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Winter Chamber Music Festival a Wealth of Artistry

November 28, 2006 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- For the 11th consecutive year, the 2007 Northwestern University School of Music's Winter Chamber Music Festival will provide chamber repertoire to warm the senses and lift the spirit amid the intimate setting and acoustically superior confines of Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.

The festival will feature prize-winning pianist Jorge Federico Osorio, violinist Ani Kavafian, members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Vermeer Quartet, distinguished Northwestern University School of Music faculty and members of the Silk Road Project.

The 2007 season includes six concerts that commence on Friday, Jan. 5, and run through Sunday, Jan. 21. All performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. and be held at Pick-Staiger, 50 Arts Circle Drive, on the University's Evanston campus.

The 2007 festival will begin Friday, Jan. 5 with an evening of classics by Mozart and Brahms performed by guest pianist Jorge Federico Osorio, who will be joined by violinists Ani Kavafian and Desirée Ruhstrat, violist Michael Strauss and cellist John Sharp. The program includes Mozart's Piano Quartet No. 2 in E-Flat Major, K. 493, Mozart's Sonata for Violin and Piano in B-Flat Major, K. 378F and Brahms' Piano Quintet in F Minor, Op. 34. The concert is supported in part by the Evelyn Dunbar Visiting Artist Fund.

Sunday, Jan. 7, the Meadowmount Trio -- comprised of pianist Eric Larsen, violinist Gerardo Ribeiro and cellist Owen Carmen -- will be joined by pianist Lori Kaufman, violinists Yuan-Qing Yu and Russell Hershow, violist Yukiko Ogura and cellist Kenneth Olsen. They will perform Brahms' Piano Trio No. 1 in B Major, Op. 8, Turina's Piano Trio No. 2 in B Minor, Op. 76, Strauss' Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 13 and Joan Tower's “Quartet - In Memory,” which was premiered by the Tokyo String Quartet in 2002 and was a highlight of the ensemble's three-continent tour.

The Friday, Jan. 12 program will feature numerous musicians, including several Northwestern faculty members. Various combinations of instrumentalists will play Mozart's Serenade No. 12 in C Minor, K. 388 (K384a); Lutoslawski's Partita for Violin and Piano; and Beethoven's Piano Trio No. 7 in B-Flat Major, Op. 97 (“Archduke”). Performing that evening will be pianists Ursula Oppens and Andrea Swan, oboists Michael Henoch and Scott Hostetler, clarinetists J. Lawrie Bloom and Steven Cohen, bassoonists Lewis Kirk and Dennis Michel, hornists William Barnewitz and Gail Williams, violinists Blair Milton and Mathias Tacke, and cellist Stephen Balderston.

Sunday, Jan. 14, the Lincoln Quartet -- comprised of four members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (violinists Lei Hou and Qing Jou, violist Lawrence Neuman and cellist Brant Taylor) -- will be joined by pianists Alan Chow and James Giles, hornist Gail Williams and cellist Marc Johnson. The program will feature Arensky's Quartet in A Minor for Violin, Viola and Two Cellos, Op. 35; Schumann's Andante and Variations for Two Pianos, Two Cellos and Horn in B-flat Major, Op. 46, and Beethoven's String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp Minor, Op. 131.

On its final tour, the 37-year-old Vermeer Quartet will grace the Pick-Staiger stage on Friday, Jan. 19. Featuring violinists Shmuel Ashkenasi and Mathias Tacke, violist Richard Young and cellist Marc Johnson, the quartet members will be joined by guest pianist Andrea Swan. The quartet will play Mozart's String Quartet No. 20 in D Major, K. 499, Chopin's Sonata for Cello and Piano in G Minor, Op. 65 and Schumann's String Quartet No. 3 in A Major, Op. 41, No. 3.

The festival's Sunday, Jan. 21 finale is a grand performance featuring Eastern and cross-cultural works performed by members of the Silk Road Ensemble, comprised of distinguished musicians from around the world. The ensemble is collaborating with cultural institutions throughout the Chicago area as part of a yearlong Silk Road Project residency in Chicago. In addition, pianist Daniel Horn, harpsichordist David Schrader, oboist Robert Morgan, clarinetist Steven Cohen, hornist Gail Williams, violinist Blair Milton and cellist Stephen Balderston will present Adès' “Sonata da Caccia” for Oboe, Horn and Harpsichord, Op. 11 and Messiaen's landmark work “Quartet for the End of Time.”

Northwestern University's 2007 Winter Chamber Music Festival is made possible in part by the continuing support of the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.

Prices for this year's six-concert series, which include reserved seating and a savings up to 15%, are $114 for the general public, $108 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff, and $59 for students with a valid ID.

Single ticket prices for the Jan. 5 performance are $25 for the general public, $23 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff, and $12 for students.

Prices for the remaining five concerts (Jan. 7, Jan. 12, Jan. 14, Jan. 19 and Jan. 21) are $22 for the general public, $20 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff, and $10 for students. Single tickets go on sale Dec. 1.

To order tickets or for more information, call the Pick-Staiger Ticket Office at (847) 467-4000 or visit <www.pickstaiger.com>.

Topics: Campus Life