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March 2011 Music Calendar

Spring Music Festival -- ‘Passport: A Musical Expedition’ -- begins March 30

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February 10, 2011 | by Judy Moore
Mark O'Connor String Quartet
The Mark O'Connor String Quartet will kickoff the Spring Festival on March 30.
EVANSTON, Ill. --- A March 1 performance by internationally renowned virtuoso Yefim Brofman, 2010 winner of the Bienen School of Music’s $50,000 Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance, is among the month’s music highlights at Northwestern University.

Other events include a March 12 Kids Fare concert featuring dancers from the Chicago-based Jump Rhythm Jazz Project ensemble; and the first two ticketed programs that will launch Pick-Staiger’s 2011 Spring Festival, “Passport: A Musical Expedition” -- a March 30 concert by the Mark O’Connor String Quartet and a March 31 screening of a 1934 Japanese silent film with live accompaniment by guitarist Alex de Grassi. O’Connor also will lead a free March 31 String Workshop with Bienen School string students. The Spring Festival will run through April 9.

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; Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Road; or the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, 40 Arts Circle Drive, as noted.

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

MARCH 2011 MUSIC EVENTS

Guest Artist, Yefim Bronfman, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 1, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Pianist Yefim Bronfman, winner of the Bienen School of Music’s 2010 Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance, is among the most talented virtuosos performing today. He appears regularly with the world’s great orchestras and festivals. Bronfman has been featured as a Carnegie Hall “Perspectives” artist and Lucerne Festival “Artiste Etoile” and has performed with the Juilliard and Guarneri string quartets, Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Lynn Harrell and many others. His extensive discography includes three Bartok piano concertos, for which he won a Grammy Award. Tickets are $26 for the general public; $22 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $12 for students with valid IDs.

University Singers Salutes Dance Marathon, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 2, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Amy G. Weller will conduct the University Singers in an evening of choral music inspired by dance rhythms in a concert leading up to Northwestern student philanthropy event Dance Marathon 2011. Pianists Jerad Mosbey and Olga Sklyanskaya and harpist Michael Maganuco will provide accompaniment in a program ranging from courtly Renaissance music to contemporary songs, including Brahms’ “Neue Liebeslieder Waltzes” and Britten’s “Choral Dances” from “Gloriana.” Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for students with valid IDs.

Baroque Music Ensemble: Jewels of the French Baroque II, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3, Lutkin Hall. Stephen Alltop will conduct a program of rarely-heard orchestral and chamber music for strings, oboes, flutes, trumpets and harpsichords by Rameau, Couperin and Campra.  Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for students with valid IDs.

Northwestern University Saxophone Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3, Regenstein Recital Hall. Faculty member Frederick L. 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 students with valid IDs.

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra Student Showcase, 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 4, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Faculty member Robert G. Hasty will conduct the Symphony Orchestra in a performance featuring Northwestern Concerto Competition winners, including trombonist Michael Charbel, violist Yoshihiko Nakano and flutist Eva Ryan. The program will include Carl Nielsen’s Flute Concerto; H.F. Tomasi’s Trombone Concerto; Tibor Serly’s completed orchestration of Bela Bartok’s unfinished Viola Concerto; and Northwestern student composer Patrick O’Malley’s “Superimpose.” Tickets are $9 for the general public; $7 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $5 for students with valid IDs.

Newberry Consort, “Music and Miracles,” 3 p.m. Sunday, March 6, Alice Millar Chapel. Languishing in illness, Alfonso X (12th-century king of Castille, Leon and Galicia) prayed to the Virgin Mary that he might survive. After making a full recovery, he expressed his gratitude by commissioning cantigas (songs) recounting the Virgin’s miracles and singing her praises. The result was the lavishly illustrated and justly renowned manuscript of the “Cantigas de Santa Maria.” Set to compelling melodies, these stories will be sung by Ellen Hargis to the accompaniment of medieval plucked and bowed strings, winds, percussion and the voices of the Newberry Chorus. Enhancing the sensory experience are projections of text translations and the manuscript’s stunning artwork. The performance will be preceded by a 2 p.m. lecture. Tickets are $30 for the general public, senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $5 for students with valid IDs. A $2 discount is available for phone orders made in advance of the event.

Concert Band, 3 p.m. Sunday, March 6, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Faculty member Daniel J. Farris will conduct students from across the Northwestern campus in a concert of band standards. Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for students with valid IDs.

Philharmonia, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 6, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Faculty member Robert G. Hasty and student Harriet (Hio Teng) Wong will conduct the Philharmonia in a program featuring Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 5 in D Major (“Reformation”) and Grieg’s Suite No. 1 from “Peer Gynt.” Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for students with valid IDs.

Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra and University Chorus, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 8, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Faculty members Victor Yampolsky and Robert A. Harris will conduct the Chamber Orchestra and University Chorus in a program featuring Beethoven’s Mass in C Major and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 in A Minor (“Scottish”). Tickets are $9 for the general public; $7 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $5 for students with valid IDs.

