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April 2006 Music Calendar

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April 5, 2006 | by Judy Moore

Northwestern University’s April music highlights include the continuation of “Harmonic Convergence, From Bach to Hip-Hop” (March 28 through April 8). The festival will feature a diverse lineup of performers and one-of-a-kind concerts by guest artists that will include Grammy and Naumburg Award winners as well as faculty soloists and student performers.

The Ned Rorem Retrospective (April 18 through 22) is a unique festival paying tribute to renowned art song composer Ned Rorem. School of Music faculty and students will celebrate the life and works of the 82-year-old Northwestern alumnus and Pulitzer Prize winner. In addition, a variety of student ensembles will salute Rorem by featuring his works in their spring concerts.

This year’s Evelyn Dunbar Early Music Festival: CantataFest (April 25 through 30) will include a master class for vocalists and instrumentalists and two concerts. The annual festival is made possible through the support of Northwestern alumni Ruth Dunbar Davee and her late husband, Ken M. Davee, in memory of Ruth’s sister, Evelyn Dunbar. Dunbar was an enthusiastic participant in early music ensembles at the University and stipulated, as part of her gift, that the festival include both students and members of the community.

Also scheduled is another installment of the 2005-06 Segovia Classical Guitar Series, this time featuring a concert by guest classical guitarist David Russell (April 15).

Events listed below will be held on Northwestern’s Evanston campus at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive; Regenstein Recital Hall, 60 Arts Circle Drive; or Lutkin Hall, 700 University Place, as noted below.

For more information, call the Pick-Staiger Concert Office at (847) 491-5441 or go to the Pick-Staiger Web site at <www.pickstaiger.com>.

To order tickets by phone, call the Pick-Staiger Ticket Office at (847) 467-4000.

APRIL 2006

Harmonic Convergence Festival, “A Monster Saxophone Concert,” 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 1, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. To celebrate the saxophone’s 165th birthday, a 40-piece saxophone orchestra (including School of Music faculty, students and alumni) will perform Demersseman’s “Carnival of Venice” with saxophone soloist Frederick Hemke, Bernstein’s “Candide” Overture, movements from Bartók’s “Concerto for Orchestra” and Gershwin’s complete “Rhapsody in Blue” with Naumburg Award-winning pianist Anthony Molinaro. Also taking the stage are the Chicago Saxophone Quartet (comprised of Northwestern alumni), composer-saxophonist Jim Gailloreto’s Jazz String Quintet, and the world’s largest sax, the 6’ 8” contrabass saxophone. Harold Gene Bauer will conduct. Tickets are $14 for the general public; $10 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $5.50 for students.

Harmonic Convergence Festival, “24 Bits: Hip-Hop Studies and Études, Book 1,” 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 6, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. A champion of merging classical and modern idioms, 32-year-old composer and performer Daniel Bernard Roumain (also known as DBR) has appeared with Philip Glass, Dizzy Gillespie, Cassandra Wilson and Savion Glover. He also has written music performed by the St. Louis and San Antonio Symphony orchestras, the American Composers Orchestra, and the Bill T. Jones Dance Company. To perform his “24 Bits: Hip-Hop Studies and Études, Book 1,” DBR will be joined by The Mission, eight cutting-edge musicians from diverse musical backgrounds, including a vocalist, keyboardist, laptopist, disc jockey, bassist, drummer and amplified string quartet. Tickets are $14 for the general public; $10 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $5.50 for students.

Harmonic Convergence Festival, Paul Wertico and the Chicago Percussion All-Stars, 8 p.m. Friday, April 7, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Drummer Paul Wertico, a seven-time Grammy Award- winner as a member of the Pat Metheny Group, will lead an ensemble of master percussionists from Brazil, India and Chicago in a diverse celebration of rhythm and sound. Wertico will be joined on stage by Chicago guitarist John Moulder and bassist Brian Peters, Brazilian percussion virtuoso Dedé Sampaio, world-renowned Indian tabla master Kalyan Pathak and Chicago Symphony Orchestra vibe and percussion guru Ed Harrison. Tickets are $14 for the general public; $10 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $5.50 for students.

Harmonic Convergence Festival, “Clair Musser: A Historical Perspective,” 9 a.m. Saturday, April 8, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Historian Dana Kimble will lecture on legendary marimba virtuoso and onetime Northwestern University music faculty member Clair Messer. Admission is free.

Harmonic Convergence Festival, Percussion Master Class, 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 8, Pick-Staiger Rehearsal Room. Marimba and percussion artists Leigh Howard Stevens, Gordon Stout, She-e Wu and Bob Becker will present a master class. Admission is free.

