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November 2012 Music Calendar

John Cage Festival, John Medeski recital and Nathan Gunn vocal master class among events

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October 10, 2012 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, ILL. --- John Cage was one of the most influential composers of the 20th century. Cage and his avant-garde works will be celebrated on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus Nov. 15 to 17 in conjunction with the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music’s recently established Institute for New Music. The three-day John Cage Festival will feature concerts and symposia at various campus locations, including a special free performance in the newly renovated lobby of Deering Library.

A concert by pianist John Medeski of trailblazing instrumental trio Medeski Martin & Wood fame; a vocal master class for Northwestern voice and opera students led by Nathan Gunn -- one of the most in-demand baritones of the day; and a master class by internationally-renowned pianist Murray Perahia, winner of the 2012 Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance, are additional program highlights. 

Presented by the Bienen School of Music, all the programs listed below are open to the public. They take place on Northwestern’s Evanston campus at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive; Lutkin Hall, 700 University Place; Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St.; Regenstein Recital Hall, 60 Arts Circle Drive; and Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Road, as noted.

Due to construction on the south end of campus, Arts Circle Drive is currently closed to traffic. Free parking is still available on weekends and after 4 p.m. weekdays in the two-level lakefront structure located on Campus Drive. After turning onto Campus Drive from Sheridan Road, enter the parking structure on the right by way of ramps leading to the upper and lower levels. For vehicles with handicap placards, reserved spaces are available on weekends and after 4 p.m. weekdays in the lot directly west of Louis Hall. For more construction and parking information, visit www.pickstaiger.org/construction.

Ticket prices are indicated in two ranges: the first for the general public and the second for full-time students with IDs. Northwestern faculty and staff with a valid WildCARD ID receive a 15 percent discount off the general public ticket price.

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

NOVEMBER 2012 EVENTS

Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Victor Yampolsky will direct the orchestra in a program that features Mozart’s Adagio and Fugue in C Minor and Symphony No. 25 in G Minor, as well as Haydn’s Symphony No. 102 in B-flat Major. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.

Symphonic Band, “European Classics,” 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Timothy J. Robblee will conduct the Northwestern University Symphonic Band in a program that features Offenbach’s Overture to “La belle Helene,” Respighi’s “Huntingtower Ballad,” Claudio S. Grafulla’s “Washington Grays,” Holst’s Suite No. 2 in F for Military Band, Bruckner’s “Christus factus est” and Bach’s Fantasia in G Major. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.

David Allen Moore, Double Bass Master Class, 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, Regenstein Recital Hall. David Allen Moore is a bassist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has performed with Boston Baroque, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the Boston Pops Esplanade orchestra and Houston’s Greenbriar Consortium. Since 2000, he has been a faculty member of the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. In this master class, he coaches Bienen School of Music bassists. Admission is free.

University Chorale, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Northwestern’s premier choral ensemble moves in new directions under the leadership of internationally acclaimed choral conductor and opera chorus master Donald Nally. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.

Timothy McAllister, Randall Hawes and Kathryn Goodson, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, Lutkin Hall. Soprano saxophonist Timothy McAllister, trombonist Randall Hawes and pianist Kathryn Goodson will perform a program that includes Carter Pann’s Duo for Alto Saxophone and Bass Trombone, Daniel Schnyder’s “Blues for Schubert” and Trio, David Biedenbender’s “Liquid Architecture,” Libby Larsen’s “Holy Roller” and other works. McAllister is Northwestern’s new associate professor of saxophone, Hawes is a faculty trombonist and Goodson is a collaborative pianist-coach at the University of Michigan School of Music. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.

Nathan Gunn, baritone and Julie Jordan Gunn, piano: Vocal Master Class, 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Baritone Nathan Gunn and pianist Julie Jordan Gunn will coach Northwestern students from the Bienen School’s voice and opera program and provide them with feedback. Nathan Gunn has performed at the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago (“Showboat”), Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Paris Opera. His operatic credits include the title roles in “Billy Budd,” “Eugene Onegin,” “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” and “Hamlet.” Julie Jordan Gunn orchestrates works for many of Nathan’s concerts and often accompanies him on piano. She also performs in recitals and is a vocal coach. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs. 

Northwestern University Jazz Orchestra, “Manteca,” 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. This journey through bebop and beyond features music from the songbook of the Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra. The Jazz Orchestra, conducted by Victor Goines, welcomes Northwestern jazz studies trumpet instructor Brad Mason as guest soloist. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.

