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Fall Music: From Flamenco to Opera

September/October music performance calendar offers something for everyone

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September 29, 2009 | by Judy Moore
EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University's 2009-10 performance season kicks off with a concert by renowned trumpet player Paul Merkelo (Sept. 23) and a Kids Fare Concert titled "March with the Band" (Oct. 3). Children aged three to eight will have the opportunity to bring their toy instruments and join the University's Wildcat Marching Band.

Other events include another installment in pianist Jeffrey Siegel's Keyboard Conversations series (Oct. 2), a performance by guest baritone Stephen Lusmann (Oct. 9), an evening of flamenco music and dance by the Paco Pena Flamenco Dance Company (Oct. 15), a program of rare works for oboe by guest artist Nancy Ambrose King (Oct. 20) and the Northwestern University Marching Band's Homecoming Concert (Oct. 23).

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; Lutkin Hall, 700 University Place; Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St.; Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Road; or Trienens Hall, 2707 Ashland Ave., as noted below.
 
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.
 
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2009 MUSIC EVENTS

Guest Artist, Paul Merkelo, trumpet, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23, Lutkin Hall. Renowned throughout North America and beyond as one of the finest trumpet players of his generation, Paul Merkelo has been principal trumpet and a frequent soloist for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra since 1995. Merkelo has also performed with Ottawa's National Arts Centre Orchestra, I Musici de Montreal, Quebec City's Les Violins de Roy, Japan's Sapporo Philharmonic with Charles Dutoit, the Thailand Philharmonic and the American Chamber Orchestra in France. Tickets are $9 for the general public; $7 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $5 for full-time students.

Faculty Musicale 2009, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Distinguished Bienen School of Music faculty members will come together to commence the school year with a diverse recital. The event also will be presented as a live webcast, available at http://www.pickstaiger.org/webcasts. Admission is free.

Guest Artist, Maxim Rubtsov Flute Recital and Master Class
, 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, Regenstein Recital Hall. Maxim Rubtsov was appointed principal flute of the Russian National Orchestra in 2003. In addition to his international performances as soloist with the orchestra, he regularly performs in chamber ensembles and is the leader and a founding member of the Russian National Orchestra Wind Quintet. His recent projects have included appearances with the Brubeck Brothers, a series of solo flute performances for children and collaborations with contemporary dance masters Denis Boroditsky and Germaul Barnes. Rubtsov will present a brief recital, followed by a master class with accomplished flute students from the Bienen School of Music. Admission is free.

Keyboard Conversations, "Chopin for Lovers," 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Each composition in this "concert with commentary" by pianist Jeffrey Siegel was inspired by a different woman in Chopin's life. The program will feature some of the most stirringly romantic music ever written. Tickets are $23 for the general public; $21 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $16 for full-time students.

Kids Fare, March with the Band, 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, Trienens Hall. Youngsters aged three to eight are invited to bring toy instruments and march with members of Northwestern's Wildcat Marching Band during this popular hourlong fall spectacular. Park free in the Ryan Field west lot on Ashland Avenue north of Central Street. Follow the signs to the Trienens Hall east side entrance, northwest of Ryan Field. Tickets are $6 for adults; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for children. Save up to 20 percent off the single-ticket price with a Family Fun Pack: two adult passes and two children's passes to all seven 2009-10 Kids Fare concerts for $112. Plus, each Fun Pack entitles the purchaser to two free additional children's passes per concert for use by siblings or friends. Tickets may be purchased in advance by phone or at http://www.pickstaiger.org.

Faculty Recital, Masahito Sugihara, saxophone, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, Lutkin Hall. Masahito Sugihara teaches saxophone and chamber music at Northwestern University, Roosevelt University and Trinity Christian College. A member of the Amethyst Saxophone Quartet, Anaphora Ensemble, Ensemble Dal Niente and Northshore Saxophone Trio, he has performed with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, Concerto Soloists Concert Band, Millennium Chamber Players, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Network for New Music, New York City Ballet and Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. The program will also feature saxophonist Nathan Nabb, an assistant professor of saxophone at Morehead State University who performs regularly with the St. Louis Symphony, New World Symphony and IRIS Chamber Orchestra, and Canadian pianist Winston Choi, laureate of the 2003 Honens International Piano Competition and winner of France's 2002 Concours International de Piano 20e siecle d'Orleans. All three are graduate-level alumni of Northwestern. The program will include the world premiere of Mari Takano's "LigAlien I " and "LigAlien IV" and M. William Karlins' Introduction and Passacaglia. Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for full-time students.

Guest Artist, Stephen Lusmann, baritone, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9, Lutkin Hall. Baritone Stephen Lusmann has sung leading roles at major opera houses, including the Oper der Stadt Bonn, Opera de Monte Carlo, Stadttheater Luzern, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Boston Lyric Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Carolina, Connecticut Grand Opera and Artpark. He has toured with the New York City Opera and has appeared as a concert soloist at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, the Anchorage Festival of Music and the Chautauqua Institute as well as with numerous symphony orchestras. On recording he can be heard in "Operngala" (Tonstudio AMOS), "E. E. Cummings: An American Circus" (Centaur) and Strauss' "Der Friedenstag" (Koch International). Lusmann is associate professor of voice at the University of Michigan. Tickets are $9 for the general public; $7 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $5 for full-time students.

