program will be directed by Nally and Bienen School faculty members Alan Pierson and Benjamin Bolter. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.
  • Performances of Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony with Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra, University Chorale and Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble, featuring soprano Jessica Rivera and mezzo-soprano Renée Tatum, 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 27 in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 29 at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Chicago. Three Bienen School ensembles plus the Apollo Chorus of Chicago, directed by Bienen School faculty member Stephen Alltop, join forces for two performances of Mahler’s monumental Symphony No. 2 (“Resurrection”), conducted by Victor Yampolsky, professor of conducting and ensembles. This exploration of the afterlife and resurrection established Mahler’s compositional style and launched his fame. Soprano Jessica Rivera has appeared in critically acclaimed premieres of John Adams’ “A Flowering Tree” and “Doctor Atomic.” Mezzo-soprano Renée Tatum has appeared in Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte” at the Metropolitan Opera and Houston Grand Opera and joined an international cast in Japan as Flora in Verdi’s “La traviata.” Admission is free.

The Bienen School’s Horn Festival -- a celebration of the horn -- will present concerts featuring Bienen School faculty and students, Chicago Symphony Orchestra members, and other special guests June 10 and 11. Bienen School faculty participants include Gail Williams, professor of horn; Jonathan Boen, lecturer of horn; and Blair Milton, adjunct associate professor of violin. The events include the following:

  • Horn Festival concert, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 11 in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Horn players Gail Williams, Jonathan Boen and Sarah Willis, and pianist Kay Kim, will perform a program of horn duos and trios. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.

Information and tickets

For more information on these and any other events, call the Bienen School of Music Concert Management Office at 847-491-5441 or visit Or visit Northwestern’s new Arts Circle website at To order tickets, call the Bienen School Ticket Office at 847-467-4000 or visit