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Bienen School to Toast Schumann's 200th Birthday

Celebration includes a master class, concerts and pre-concert student recitals

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October 4, 2010 | by Judy Moore
The Bienen School of Music’s Robert Schumann Festival will feature a vocal master class led by guest baritone Thomas Hampson.

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Best remembered for his “poetic” songs and piano music, German classical composer Robert Schumann (1810-1856) is one of the great masters of “romanticism.” In celebration of the bicentennial of his birth, the Northwestern University Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music will present a Robert Schumann Festival (Oct. 19 to 31).

The festival includes a vocal master class led by guest baritone Thomas Hampson, several pre-concert student recitals and five concerts featuring Schumann’s vocal, orchestral and chamber works.

It also will feature performances by Bienen School faculty members, including pianist James Giles, soprano Sunny Joy Langton, mezzo-soprano Karen Brunssen, tenor Kurt Hansen, bass Bruce Hall, horn player Gail Williams and violinist Gerardo Ribeiro.

All are open to the public and take place on the University’s Evanston campus either in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, or Lutkin Hall, 700 University Place, as noted.

The Robert Schumann Festival events will include:

• a vocal master class led by baritone Thomas Hampson at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Hampson is a renowned interpreter of German romantic song, especially the works of Schumann, Mahler and Wolf. He has gained worldwide recognition for his creatively constructed vocal programs. In this master class, Hampson will coach pre-selected students from the Bienen School’s voice and opera program. Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for students with valid IDs.

• a “Piano Quartet and More” concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22, in Lutkin Hall, featuring Bienen School students, faculty and guest artists. The program features some of Schumann’s greatest works, including “Three Romances,” “Spanisches Liederspiel” and Piano Quartet in E-flat Major. A preconcert student recital at 6:45 p.m. features Schumann’s “Dichterliebe,” performed by tenor Klaus Georg and pianist Wei-Han Wu. Tickets are $9 for the general public; $7 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $5 for students with valid IDs.

• a Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra Cello Concerto concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. The orchestra will present Schumann’s Cello Concerto in A Minor and Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 in E Major. Robert G. Hasty will conduct the orchestra, and Anna Burden is the featured cellist. Tickets are $12 for the general public; $9 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $6 for students with valid IDs.

• a “Piano Quintet and More” concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29, in Lutkin Hall, featuring Bienen School faculty and students. The program includes Schumann’s “Marchenerzahlungen,” “Frauenliebe und Leben,” “Adagio and Allegro,” and Piano Quintet in E-flat Major. A preconcert student recital at 6:45 p.m. will feature a performance of a Schumann string quartet. Tickets are $9 for the general public; $7 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $5 for students with valid IDs.

• a Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra performance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Victor Yampolsky will conduct Schumann’s Konzertstuck for Four Horns in F Major, Piano Concerto in A Minor, and Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, “Rhenish.” Tickets are $12 for the general public; $9 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $6 for students with valid IDs.

“Clara Schumann’s Piano Trio and More” concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31, in Lutkin Hall. The program features works by Schumann’s wife Clara, including her Piano Trio in G Minor. Claude Debussy’s arrangement of Robert Schumann’s “Etudes in Canonic Form,” Gyorgy Kurtag’s “Hommage a R. Sch,” and Brahms’ Piano Trio No. 1 in B Major, also will be performed. A preconcert student recital at 6:45 p.m. will feature Schumann’s “Carnaval” played by 21 pianists. Tickets are $9 for the general public; $7 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $5 for students with valid IDs.

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.