Opera Master Class, Elizabeth Futral, soprano, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14, Lutkin Hall. Elizabeth Futral has established herself as one of the major coloratura sopranos in the world today. She has embraced a diverse repertoire that includes Vivaldi, Handel, Mozart, Bellini, Donizetti, Rossini, Verdi, Glass and Previn. During the 2008-09 season, she opened Washington National Opera's season as Violetta in "La Traviata" and visited Oviedo, Spain to sing Anne Trulove in "The Rake's Progress." She sang Violetta at Deutsche Opera Berlin and Thais for Athens Concert Hall in Greece. Houston Grand Opera premiered Andre Previn's "Brief Encounter" in which Futral starred alongside Nathan Gunn. She closed out the season as Violetta for Los Angeles Opera and San Francisco Opera. Futral's extensive discography includes Meyerbeer's "L'Etoile du nord" for Marco Polo, Previn's "A Streetcar Named Desire" and Ravel's "L'Enfant et les sortileges" conducted by Maestro Previn for Deutsche Grammophon and Philip Glass' "Hydrogen Jukebox" for Euphorbia Records. In this master class, she will coach talented preselected vocal students from the Bienen School of Music. Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for full-time students.

Segovia Classical Guitar Series, Paco Pena Flamenco Dance Company
,  "A Compas -- In the Rhythm," 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Guitarist, composer, dramatist and mentor Paco Pena and his company return to Pick-Staiger with a new program celebrating the power and grace of flamenco music and dance. "A Compas -- In the Rhythm" draws the audience into a range of compelling rhythms, from the almost tribal, trance-inducing quality of the alborea to the razor-sharp complexity of the buleria. Tickets are $32 for the general public; $28 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $10 for full-time students.

Symphonic Wind Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Music faculty member Mallory Thompson will conduct the University's Symphonic Wind Ensemble in a program that will feature Ludwig van Beethoven's March No. 1 in F Major ("Geschwindmarsch"); Paul Hindemith's Paraphrase of Beethoven's "Geschwindmarsch" from "Symphonia Serena" and "Konzertmusik fur Blasorchester." Other works will include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Serenade No. 11 in E-flat Major; and Aaron Copland's "An Outdoor Overture" and "Variations on a Shaker Melody." Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for full-time students.

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Victor Yampolsky will conduct the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra during a concert featuring four student soloists: violinists Tracy Figard and Tara Lynn Ramsey, violist Adam Neeley and cellist Judith Manger. The program will include Richard Wagner's "Rienzi" Overture; Bohuslav Martinu's String Quartet with Orchestra; and Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 in A Major. Tickets are $9 for the general public; $7 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $5 for full-time students.

HymnFest VIII, "Now Thank We All Our God," 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18, Alice Millar Chapel. Stephen Alltop will conduct the Alice Millar Chapel Choir and Millar Brass Ensemble as the audience joins the 100-rank Aeolian Skinner organ in hymn arrangements by James Biery, Jeffrey Blersch, Eleanor Daley, John Ferguson, John Rutter, Richard Webster, Mack Wilberg and others. Admission is a freewill offering.

Guest Artist, Nancy Ambrose King, oboe, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20, Lutkin Hall. Enjoy a program featuring rarely heard gems by Karl Slavicky and Henri Dutilleux as well as works by Camille Saint-Saens and J.S. Bach. Professor of oboe at the University of Michigan and current president of the International Double Reed Society, oboist Nancy Ambrose King has appeared as soloist throughout the United States and abroad, including performances with Russia's St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Janacek Philharmonic and the Tokyo Chamber Orchestra. She also has performed as recitalist in Weill Recital Hall and as soloist at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. The program also will feature Bienen School of Music faculty member and pianist Sylvia Wang. Tickets are $9 for the general public; $7 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $5 for full-time students.

Contemporary Music Ensemble, "Silence and Stillness," 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Bienen School of Music faculty member Ryan T. Nelson will conduct the Contemporary Music Ensemble in a program featuring music by Mark Andre, Keeril Maakam and Louis Andriessen. Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for full-time students.

Northwestern University Marching Band Homecoming Concert, 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, Deering Meadow (Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, rain location). Kick off Northwestern's Homecoming Parade in high spirits as the Wildcat Marching Band, conducted by Bienen School of Music faculty member Daniel J. Farris, brings the sights and sounds of Ryan Field to Deering Meadow, the green space between the University's Deering Library and the 1900 block of Sheridan Road. Admission is free.

Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra
, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Bienen School of Music faculty member Robert G. Hasty will conduct the Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra in a concert featuring Northwestern Concerto/Aria competition-winning pianist Nolan Pearson. The program will include Gioacchino Rossini's "The Barber of Seville" Overture, Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major ("Emperor") and Symphony No. 2 in D Major, and Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man." Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for full-time students.

Symphonic Band, "Bernstein and Spirituality," 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Bienen School of Music faculty member Ryan T. Nelson will conduct the Symphonic Band in a program featuring music by Leonard Bernstein. Works on the program will include Bernstein's "Profanation" and "Lamentation" from Symphony No. 1 ("Jeremiah") and "Prefatory Prayers" and "Almighty Father" from "Mass," as well as Adam Gorb's "Yiddish Dances." Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for full-time students.

NU Voices, A Choral Showcase, Op. 24, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Bienen School of Music faculty members Robert A. Harris, Amy Goodman Weller, Stephen Alltop and Mollie Stone will conduct this 24th annual concert featuring all of Northwestern's choral ensembles: University Singers, University Chorale, Alice Millar Chapel Choir, University Chorus and University Women's Chorus. Tickets are $12 for the general public; $9 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $6 for full-time students.

(Nathalie Rayter, a junior in the School of Education and Social Policy, contributed to this story.)
Topics: Campus Life