EVANSTON, Ill. --- Downtown Chicago's picturesque Millennium Park is the setting for a Memorial Day weekend symphonic concert that concludes this month's Northwestern University Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music's John Corigliano Festival. The early evening performance will feature Corigliano's "The Red Violin" and Liszt's "Faust Symphony."
The May 30 event -- admission free and open to the public -- will include performances by the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra conducted by Victor Yampolsky, guest violinist Maria Bachmann, tenor Grant Knox and the men of the Northwestern University Symphonic Choir.
Presented by the Bienen School of Music for the fifth consecutive year, the outdoor concert will take place at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 30, at Millennium Park's Jay Pritzker Pavilion, 55 N. Michigan Ave. Seating will be on a first-come, first seated basis, or audience members can bring a blanket to enjoy a picnic on the lawn.
The concert is the last of six Corigliano Festival programs. Corigliano's comic opera "The Ghosts of Versailles" will be performed in English with English supertitles at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 21, and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 23, at Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., Evanston campus. For opera tickets, call the Pick-Staiger Box Office at (847) 467-4000 or visit www.pickstaiger.org.
Corigliano's "The Red Violin: Chaconne for Violin and Orchestra" was developed from the themes of the score to Francois Girard's film "The Red Violin," which earned Corigliano a 1999 Oscar for Best Original Score. A chaconne -- a baroque device of a repeated chord pattern -- gives an overarching unity to the film's episodic story line and provides a haunting theme. The film tells the story of a violin and its numerous owners during a 300 year span.
Liszt's "A Faust Symphony" will feature tenor soloist Grant Knox and the men of the Northwestern University Symphonic Choir. The multi-movement work was inspired by Goethe's classic German drama "Faust," a tale about a man who makes a pact with the devil in exchange for fine living, gold, women and honor.
Violinist Bachmann has an active international solo career, including performances with the St. Louis Symphony, the National Symphony at the John F. Kennedy Center and the Pacific and Taipei symphonies. She received first prizes at the Fritz Kreisler Competition in Vienna and the Concert Artists Guild Competition in New York. She also is the recipient of the Pro Musicis Foundation Award in New York.
Tenor Knox is a doctoral student at the Bienen School of Music who studies with voice faculty member Sunny Joy Langton. He has sung leading roles with Tri-Cities Opera Company, Atlanta Opera, Lyric Opera of Atlanta, Syracuse Opera and Ohio Light Opera. He also has been a soloist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Binghamton Philharmonic. Knox spent the summer of 2009 as a studio artist with the Chautauqua Opera.
For more information, call the Pick-Staiger Concert Office at (847) 491-5441 or visit www.pickstaiger.org. To order tickets by phone, call the Pick-Staiger Ticket Office at (847) 467-4000.