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Bienen School of Music hosts 2017 American Liszt Society Festival

“Liszt and the Orchestral Imagination” will be celebrated during April 27-30 concerts and events
Sergei Babayan opens the American Liszt Festival at Bienen April 27

EVANSTON - Franz Liszt, the profoundly influential piano star of the Romantic movement, will be celebrated during the American Liszt Society’s premier annual event. The four-day festival schedule includes lectures, presentations, master classes and several performances of Liszt’s music.

The Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University hosts this year’s festival, themed “Liszt and the Orchestral Imagination,” April 27 to 30.  More than 20 concerts and events are planned. Unless otherwise noted, events will be held at Galvin Recital Hall in the Ryan Center for the Musical Arts, 70 Arts Circle Drive on the Evanston campus.

“I have been gratified by the positive response to our festival from musicians all over the country," said festival director James Giles, associate professor of piano at the Bienen School of Music. "It will be a pleasure to welcome so many distinguished pianists, professional musicians and knowledgeable auditors to our lovely campus. I am confident it will be an unforgettable weekend of music and fellowship.”

The mission of the American Liszt Society is to promote scholarship and general understanding of Liszt’s creative and historical significance. This year’s festival is dedicated to the late Portuguese pianist Fernando Laires, co-founder of the American Liszt Society, who passed away in September 2016 at age 91.

Full and one-day festival registration is available online, and provides access to concerts and events on the Evanston campus. Two additional Chicago Symphony Orchestra concerts being held in conjunction with the festival, are not included in the registration price.

Highlighted Concerts

Sergei Babayan
Thursday, April 27, at 7:30 p.m.
Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall
Ryan Center for the Musical Arts
70 Arts Circle Drive

Pianist Sergei Babayan will open the American Liszt Society Festival with a program of works by Liszt, Vladimir Ryabov, Bach and Chopin. Babayan regularly performs with the world’s foremost orchestras, including the Cleveland Orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic, the New World Symphony and the London Symphony Orchestra. Currently there are no single tickets available to this event. The Bienen School is holding a limited number of tickets for registrants of the American Liszt Society Festival. Any remaining seats will be made available for resale on Monday, April 24.

Symphony and Choral Ensemble WEB By Michael Nowakowski

Photo of Northwestern Symphony Orchestra and Chorale by Michael Nowakowski

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra and University Chorale
Friday, April 28, at 7:30 p.m. 
Pick-Staiger Concert Hall
50 Arts Circle Drive
Victor Yampolsky, conductor

Two Bienen School ensembles join forces for a performance of Liszt’s “St. Cecilia Legend," Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major and Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Major and Béla Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra. Soloists for the program include mezzo-soprano Liana Gineitis and pianists Xuesha Hu and Yangmingtian Zhao.

Admission to this concert is included in the registration price for Liszt Festival participants.

Single tickets for the April 28 concert are $6 for students with valid ID and $12 for the general public and can be purchased on the Concerts@Bienen website, by phone at 847-467-4000 or by visiting the Pick-Staiger Concert Hall box office at 50 Arts Circle Drive on the Evanston campus.

See the full American Liszt Society Festival schedule online.

The Bienen School of Music is a member of the Northwestern Arts Circle, which brings together film, humanities, literary arts, music, theater, dance and visual arts. Search for events across all artistic disciplines at Northwestern Arts Circle.