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Northwestern Music in September and October

Mandolinist Chris Thile and two-day tribute to Ned Rorem among fall highlights

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September 24, 2013 | by Judy Moore
Chris Thile of bluegrass group Punch Brothers, is a mandolin virtuoso, composer and vocalist who plays progressive bluegrass, classical, rock and jazz.

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University’s 2013-14 music season begins with a bang on Sept. 28 with “March with the Band,” the annual Kids Fare family event for children ages 3 to 8. The popular pre-game morning program provides budding young musicians with the chance to play their toy drums and flutes as they parade around Welsh-Ryan Arena with the Wildcat Marching Band.

Other early fall programs presented by the University’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music include an Oct. 6 concert by Trio Solari, an instrumental group that has commissioned many new works, and an Oct. 15 concert by mandolin virtuoso, composer and vocalist Chris Thile of Punch Brothers.

Pulitzer Prize winner and Northwestern alumnus Ned Rorem, who is famous for his art songs, will be honored by the Institute for New Music with a two-day festival, “Ned@90: A Tribute to Ned Rorem.” The celebration includes an Oct. 10 opening concert and an Oct. 11 late afternoon “composer roundtable” and evening closing concert.

An Oct. 7 master class by clarinetist and Trio Solari member Chad Burrow, and an Oct. 15 flute master class and recital by Mary Ann Archer, a former member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, are both free.

Concert 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 receive a 15 percent discount off the general public ticket price. For more information, call the Pick-Staiger Concert Hall office at (847) 491-5441 or visit the Pick-Staiger website. To order tickets, call (847) 467-4000 or visit Pick Staiger.

For series brochures or further information, call (847) 491-5441 or email requests to pick-staiger@northwestern.edu. Visit Pick Staiger for extensive video and audio clips, photos and up-to-date information on upcoming concerts, programs and performers. To join Pick-Staiger’s e-list and receive a monthly events newsletter as well as special discount offers, send your email address to pick-staiger@northwestern.edu.

All September and October programs listed below are open to the public. They take place on the University’s Evanston campus at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive; Lutkin Hall, 700 University Place; Regenstein Recital Hall, 60 Arts Circle Drive; Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Road; or Welsh-Ryan Arena, 2705 Ashland Ave., as noted.

SEPTEMBER 2013

  • March with the Band, 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, Welsh-Ryan Arena. March with Northwestern’s Wildcat Marching Band during the first of a series of hourlong Kids Fare 2013-14 season concerts for children ages 3 to 8. Young participants may bring toy instruments for playing along. Free parking is available in the Ryan Field west lot on Ashland Ave., north of Central Street. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for full-time students with IDs. 
  • Faculty Musicale, 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Distinguished Bienen School faculty members will launch the 2013-14 music season with a musicale that welcomes new trumpet professor Robert Sullivan. The program will feature music by Prokofiev, Perry and Rachmaninoff. Tenor Kurt Hansen, violinists Gerardo Ribeiro and Blair Milton, pianist James Giles and guitarists Anne Waller and Mark Maxwell will also perform. Admission is free. 