Harmonic Convergence Festival, “Clair Musser’s Legendary 1933 Chicago World’s Fair Marimba Orchestra Extravaganza,” 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 8, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. In a highlight of the 1933 “Century of Progress” Chicago World’s Fair, legendary marimba virtuoso and Northwestern University faculty member Clair Musser performed arrangements of classical orchestral masterpieces with his 100-member marimba orchestra. Pick-Staiger will assemble a monumental marimba orchestra to celebrate and recreate this historic concert. The program will feature a screening of vintage Clair Musser film footage, as well as performances of Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever,” Smetana’s “Dance of the Comedians,” the Andante from Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, Sibelius’”Finlandia” and music from Bizet’s “Carmen.” The event will be presented with the support of the instrument company Malletech. Gordon Stout and Michael Burritt will conduct. Tickets are $14 for the general public; $10 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $5.50 for students.

Samuel and Eleanor Thaviu String Scholarship Competition, 3 p.m. Sunday, April 9, Lutkin Hall. Northwestern University string students will perform in this competition honoring the late Samuel Thaviu, longtime School of Music violin professor. Admission is free.

Solaris Wind Quintet, 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 10, Lutkin Hall. Since its formation in 1976 as an ensemble-in-residence at the University of Akron in Ohio, Solaris has established a reputation as one of the most innovative and musically compelling woodwind quintets in the United States. In addition to the group’s regular concert series at the University of Akron and performances in the Midwest, Solaris has toured Italy, Brazil and Sweden. Recent tours to Florida, North Carolina and Virginia were received with great acclaim. Solaris’ repertoire ranges from “ars nova” to “avant-garde” and includes a wide variety of national styles, particularly music of the Americas. The program will include Noel Scott Stevens’ “Ars Nova Suite,” Leonard Bernstein’s “Four Anniversaries,” Nikola Resanovic’s “Drones and Nanorhythms” and Brenno Blauth’s “Quinteto de sopros.” Admission is free. Seating will be on a first-come, first-seated basis.

Faculty Recital, James Giles, piano, Ilya Kaler, violin, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 11, Lutkin Hall. An active soloist and concertmaster and DePaul University music faculty member, Ilya Kaler will join Northwestern faculty member James Giles -- considered one of the most versatile pianists of his generation -- in a program of works by Schubert, Debussy and Prokofiev. Tickets are $8.50 for the general public; $7 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for students.

Faculty Recital, Alan Chow, piano, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, Lutkin Hall. Coordinator of Northwestern’s piano program, award-winning pianist Alan Chow has performed recitals throughout the United States and given concert tours in Hong Kong, Japan, China and Taiwan. Chow will be joined by fellow Northwestern faculty member Steven Cohen and guest cellist Marina Hoover in a program of music by Beethoven, Brahms and others. Tickets are $8.50 for the general public; $7 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for students.

Jazz Invitational, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 13, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Outstanding jazz ensembles from area high schools will participate in a day of rehearsals, master classes and jam sessions led by Northwestern’s music faculty. In the concluding concert, high school ensembles will perform with Northwestern jazz ensembles and special guest saxophonist John Wojciechowski. Tickets are $6.50 for the general public; $4.50 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $3.50 for students.

New Music Northwestern, “New Voices,” 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 14, Lutkin Hall. New Music Northwestern and the Contemporary Music Ensemble will present music by some of the most unusual and innovative young composers from around the world. Aaron Cassidy, an up-and-coming Chicago-based composer whose experimental works focus on the relationship between instrument and performer, will be the concert coordinator and guest conductor. Tickets are $6.50 for the general public; $4.50 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $3.50 for students.

Kids Fare, “Cast Your Ballots for the Mallets,” 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 15, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. The brilliant sound of dozens of marimbas playing together will resonate throughout Pick-Staiger during this hour-long marimba spectacular for children aged 3 to 8 and their families. Tickets are $5 for the general public; $4 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $3 for students.

Segovia Classical Guitar Series, David Russell, guitar, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 15, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Classical guitarist David Russell is world-renowned for his musicianship. Named a fellow of London’s Royal Academy of Music in 1997, Russell also won a 2005 Grammy Award as best classical instrumental soloist for his compact disc “Aire Latino” and a 2003 Medal of Honor from the conservatory of the Balearics. Russell’s program will include compositions by Giuliani, Da Milano, Granados, Dowland and Mertz. His concert is part of the Segovia Classical Guitar Series, supported in part by the Chicago Classical Guitar Society. Tickets are $19 for the general public; $16 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $8 for students.

Ned Rorem, “Music for Voices and More,” 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 18, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. This program of choral, vocal solo and keyboard works by art song composer Ned Rorem features members of Northwestern’s voice faculty, student vocalists, piano faculty member James Giles, the University Chorale and the Alice Millar Chapel Choir. Program highlights include selections from Rorem’s 36-song cycle “Evidence of Things Unseen,” which the composer considers one of his most important works. Tickets are $6.50 for the general public; $4.50 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $3.50 for students.

Contemporary Music Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 20, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Performed in tribute to Ned Rorem, this program features a wide range of styles and genres from the composer’s instrumental works. The highly virtuosic and evocative “Water Music” will display the talents of student violin and clarinet soloists. The chamber opera “Hearing” for four singers and eight instrumentalists is based on colorful poetry by Kenneth Koch. Rounding out the concert are the lively “Triptych” and an instrumental transcription of “A Quaker Reader,” one of Rorem’s best-known organ works. Tickets are $6.50 for the general public; $4.50 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $3.50 for students.

