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March 2009 Music Calendar

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February 4, 2009 | by Judy Moore
EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Northwestern University Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music's March 2009 program highlights include the first four performances in this season's Spring Festival, "Collaboration Exultation: A Festival of Musical Connections" (March 7 to April 11), including Mando Magnificat (March 7), the SFJAZZ Collective (March 11), Victor Lemonte Wooten and JD Blair (March 12) and the Darol Anger-Mike Marshall Duo and Vasen (March 31).

March events also include the last of four performances of "The Merry Widow," which begins Feb. 26; a Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra student showcase (March 6); a performance by the Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet (March 15); and a celebration of the arrival of spring with the Newberry Consort (March 22).

Events listed below are open to the public and will be held on Northwestern's Evanston campus at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive; Regenstein Recital Hall, 60 Arts Circle Drive; Lutkin Hall, 700 University Place; or Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., as noted.

For more information, call the Pick-Staiger Concert Office at (847) 491-5441 or visit the Pick-Staiger Web site at http://www.pickstaiger.org/. To order tickets by phone, call the Pick-Staiger Ticket Office at (847) 467-4000.

MARCH MUSIC EVENTS

Concert Band, 3 p.m. Sunday, March 1, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Faculty member Daniel J. Farris will conduct student musicians from across the Northwestern campus in a program of band standards and musical favorites. Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for full-time students with IDs.

Opera, "The Merry Widow," 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26; 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28; and 3 p.m. Sunday, March 1, Cahn Auditorium. The family of the wealthy Count Danilo has forbidden him to marry the beautiful but impoverished barmaid Hanna, even though they adore each other. When circumstance makes her the richest widow in Petrovenia, the Count can't admit that he still loves her for fear that she would think he's only interested in her new fortune. What's a "Merry Widow" to do? Franz Lehar's melodies evoke a world of Paris in 1905 with French can-can girls, champagne and the waltz. Faculty member Jay Lesenger will direct and Jerome Shannon will conduct this performance of the most popular and most performed operetta of all time. "The Merry Widow" will be performed in English. Tickets are $18 for the general public; $15 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $8 for full-time students with IDs.

Women's Chorus, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 1, Lutkin Hall. Mollie Stone will conduct the Women's Chorus in a concert featuring classical and traditional settings of folk songs from around the world. Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for full-time students with IDs.

Northwestern University Saxophone Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, Regenstein Hall. Faculty member Frederick Hemke will conduct the Saxophone Ensemble in a program of diverse transcriptions and original compositions. Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for full-time students with IDs.

Master Class, "Free Play: The Art of Improvisation," 6 p.m. Thursday, March 5, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.
For musicians, composers and teachers, improvisation is a tool for achieving greater skill, confidence, communication and imagination. It is also a great art form in itself -- universal, playful and intimate musical expression. In this "hands-on" master class, musician Stephen Nachmanovitch will teach participants to strengthen technique through improvisation, overcome fears, take advantage of mistakes and accidents, create coherent, well-formed music without a plan and renew the pleasure of play. Special attention will be given to ideas for taking these techniques into "school music" settings. Admission is free.

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra, "Student Showcase," 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 6, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Victor Yampolsky, Yahui Cheng, David Cubek and Robert McConnell will conduct the Symphony Orchestra in a concert featuring Northwestern Concerto Competition winners -- cellist Charlene Prescott and violinist Ari Vilhjalmsson. The program will feature Mozart's Symphony No. 38 in D Major ("Prague"); Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major; Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 2 in G Minor; and winning Student Composition Competition work "Almost Past" by David Carter. Tickets are $9 for the general public; $7 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $5 for full-time students with IDs.

Spring Festival, Mando Magnificat, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.
Stars of the mandolin world, including Mike Marshall & The Big Trio, Sam Bush, Caterina Lichtenberg, Don Stiernberg and the Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra, will gather to celebrate the enduring versatility of this small but mighty instrument. Virtuosic flights into classical, jazz, new acoustic, Americana, blues, and orchestral music will come together in this unique collaboration. Mike Marshall's credits include performances with Joshua Bell, Edgar Meyer, Stephane Grappelli, David Grisman, Chris Thile, the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Series and the Modern Mandolin Quartet (and he is heard playing mandolin in the theme music for NPR's "Car Talk"). The equally renowned Sam Bush -- a founding member of the genre-busting group New Grass Revival -- has performed with Bela Fleck, Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks, Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton, Joshua Bell and Doc Watson. The concert will feature guitarist Mirko Schrader; pianist Larry Harris; and bassist Jim Cox. Tickets are $16 for the general public; $12 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $8 for full-time students with IDs.

Philharmonia, "A Tribute to Heroes," 3 p.m. Sunday, March 8, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Robert G. Hasty and Robert McConnell will conduct the Philharmonia in a program featuring Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture"; Michael Daugherty's "Red Cape Tango"; and Aram's Khachaturian's "Spartacus" Suite No. 1. Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for full-time students with IDs.