Northwestern University Saxophone Ensemble and Quartets, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7, Regenstein Recital Hall. The Northwestern University Saxophone Ensemble and Quartets open their 2012-13 season with William Schmidt’s arrangement of Bach’s “Allegro” from Concerto No. 1 in C Minor, John Cage’s “Four5,” Terry Riley’s “Tread on the Trail,” Ellwood Derr’s “Passacaglia in Celebration of Carl Orff” and Alfred Desenclos’ “Quatour pour saxophones.” Admission is free.

Chamber Music Gala, Part I, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Bienen School students join accomplished faculty members in a diverse program. Faculty performers include flutist John Thorne, oboist Robert Morgan, clarinetist Steve Cohen, bassoonist Lewis Kirk, violinist Gerardo Ribeiro, pianists James Giles and Alan Chow and guest violist Rami Solomonow. The program includes Schubert’s “Der Hirt auf dem Felsen,” D. 965, Gounod’s Petite Symphonie, Op. 219 for flute, two oboes, two clarinets, two horns and two bassoons and Brahms’ Piano Quartet in A Major, No. 2, Op. 26. Tickets are Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.

Symphonic Wind Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Mallory Thompson conducts a program that features Strauss’ Suite in B-flat Major and Steven Bryant’s Concerto for Wind Ensemble. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.

Fall Opera, “Bastianello” and “Lucrezia,” 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, Cahn Auditorium. Michael M. Ehrman directs the Chicago-area premiere of two comic one-act chamber operas with librettos by Mark Campbell. John Musto’s “Bastianello” depicts a bridegroom who, infuriated by his new wife’s carelessness at letting the wine run out during their wedding celebration, sets off in search of six people more foolish than she is. In William Bolcom’s “Lucrezia,” set in Argentina, a man spots a beautiful woman on a balcony and plots to woo her through disguises and a magic potion. Performed in English with two-piano accompaniment, a Meet-the-Composers Q&A will follow both performances. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.

Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Donald Nally conducts the Bienen School’s newest ensemble, which will focus on the greatest and most creative of contemporary choral music while looking back to its foundation in early music and making connections to the Renaissance and Baroque. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.

Gail Williams, horn and Daniel Perantoni, tuba, 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, Lutkin Hall. A former member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and principal horn of the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra, Bienen School horn professor Gail Williams is a founding member of the Chicago Chamber Musicians and Summit Brass. Daniel Perantoni is professor of tuba at Indiana University. Also a founding member of Summit Brass, he has appeared as a featured artist at Carnegie Hall, the Monterey Jazz Festival and the Spoleto Festival USA. The program features the Chicago-area premiere of James Stevenson’s Horn Sonata and includes David Gillingham’s Divertimento for Horn, Tuba and Piano and Anthony Plog’s “Dialogue” for Horn, Tuba and Piano. The pianist is Kay Kim. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.

University Singers, 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Directed by Emily Ellsworth, the University Singers probe the depths of Western choral literature with the passion of those singing these works for the first time. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.

Evening of Brass, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Gail Williams conducts a program that features “Ring for Brass,” a new arrangement of selections from Wagner’s “Ring” cycle by Bienen School faculty member and San Francisco Symphony principal trombone Timothy Higgins, as well as other works for large brass band. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.

Chamber Music Gala, Part II, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Bienen School students join faculty members in a program featuring Hovhaness’ “Khaldis” Concerto for piano, trumpets and percussion, Op. 91; Roshanne Etezady’s “Glint” for clarinet and saxophone; Mozart’s Horn Quintet in E-flat Major, K. 407/386c and Mendelssohn’s Octet in E-flat Major, Op. 20. Faculty performers include clarinetist Steven Cohen, saxophonist Timothy McAllister, hornist Gail Williams, trumpet player Charles Geyer, percussionist She-e Wu, violinist Gerardo Ribeiro, double bassist Andrew Raciti and pianist Sylvia Wang. The guest violist is Rami Solomonow. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.

Small Jazz Ensembles, “New Scripts,” 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, Regenstein Recital Hall. Jazz students directed by Victor Goines will display their latest personal compositions and arrangements. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.

John Cage Festival, pianist Stephen Drury and Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble singers led by conductor Donald Nally, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, Lutkin Hall. Pianist Stephen Drury teaches at the New England Conservatory, where he has directed festivals of the music of John Cage, Steve Reich and Christian Wolff. The program includes Cage solo piano works as well as his “Hymns and Variations” for 12 singers and 12 microphones, led by Donald Nally, the Bienen School’s new director of choral organizations. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.

