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Annual Winter Chamber Music Festival to Warm Senses

Violinists Arnold Steinhardt and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg among series stars

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November 12, 2010 | by Judy Moore
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg

Violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg performs Feb. 7.
EVANSTON, Ill. --- World famous violinists Arnold Steinhardt and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, as well as the renowned Jupiter String Quartet, Philharmonia Quartett Berlin and New Century Chamber Orchestra, are part of the stellar line-up of guest artists in Northwestern University’s month-long chamber music celebration. 

From Jan. 7 through Feb. 7, Steinhardt and Salerno-Sonnenberg will perform timeless classics on the University’s Evanston campus when the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music presents the 15th annual Winter Chamber Music Festival. Joining them will be faculty musicians from the Bienen School and Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO).

Open to the public, all seven festival concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m. and take place in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, on Northwestern’s Evanston campus.

Jay Lesenger, the Bienen School’s director of opera, will narrate the Jan. 16 performance of English composer Sir William Walton’s “Facade.”

Violinist and Bienen School faculty member Blair Milton, a founding member of the Evanston Chamber Ensemble and a CSO member since 1975, is artistic director of the festival.

Subscription prices for this year’s series, which include prime reserved seating and a savings of up to 10 percent off single-ticket prices, are $147 for the general public; $138 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $73 for full-time students with IDs.

Single ticket prices are listed below.

15TH ANNUAL WINTER CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL CONCERTS

Friday, Jan. 7, Evanston Chamber Ensemble, Bienen School Faculty and Guests - The festival’s opening program will include Brahms’ Piano Trio No. 1 in B Major and the chamber version of Mahler’s Symphony No. 4. The Evanston Chamber Ensemble is comprised of violinist Blair Milton, cellist Stephen Balderston and pianist Andrea Swan. Soprano Amanda Majeski, violinist Yuan-Qing Yu, violist Yukiko Ogura, bassist Robert Kassinger, flutist Jennifer Gunn, oboist Scott Hostetler, clarinetist J. Lawrie Bloom, harmonium player Elizabeth Buccheri and percussionists She-e Wu and David Eisenreich also will perform. Tickets are $22 for the general public; $20 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $10 for full-time students with IDs.

Sunday, Jan. 9, Bienen School Faculty and Guests - Bienen School faculty and guest artists will perform Bartok’s “Contrasts,” Strauss’ Sonata for Violin and Piano in E-flat Major, Dahl’s “Concerto a Tre” and Faure’s Piano Quartet No. 1 in C Minor. Featured musicians will include pianists Alan Chow and James Giles, violinist Gerardo Ribeiro, guest violist Rami Solomonov, guest cellist Kenneth Olsen, and clarinetist Steven Cohen. Tickets are $22 for the general public; $20 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $10 for full-time students with IDs.

• Friday, Jan. 14, Jupiter String Quartet - An innovative group of young, Boston-based chamber musicians, the award-winning Jupiter String Quartet is comprised of violinists Nelson Lee and Megan Freivogel, violist Liz Freivogel, and cellist Daniel McDonough. The program will include Beethoven’s String Quartets No. 2 in G Major and No. 14 in C-sharp Minor, as well as Kurtag’s “Microludes.” Tickets are $24 for the general public; $22 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $12 for full-time students with IDs.

• Sunday, Jan. 16, Bienen School Faculty and Guests – Walton’s “Facade,” with narration by Jay Lesenger, the Bienen School’s director of opera, and Mozart’s “Gran Partita” will be performed by cellist Brant Taylor; flutist Richard Graef; oboists Scott Hostetler and Robert Morgan; clarinetists Steven Cohen and Leslie Grimm; and clarinetist and basset horn player J. Lawrie Bloom. Also performing are basset horn player Sunshine Simmons; bassoonists Lewis Kirk and Christopher Millard; saxophonist Frederick L. Hemke; horn players Jonathan Boen, Oto Carrillo, James Smelzer and Gail Williams; trumpeter Charles Geyer; and percussionist James Ross. Tickets are $22 for the general public; $20 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $10 for full-time students with IDs.

Friday, Jan. 21, Philharmonia Quartett Berlin - Germany’s Philharmonia Quartett Berlin has performed internationally for more than 20 years. Considered one of the world’s premier string quartets, the group has a large, diverse discography. Violinists Daniel Stabrawa and Christian Stadelmann, violist Neithard Resa and cellist Dietmar Schwalke will perform Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 13 in B-flat Minor; Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 8 in E Minor; and Debussy’s String Quartet in G Minor. Tickets are $24 for the general public; $22 for Northwestern faculty and staff; and $12 for full-time students with IDs. (Editor’s note: Quartett is spelled correctly with three t’s.)

Sunday, Jan. 23, violinist Arnold Steinhardt – A founding member of the Guarneri String Quartet, Steinhardt has appeared throughout North America and Europe as a recitalist and soloist with the New York Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony and other leading orchestras. He plays a late 18th century Lorenzo Storioni violin from Cremona, Italy.  Steinhardt will perform with pianists Alan Chow and Andrea Swan, violinist Blair Milton, violist Yukiko Ogura and cellist Stephen Balderston. The program includes Mozart’s Violin Sonata in G Major, Janacek’s Violin Sonata, Schumann’s Romance from “F-A-E Sonata” and Dvorak’s Piano Quintet in A Major. Tickets are $24 for the general public; $22 for Northwestern faculty and staff; and $12 for full-time students with IDs.

Monday, Feb. 7, violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and the New Century Chamber Orchestra – Internationally renowned violin soloist, chamber musician and recording artist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg is music director of the New Century Chamber Orchestra. She will perform with and lead the 19-piece San Francisco based string orchestra in the final concert of the 2011 Winter Chamber Music Festival. The program will include Hugo Wolf’s “Italian Serenade,” Bartok’s “Romanian Folk Dances,” Desyatnikov’s arrangement of Piazzolla’s “The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires” and Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings in C Major. Tickets are $30 for the general public; $26 for Northwestern faculty and staff; and $14 for full-time students with IDs.

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