EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Northwestern University Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music will welcome an international array of guest artists this winter, including Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, Chinese pianist Xiang Zou, two Dutch groups -- Quink and the Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet -- Canadian-born guitarist Dale Kavanagh, the all-star jazz ensemble SFJAZZ Collective from San Francisco and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones’ innovative bassist Victor Lemonte Wooten.
The concerts are open to the public and will be held, as noted below, at one of the following venues on the University’s Evanston campus: Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive; Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Road or Lutkin Hall, 700 University Place.
To purchase tickets or for further information, call the Pick-Staiger Concert Hall box office at (847) 467-4000 or visit the Pick-Staiger Web site.
Following the Dec. 7 inaugural concert featuring the Guarneri String Quartet, the 13th annual Winter Chamber Music Festival will continue with six additional concerts that will be held Jan. 9, Jan. 11, Jan. 16, Jan. 18, Jan. 23 and Jan. 25. This season’s guests include the Evanston Chamber Ensemble, Lincoln String Quartet, Cassatt Quartet, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra with guest sitarist Anoushka Shankar, members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Bienen School of Music faculty members. Of special note this season is “The Performer’s Perspective,” a series of discussions in Regenstein Recital Hall, 60 Arts Circle Drive, at 6:15 p.m. prior to the Jan. 9, Jan. 16 and Jan. 23 concerts. For more information on the Winter Chamber Music Festival guest artists, visit http://www.pickstaiger.org/.
Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham will coach pre-selected vocalists from the Bienen School of Music during a vocal master class at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 13, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Graham has appeared with most of the world’s leading conductors and orchestras and has sung leading roles at the Metropolitan Opera, Milan’s La Scala, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Vienna State Opera, Opera National de Paris, Dresden’s Semperoper and the Salzburg Festival. Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for students with valid IDs.
Pianist Xiang Zou, a member of the Central Conservatory piano faculty in Beijing, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, in Lutkin Hall. He will celebrate the centennial of Olivier Messiaen’s birth with a performance of the French composer’s “Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant Jesus.” Xiang Zou was the first pianist to perform this 20-movement solo piano cycle in China and is the youngest pianist ever to be named first laureate of Canada’s Honens International Piano Competition. Tickets are $9 for the general public; $7 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $5 for students with valid IDs.
Dutch vocal ensemble Quink, comprised of sopranos Marjon Strijk and Mariette Oelderik, alto Elsbeth Gerritsen, tenor Harry van Berne and bass Kees Jan de Koning, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4, in Alice Millar Chapel. The group’s vast repertoire spans more than 800 years, from the Middle Ages to today, and its five versatile members strive for authenticity in every musical style. Quink has been featured with the Dutch piano duo of Leo van Doeselaar and Wyneke Jordans in a recording of Rossini’s “Petite Messe Solennelle” and in Ramon Gieling’s short film “BiBaBo.” The group’s program ranges from works by Orlande de Lassus to Samuel Barber and Randall Thompson. Tickets are $12 for the general public; $9 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $6 for students with valid IDs.
Canadian-born guitarist Dale Kavanagh will open the Bienen School of Music and Chicago Classical Guitar Society’s 2008-09 Segovia Classical Guitar Series at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14, in Lutkin Hall. Her Northwestern debut includes music by Berkeley, Diabelli, Domeniconi, Villa-Lobos, Milhaud and Kavanagh herself. A top prize-winner in guitar competitions in Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Finland, Kavanagh has performed internationally as a soloist and with German guitarist Thomas Kirchhoff in the Amadeus Guitar Duo. Tickets are $19 for the general public; $16 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $8 for students with valid IDs. The Segovia Classical Guitar Series will continue this spring with performances by the (April 10) Canadian Guitar Quartet and DanceWorks Chicago; (April l8) Oscar Ghiglia; and (May 1) Hopkinson Smith. For more information, visit http://www.pickstaiger.org/.)
The Bienen School of Music’s spring festival, “Collaboration Exultation: A Festival of Musical Connections,” opens in late winter with a program titled “Mando Magnificat” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. This celebration of the mandolin includes mandolinist Mike Marshall and Big Trio (featuring Marshall, violinist Alex Hargreaves and bassist Paul Kowert); mandolinist Sam Bush; mandolinist Caterina Lichtenberg with guitarist Mirko Schrader; and mandolinist Don Stiernberg and the Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra. The concert will feature classical, jazz, new acoustic, Americana, blues and orchestral music. Tickets are $16 for the general public; $12 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $8 for students with valid IDs.
“Collaboration Exultation” will continue with the SFJAZZ Collective in a celebration of the music of McCoy Tyner at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. The Collective was launched in 2004 by SFJAZZ, the West Coast’s largest nonprofit jazz institution and the presenter of the annual San Francisco Jazz Festival. Tickets are $16 for the general public; $12 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $8 for students with valid IDs.
Bassist Victor Lemonte Wooten and drummer JD Blair visit Pick-Staiger Concert Hall at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 12, for the third “Collaboration Exultation” festival concert. Wooten is the bassist from the Grammy Award-winning Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and has released numerous solo albums. He also is a composer, arranger, producer and vocalist. Blair’s artistic collaborations include performances and recordings with artists Shania Twain, Yo-Yo Ma, India.Arie, Lyle Lovett, Suzi Bogus and Yolanda Adams. Tickets are $20 for the general public and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $15 for students with valid IDs.
The Darol Anger-Mike Marshall Duo and the Swedish string trio Vasen, Flutist Eugenia Zukerman, harmonica player Howard Levy, the Windy City Harmonica Trio, the Canadian Guitar Quartet with DanceWorks Chicago, and the Chicago Jazz Orchestra with Victor Goines, Anthony Molinaro and Charley Harrison, are among the other artists featured in the six additional Collaboration Exultation Concerts scheduled for this spring. For more information on Pick-Staiger’s 2009 Spring Festival, http://www.pickstaiger.org/.
The Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet performs at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 15, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the recorder quartet is touring the United States with its original members -- Daniel Brüggen, Bertho Driever, Paul Leenhouts and Karel van Steenhoven. The group won the 1981 Musica Antigua Competition in Bruges, despite challenging the competition rules with a Stevie Wonder arrangement. Since then, the quartet has toured the world and made numerous recordings for L’Oiseau-Lyre, Decca and Channel Classics. Tickets are $16 for the general public; $12 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $8 for students with valid IDs.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra colleagues, violist Catherine Brubaker and clarinetist J. Lawrie Bloom, join Bloom’s Bienen School of Music faculty colleague pianist Alan Chow for the second concert in the “Trio of S” miniseries, “A Trio of S: Robert Schumann” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, in Lutkin Hall. The program includes Gyorgy Kurtag’s “Hommage a R. Sch.” and Schumann’s “Fantasiestucke,” “Romanzen” and “Marchenerzahlungen.” Tickets are $9 for the general public; $7 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $5 for students with valid IDs.
Pianist Jeffrey Siegel returns to Pick-Staiger Concert Hall at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 20, for the third concert in the 2008-09 Keyboard Conversations series, “The Longevity of the Short Piece.” The program features “Songs Without Words” by Felix Mendelssohn, “Lyric Pieces” by Edvard Grieg, rhapsodies by Johannes Brahms and nocturnes by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Tickets are $23 for the general public; $21 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $16 for students with valid IDs.