John Cage Festival, “Rolling Dice: Performing Cage’s Music” and “Influential, Idolized or Irrelevant? Cage and Current Composing” symposia, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, Lutkin Hall. The first sessions of the Institute for New Music’s two-day “Interpreting Cage” symposium covers Cage’s use of chance procedures in both composition and performance as well as his influence on composition today. Lecturers include David Nicholls, professor of music, University of Southampton; Stephen Drury, pianist and conductor, New England Conservatory; So Percussion member Adam Sliwinski; Seth Brodsky, assistant professor of musicology, University of Chicago; Julia Robinson, assistant professor of art, New York University; composer and educator Nomi Epstein; and Northwestern faculty members Lee Hyla, Hans Thomalla and Jay Alan Yim. Admission is free.

John Cage Festival, members of So Percussion, acoustic guitarist and vocalist Grey Mcmurray and members of the Northwestern University Percussion Ensemble, 5:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, Deering Library. The performance will take place in the newly renovated lobby of Northwestern’s Deering Library, opening its doors for the first time in more than 40 years. The library is home to the Cage Collection, the world’s largest treasury of correspondence and ephemera collected by John Cage. The lobby will display music from the collection -- including some of the works on this program. The Brooklyn-based quartet So Percussion, comprised of Eric Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski and Jason Treuting, has commissioned works by composers Steve Reich, David Lang and Glenn Kotche, among others. Works on the program include Morton Feldman’s “King of Denmark,” Steve Reich’s “Marimba Phase,” selections of works by The Beatles, John Cage’s “Child of Tree and Branches,” Jason Treuting’s “24 x 24” and additional selections from the Cage Collection. The concert will be followed by a reception in the Deering Library lobby. Admission is free.

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Directed by Victor Yampolsky, the orchestra will perform Alexander Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2 (“Aquarius”) and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 8 in C Minor. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.

John Cage Festival, “Who Speaks? Challenges of Interpretation in Cage’s Works” symposium, 9:30 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Nov. 17, Lutkin Hall. Musicologists dealing with Cage’s music are challenged as much as performers: what really “is” the work, if its core elements are defined by chance procedures before or during the performance? The final sessions of the Institute for New Music’s two-day symposium provides a platform for discussion of this and other questions. Lecturers include Charles Junkerman, associate provost and dean, Stanford University; Rob Haskins, associate professor, University of New Hampshire; Deborah Campana, conservatory librarian, Oberlin Conservatory and D.J. Hoek, head of Northwestern University’s Music Library. The symposium will be followed by a 2 p.m. tour of the Cage Collection at Northwestern’s Deering Library. Admission is free.

Kids Fare, “All About Brass,” 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Northwestern University’s Brass Ensemble, led by Gail Williams, will showcase the brilliance, boldness, range and glory of brass instruments. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.

John Cage Festival Finale, So Percussion and Guests, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. So Percussion returns, joined by electric guitarist Grey Mcmurray and Bienen School percussionists to conclude the festival with a program of works by Cage and others. Also featured are Turkish composer Cenk Ergun and the Loud Objects, a trio known for soldering custom audio circuits live to create complex electronic sounds. The program includes John Cage’s “First Construction,” “Credo in US,” “Inlets (Improvisation II),” “0’00,” “Duet for Cymbal,” “Imaginary Landscape No. 1,” and “Third Construction”; Cenk Ergun’s “USE,” Jason Treuting’s “24 x 24” and So Percussion arrangements of Cage Collection Beatles tunes. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $6 for students with valid IDs.

Percussion Ensemble, 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. She-e Wu conducts the Percussion Ensemble in an afternoon of eclectic rhythms. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.

Baroque Music Ensemble, “Baroque Fireworks,” 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, Alice Millar Chapel. This concert, conducted by Stephen Alltop and featuring violinist David Douglass, will include Bach’s Suite No. 1 in C Major and Suite No. 3 in D Major, as well as Handel’s “Music for the Royal Fireworks.” Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.

Chicago Wind Quintet, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, Lutkin Hall. Chicago Wind Quintet members -- flutist John Thorne, oboist Robert Morgan, clarinetist Steven Cohen, hornist Gail Williams and bassoonist Christopher Millard -- will be joined by pianist Elizabeth Buccheri to perform Francis Poulenc’s Sextet for Piano, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Horn. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.

“An Evening with John Medeski,” 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Celebrated pianist John Medeski of Medeski Martin & Wood has collaborated with T Bone Burnett, former Phish guitarist-frontman Trey Anastasio, Grateful Dead alumnus Phil Lesh, gospel group The Blind Boys of Alabama and rock collective Grizzly Adams. He will be previewing the release of his new solo piano album. Tickets are $18 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.