University Singers, "Sing Praises!" 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 8, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Faculty member Amy G. Weller will conduct the University Singers in a program of celebratory works representing various historical periods. Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for full-time students with IDs.

Faculty Recital, Gail Williams, horn, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 8, Lutkin Hall.
Northwestern horn professor Gail Williams will give the world premiere of the Sonata for Horn by John Stevens, professor of tuba and euphonium at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The program will include Dana Wilson's "Shallow Streams, Deep Rivers" for violin, horn and piano, and will feature performances by faculty pianist Alan Chow and guest violinist Joseph Genualdi. Williams is an internationally recognized hornist and brass pedagogue who presents concerts, master classes, recitals and lectures throughout North America as well as in Europe and Asia. Associate principal horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1984 until retiring from the orchestra in 1998, she is currently principal horn of the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra in Wyoming. Tickets are $9 for the general public; $7 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $5 for full-time students with IDs.

Master Class, Mark Nuccio, clarinet, 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 10, Regenstein Recital Hall.
Mark Nuccio, associate principal and E-flat clarinetist with the New York Philharmonic and a Northwestern alumnus, will coach pre-selected Bienen School of Music students. Admission is free.

Guest Artist, Mark Nuccio, clarinet, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 10, Lutkin Hall. Northwestern University alumnus Mark Nuccio has been the associate principal and solo E-flat clarinetist with the New York Philharmonic since 1999. Nuccio has worked with distinguished conductors Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Claudio Abbado and Andre Previn. Nuccio has toured and recorded worldwide and is featured in several movie soundtracks, including "Intolerable Cruelty" and "The Manchurian Candidate." In addition to his work as a performer, he is on the faculty at the Manhattan School of Music in New York. His program will include James Cohn's arrangement of George Gershwin's Three Preludes for Piano and Olivier Messiaen's "The Abyss of the Birds" from "Quartet for the End of Time," featuring Nuccio, clarinetists Steven Cohen, Leslie Grimm and Brad Whitfield and pianist Kay Kim. G. Langenus' arrangement of J.S. Bach's Chromatic Fantasy for Solo Clarinet; Johann Strauss' "Perpetual Motion," Op. 257, arranged for clarinet quartet by Florent Heau and Charles Lefebvre's Intermezzo from the 2nd Suite, Op. 122, will also be performed. Tickets are $9 for the general public; $7 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $5 for students with valid IDs.

Northwestern University Chorus and University Chamber Orchestra, Haydn's "The Creation," 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 10, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.
Robert G. Hasty will conduct the Chamber Orchestra and Robert A. Harris will conduct the University Chorus in a performance of Haydn's "The Creation" ("Die Schopfung") -- one of the greatest works in the choral-orchestral repertoire. The work will be performed by the University Chorus and Chamber Orchestra with Bienen School of Music faculty soloists: soprano Pamela Hinchman, tenor Kurt Hansen and baritone Robert Heitzinger. Tickets are $12 for the general public; $9 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $6 for full-time students with IDs.

Spring Festival, SFJAZZ Collective, "Celebrating the Music of McCoy Tyner," 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. An all-star ensemble comprised of eight of today's finest jazz performer-composers, the SFJAZZ Collective was launched in 2004 by SFJAZZ -- the West Coast's largest nonprofit jazz institution and the presenter of the annual San Francisco Jazz Festival. The Collective has become one of the most exciting and acclaimed groups on the American and international jazz scenes, praised for its innovative approach to repertoire and its commitment to jazz as a living, ever-changing and ever-relevant art form. The performance will feature musicians Miguel Zenon, Joe Lovano, Robin Eubanks, Matt Penman, Dave Douglas, Renee Rosnes and Eric Harland. Tickets are $16 for the general public; $12 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $8 for full-time students with IDs.

Elizabeth Buccheri with Jesse Rosenberg and Faculty Singers, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 12, Lutkin Hall. Bienen School of Music faculty members will perform and present commentary about Richard Strauss' "Kraemerspiegel," a rarely performed cycle of 12 piano songs with vocal accompaniment. The concert will feature pianist Elizabeth Buccheri; commentator Jesse Rosenberg; sopranos Nancy Gustafson, Pamela Hinchman and Sunny Joy Langton; mezzo-soprano Karen Brunssen; tenor Richard Drews; and baritones Bruce Hall and Robert Heitzinger. As the story goes, Strauss, because of a contractual oversight, owed a publisher a song cycle. To "get even," he submitted the "Kraemerspiegel" ("The Merchants' Mirror"), which pairs lovely music with highly satirical words. The cycle was published only in a limited private edition. Tickets are $9 for the general public; $7 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $5 for full-time students with IDs.