OCTOBER 2013

  • Keyboard Conversations, “Popular Piano Classics,” 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Pianist Jeffrey Siegel will discuss and perform the piano repertoire of Mozart, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Liszt, Gershwin and others. Tickets are $22 for the general public, and $16 for full-time students with IDs.
  • Trio Solari, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6, Regenstein Recital Hall. In addition to performing standard repertoire for clarinet, violin, viola and piano, the trio -- comprised of clarinetist Chad Burrow, violinist Yung-Hsiang Wang and pianist Amy I-Lin Cheng -- has commissioned many new works, including a 2011 piece for trio by Edward Knight. The group has appeared at the OK Mozart Festival, Denmark’s Thy Chamber Music Festival and on KUHF Houston Public Radio. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for full-time students with IDs.
  • Chad Burrow Clarinet Master Class, 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7, Regenstein Recital Hall. Burrow, former principal clarinetist of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and the New Haven Symphony, is a Northwestern alumnus and a Trio Solari member. He is assistant professor of clarinet at the University of Michigan. Admission is free.
  • Ned@90: A Tribute to Ned Rorem, Opening Concert, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. The opening event of the Institute for New Music’s 90th birthday celebration of composer and Northwestern alumnus Ned Rorem features Rorem compositions for voice, piano, clarinet, violin and cello. Performers include the Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble conducted by Donald Nally; pianists James Giles, Sylvia Wang and Elizabeth Buccheri; clarinetist Steven Cohen; soprano Amanda DeBoer; baritone W. Stephen Smith; violinist Gerardo Ribeiro; and cellist Nicholas Photinos. The program includes three movements from “Letters from Paris,” “Recalling,” “Ariel: Five Poems of Sylvia Plath” and “Aftermath.” Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for full-time students with IDs.
  • Ned@90: A Tribute to Ned Rorem, Composer Roundtable – “Reflections on the Artist, Responses to the Teacher,” 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, Lutkin Hall. This roundtable discussion of Rorem’s legacy features Bienen School faculty and special guest composers, including Roshanne Etezady, University of Illinois-Chicago; David Ludwig, Curtis Institute of Music; and Marcus Maroney, Moores School of Music, University of Houston. Admission is free.
  • Ned@90: A Tribute to Ned Rorem, Closing Concert, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. The closing event of the Institute for New Music’s 90th birthday celebration of composer and Northwestern alumnus Ned Rorem features Rorem compositions for brass ensemble, flute, piano, trumpet, saxophone and chamber ensemble. The Symphonic Wind Ensemble Brass will be conducted by Mallory Thompson. Flutist John Thorne, pianists Kathryn Goodson and James Giles, trumpeter Robert Sullivan, saxophonist Timothy McAllister and the Civitas Ensemble will also perform. The program includes Rorem’s “Solemn Prelude,” “Four Prayers,” “Cries and Whispers,” “Picnic on the Marne” and “Nine Episodes for Four Players.” Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for full-time students with IDs.
  • Mary Ann Archer, Flute Master Class and Recital, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, Lutkin Hall. A former member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Virginia Symphony and the Virginia Opera Orchestra, Archer is a lecturer at Virginia’s Hampden-Sydney College and principal flutist of Opera on the James. Archer will coach Bienen School flute students as well as perform her own arrangements of works by Bach, Poulenc, Verdi Nazareth and Kreisler. Admission is free. NOTE: THIS CONCERT HAS BEEN CANCELLED.
  • Mandolinist Chris Thile, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Chris Thile of bluegrass group Punch Brothers, is a mandolin virtuoso, composer and vocalist who plays progressive bluegrass, classical, rock and jazz. A 2013 MacArthur “genius,” Thile won a Grammy Award for his work on “The Goat Rodeo Sessions,” collaborating with Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer and Stuart Duncan. Punch Brothers released their latest album, “Who’s Feeling Young Now?” in 2012 on Nonesuch Records. In summer 2013, Thile released “Bach Sonatas & Partitas Vol. 1,” also on Nonesuch. The Northwestern program draws from his new Bach recording as well as his own compositions and contemporary music. Tickets are $28 for the general public and $12 for full-time students with IDs. 
  • Symphonic Wind Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Mallory Thompson will conduct the ensemble in a program that features trumpet soloist Anthony Bellino. The concert will include Joan Tower’s “Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman,” No. 2, Alfred Reed’s arrangement of Bach’s “My Jesus, Oh What Anguish,” Alexander Arutiunian’s Trumpet Concerto in A-Flat Major, and Prokofiev’s March in B-flat and “Ode to the End of the War.” Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for full-time students with IDs.
  • Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble (BCE), “Requiem -- Yesterday/Today,” 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. This program will include a performance of Heinrich Schutz’s “Musikalische Exequien,” a work of intimacy, imagination and sorrow. It features various combinations of BCE soloists with chamber organ and guest Phillip Rukavina on theorbo. The program also includes Toivo Tulev’s “Summer Rain” and Ted Hearne’s “Ripple” – based on a single sentence from the Iraq War Logs. Donald Nally will conduct. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for full-time students with IDs.  
  • Newberry Consort, “Playing with Fire -- Virtuoso Music from the 16th and 17th Centuries,” pre-concert lecture at 2 p.m.; concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, Lutkin Hall. World-renowned American cornetto pioneer Bruce Dickey joins the consort for music from the Italian late Renaissance and early Baroque -- when composers and performers strove to reinvent music and redefine expressivity. Performers include violinist David Douglass, soprano Ellen Hargis, harpsichordist Mark Shuldiner and bass violinist Jeremy Ward. This concert honors the memory of musicologist and consort founder Howard Mayer Brown. Tickets are $45 for preferred seating; $38 for general seating (or $35 for general-admission orders made in advance); and $5 for full-time students with IDs.
  • Small Jazz Ensembles, “Strike Up the Band -- The Music of George Gershwin,” 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23, Regenstein Recital Hall. The music of one of America’s greatest composers -- George Gershwin -- will be performed by Bienen School jazz students. The program includes “Summertime,” “I Got Rhythm,”  “Our Love Is Here to Stay” and others. Victor Goines, Chris Madsen and Marlene Rosenberg will conduct. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for full-time students with IDs. 
  • University Chorale, 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, Alice Millar Chapel. Donald Nally will conduct the ensemble in a program that includes Maurice Durufle’s “Requiem,” Ildebrando Pizzetti’s “Kyrie” and Edwin Fissinger’s “In paradisum.” Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for full-time students with IDs.
  • Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Victor Yampolsky and graduate student Robert McConnell will conduct the orchestra in a program that features Beethoven’s “Egmont” Overture, Lutoslawski’s Concerto for Orchestra and Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 in C Major (“Great”). Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for full-time students with IDs.
  • Hymnfest XII: “O God, Our Help in Ages Past,” 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27, Alice Millar Chapel. This year’s Hymnfest is the first musical event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alice Millar Chapel. In observance of this milestone, all Bienen School mixed choirs will join voices with the audience in hymn arrangements by James Biery, Vaclav Nelhybel, Richard Webster, Mack Wilberg and Ralph Vaughan Williams. Adding to these sounds are the Millar Brass Ensemble and the 100-rank Aeolian-Skinner organ played by Eric Budzynski. Stephen Alltop will conduct the Alice Millar Chapel Choir, Donald Nally will conduct the Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble and Emily Ellsworth will conduct the University Chorale. Admission is a freewill offering.
  • Contemporary Music Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Alan Pierson, artistic director and cofounder of the contemporary music ensemble Alarm Will Sound, regularly collaborates with artists Yo-Yo Ma, Steve Reich, Dawn Upshaw, Osvaldo Golijov and composer John Adams. With Pierson as the guest conductor, the ensemble will perform Schoenberg’s chamber symphony “Kammersimphonie,” Adams’ Chamber Symphony and more. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for full-time students with IDs.