Faculty Recital, Elizabeth Buccheri and Friends: “Music of Les Six,” 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, Lutkin Hall. Bienen School of Music faculty members and special guests will present music of Les Six, the group of six composers (Darius Milhaud, Francis Poulenc, Arthur Honegger, Georges Auric, Louis Durey and Germaine Tailleferre) who flourished in the Montparnasse area of Paris in the early 20th century. Pianists Elizabeth Buccheri and Sylvia Wang, soprano Pamela Hinchman, oboist Michael Henoch, clarinetist Steven Cohen, bassoonist Lewis Kirk and trumpeter Barbara Butler will perform. Jesse Rosenberg will be the program commentator. Tickets are $9 for the general public; $7 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $5 for students with valid IDs.

Jazz, Small Ensemble Concert, “New Information,” 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, Regenstein Recital Hall. Director of jazz studies Victor Goines will conduct jazz students in a program of new compositions and arrangements. Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for students with valid IDs.

Contemporary Music Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. The concert will showcase Bienen School of Music student compositions, conducted by a Bienen School graduate student. Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for students with valid IDs.

Symphonic Band, “Wind Music from France,” 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 11, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Tim Robblee will conduct the Symphonic Band in a program that will explore the long history of the French wind band. The concert will begin with 18th century works composed for the band of la Garde nationale and continuing to Jules Strens’ “Danse Funambulesque,” Darius Milhaud’s “Suite Francaise” and other 20th century wind band masterworks. Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for students with valid IDs.

Kids Fare, “Jump That Rhythm,” 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 12, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Dancers from the Chicago-based ensemble Jump Rhythm Jazz Project will move and groove to the rhythm of an array of music. The event is geared for children aged 3 to 8 and their families. Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for students with valid IDs and children.

Faculty Recital, Baroque Vocal and Instrumental Chamber Music Masterpieces, 3 p.m. Sunday, March 13, Lutkin Hall. Soprano Sunny Joy Langton, tenor Kurt Hansen, violinist Gerardo Ribeiro, cellist Paula Kosower, flutist Richard Graef, oboist Michael Henoch and harpsichordist and organist Stephen Alltop will perform Baroque chamber music. The program will include Bach’s Benedictus and Domine Deus from Mass in B Minor and “Ich halte meinen Jesum feste” from Cantata, BWV 157, and Telemann’s Quartet in G Major (“Tafelmusik”) for Flute, Oboe, Violin and Continuo; Concerto in A Minor for Flute, Oboe, Violin and Continuo; and Concerto in G Major for Flute, Oboe D’Amore and Continuo. Tickets are $9 for the general public; $7 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $5 for students with valid IDs.

Segovia Guest Artists, Ellen Hargis and Paul O’Dette, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, Lutkin Hall. Soprano Ellen Hargis is an artist-in-residence with Chicago’s Newberry Consort and teaches at Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University and the Music Institute of Chicago. She has also performed with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Washington Choral Arts Society and CBC Radio Orchestra. Leading lutenist Paul O’Dette is director of early music at the Eastman School of Music and artistic director of early music at the Boston Early Music Festival. He has appeared at music festivals worldwide and is featured on more than 130 recordings, garnering five Grammy Award nominations. Hargis and O’Dette present 17th-century cantatas for soprano and theorbo -- ranging from humorous to dramatic -- by Strozzi, Piccinini, Scarlatti and Cesti. Tickets are $22 for the general public; $19 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $10 for students with valid IDs. This concert is part of the Segovia Classical Guitar Series and is supported in part by the Chicago Classical Guitar Society.

Keyboard Conversations, “Northern Stars -- Brahms, Sibelius, Grieg and Nielsen,” 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 18, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Pianist Jeffrey Siegel will present rhapsodies and intermezzi by Brahms, lyric pieces and Norwegian dances by Grieg and musical gems by Sibelius and Nielsen in his “concert with commentary.” Tickets are $23 for the general public; $21 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $16 for full-time students with IDs.

Spring Festival, Mark O’Connor String Quartet, “An Evening of Strings,” 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Virtuoso violinist Mark O’Connor performs his intricate and exciting brand of musical Americana as part of his quartet, also comprised of violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins, violist Gillian Gallagher and cellist Patrice Jackson. Tickets are $18 for the general public; $15 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $8 for students with valid IDs.

Spring Festival, Mark O’Connor String Workshop, 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 31, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Grammy Award-winning violinist Mark O’Connor will lead a workshop with Bienen School of Music string students. Admission is free and open to the public.

Spring Festival, Alex de Grassi and “A Story of Floating Weeds,” a silent film by Yasujiro Ozu with live music, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 31, Block Cinema, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art. Guitarist-composer extraordinaire Alex de Grassi will perform his original score for the legendary 1934 silent film “A Story of Floating Weeds” by renowned Japanese filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu. This special Block Cinema screening celebrates the longstanding tradition of silent films accompanied by live music. Tickets are $8 for the general public, senior citizens, Northwestern faculty and staff, and students with valid IDs.

Nathalie Rayter, a senior in the School of Education and Social Policy, contributed to this story.