Master Class, Victor Lemonte Wooten, bass, 4 p.m. Thursday, March 12, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall Rehearsal Room. Wooten will coach pre-selected Bienen School of Music bass students. Admission is free.

Spring Festival, Victor Lemonte Wooten and J.D. Blair, "Two Minds, One Groove," 8 p.m. Thursday, March 12, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. The renowned bassist from the Grammy Award-winning Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and star of many acclaimed solo albums, Victor Lemonte Wooten is joined by drummer JD "The Groove Regulator" Blair for an evening of musical virtuosity. Wooten is known for his brilliant and innovative technique and his talents as composer, arranger, producer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist. The versatile JD Blair's myriad collaborations include performances and recordings with such diverse artists as Shania Twain, Yo-Yo Ma, India.Arie, Take 6, Lyle Lovett, Suzi Bogus and Yolanda Adams. Tickets are $20 for the general public and $15 for full-time students with IDs.

Symphonic Band, "Spin Cycle," 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 13, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Faculty member Ryan T. Nelson will conduct the Symphonic Band in a program featuring Scott Lindroth's "Spin Cycle," John Corigliano's "Gazebo Dances" and Donald Grantham's "Fantasy Variations." Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for full-time students with IDs.

Contemporary Music Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 14, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.
Faculty member Ryan T. Nelson will conduct the Contemporary Music Ensemble in a program featuring Christopher Burns' "The Location of Six Geometric Figures" and a selection of works by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, the 2008 winner of Northwestern's Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Music Composition. This biennial $100,000 award honors outstanding living composers who have significantly affected contemporary music. Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for full-time students with IDs.

Guest Artists, Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet, 3 p.m. Sunday, March 15, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet, featuring Daniel Bruggen, Bertho Driever, Paul Leenhouts and Karel van Steenhoven, is again touring the United States with the group's original members. In its three decades the quartet has toured the world and made numerous recordings (for L'Oiseau-Lyre, Decca and Channel Classics) and television appearances, confirming its reputation as the world's most innovative recorder consort. Winner of the 1981 Musica Antigua Competition in Bruges, Belgium (despite challenging the competition rules by performing an unusual arrangement of a Stevie Wonder song), the group is recognized internationally as a serious ensemble that expands the boundaries and repertoire of the recorder consort and inspires new works by distinguished composers. Tickets are $16 for the general public; $12 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $8 for full-time students with IDs.

Faculty Recital with Guest Artist, A Trio of S, No. 2: Robert Schumann, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, Lutkin Hall. Northwestern Bienen School of Music faculty pianist Alan Chow and clarinetist J. Lawrie Bloom will join Bloom's Chicago Symphony Orchestra colleague and violist Catherine Brubaker in the second concert of this special miniseries. The program will feature Gyorgy Kurtag's "Hommage a R. Sch." and Robert Schumann's "Fantasiestucke," "Romanzen" and "Marchenerzahlungen." Tickets are $9 for the general public; $7 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $5 for full-time students.

Keyboard Conversations, "The Longevity of the Short Piece," 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 20, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Guest pianist Jeffrey Siegel's annual series of concerts with commentary will continue with this program of bite-size musical gems -- masterpieces in miniature -- including "Songs without Words" by Mendelssohn, "Lyric Pieces" by Grieg, rhapsodies by Brahms and nocturnes by Tchaikovsky. Tickets are $23 for the general public; $21 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $16 for full-time students.

Newberry Consort, "Ecco la Primavera -- The Music of Francesco Landini," 3 p.m. Sunday, March 22, Lutkin Hall. Francesco Landini -- the blind Florentine composer, poet, organist, singer and instrument maker -- was one of the musical giants of the 14th century. His innovative work took a giant step toward Renaissance style, but also reflected the Italian society of his day. His song "Ecco la Primavera" celebrates the arrival of spring, and on the first weekend of spring the Newberry Consort will travel back to Landini's Florence with songs and dances of love and lust. The concert features soprano Ellen Hargis, mezzo-soprano Judith Malafronte and tenor Aaron Sheehan with instrumentalists David Douglass and Tom Zajac. Violin virtuosa Rachel Barton Pine makes her Chicago debut as a player of two of the violin's quirky ancestors, the vielle and rebec. Tickets are $24 for the general public; $20 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $11 for full-time students.

Spring Festival, The Darol Anger-Mike Marshall Duo and Vasen, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. A string collaboration will bring together the duo of violin guru Darol Anger (founder of the Turtle Island String Quartet) and mandolin legend Mike Marshall with the Swedish string trio Vasen: Olov Johansson, a virtuoso on the nyckelharpa (a bowed, 16-string instrument related to both the hurdy-gurdy and the fiddle), violist Mikael Marin and guitarist Roger Tallroth. Tickets are $16 for the general public; $12 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $8 for full-time students with IDs.