Symphonic Wind Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 21, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Northwestern University’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble will perform Ned Rorem’s “Sinfonia for Fifteen Wind Instruments” and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Scherzo Alla Marcia” from Symphony

No. 8 in D minor. Also on the program is Gustav Holst’s “Hammersmith: Prelude and Scherzo,” Edgard Varèse’s “Octandre” and Florent Schmitt’s “Dionysiaques.” Mallory Thompson will conduct. Tickets are $6.50 for the general public; $4.50 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $3.50 for students.

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra: “American Explorer,” 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 22, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Victor Yampolsky and Eric Garcia will conduct a program that includes Frank Ferko’s “Mysterium: Vision of Cosmos,” Ned Rorem’s “Air Music,” Aaron Copland’s Concerto for Clarinet and Karel Husa’s “Music for Prague 1968.” Heather Rodriguez will be the featured clarinetist. The concert will be preceded by a pre-concert discussion at 6:45 p.m. featuring commentary by School of Music faculty and students about the program’s music and composers. Tickets are $8.50 for the general public; $7 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for students.

Thaviu-Isaak Endowed Piano Scholarship Competition, 3 p.m. Saturday, April 22, Lutkin Hall. Northwestern University piano students nominated by the School of Music piano faculty will perform during this annual competition honoring late School of Music professors Samuel Thaviu and Donald Isaak. Admission is free.

Evelyn Dunbar Early Music Festival: “CantataFest,” Master Class for Vocalists and Instrumentalists, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, Lutkin Hall. This master class for singers and instrumentalists will focus on cantata recitatives and arias. The panelists include Bach scholar Carl Schalk, Dietrich Buxtehude scholar Kerala Snyder, baroque oboe expert Kathryn Montoya, baroque violinist Ingrid Matthews and Northwestern faculty members Stephen Alltop, Kurt Hansen and Mary Springfels. Admission is free.

Faculty Recital, Michael Burritt, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27, Regenstein Recital Hall. Coordinator of the Northwestern University School of Music’s wind and percussion program and an active composer, percussion Professor Michael Burritt has presented recitals and master classes on four continents. His recital will include Alejandro Vinao’s “Kahn Variations” for solo marimba, Steven Mackey’s “Busted” for solo percussion and Burritt’s newest work for solo marimba and percussion ensemble, “The Blue Flame Quartet.” Tickets are $8.50 for the general public; $7 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for students.

Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra: “Homage to the Masters,” 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 29, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. The Chamber Orchestra will pair pieces composed in tribute to earlier composers with works by the masters who inspired them. The program will feature W. A. Mozart’s Overture to “Le nozze di Figaro,” Jacques Ibert’s “Hommage à Mozart” and J. S. Bach’s

“Brandenburg Concerto “ No. 3 in G Major. Heitor Villa-Lobos’ “Bachianas Brasileiras” No. 2, Giovanni Pergolesi’s Concertino in E-flat Major and Igor Stravinsky’s “Pulcinella” Suite are also on the program. Robert G. Hasty will conduct. Tickets are $6.50 for the general public; $4.50 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $3.50 for students.

Evelyn Dunbar Early Music Festival, CantataFest Concert I, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 29, Lutkin Hall. The program will feature chamber cantatas for vocal soloists and obbligato instruments. Northwestern University School of Music faculty member Stephen Alltop, director of music for Alice Millar Chapel, will conduct. Tickets are $6.50 for the general public; $4.50 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $3.50 for students.

Gail Williams, horn, and Elizabeth Cifani, harp, 3 p.m. Sunday, April 30, Lutkin Hall. Gail Williams, internationally recognized horn virtuoso and retired associate principal horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, will join forces with School of Music faculty colleague Elizabeth Cifani, principal harpist of the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra. Their musically diverse program will include the world premiere of Radens’ “Meditation on a Falling Leaf” as well as works by Koestier, Franz Strauss and Anders. The program will be preceded by a 6:45 p.m. pre-concert discussion featuring commentary by School of Music faculty and students about the program’s music and composers. Tickets are $8.50 for the general public; $7 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for students.

Evelyn Dunbar Early Music Festival, CantataFest Concert II: “Cantatas of the German Tradition,” 7 p.m. Sunday, April 30, Alice Millar Chapel. The Early Music Ensemble will perform cantatas by Franz Tunder, Dietrich Buxtehude and Johann Christoph Bach, as well as Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cantata No. 21, “Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis” -- one of the master’s largest and grandest works in the gendre. Stephen Alltop will conduct the program that features Baroque violinist Ingrid Matthews, the Early Music Ensemble and the Dunbar Festival Orchestra. During a pre-concert presentation at 6 p.m. in Vail Chapel, renowned Bach scholar Carl Schalk will discuss the evening’s program in the context of the German cantata tradition. Concert seating will be held for those who attend the preconcert discussion. Concert tickets are $6.50 for the general public; $4.50 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $3.50 for students.