EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Northwestern University Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music’s December 2008 program highlights include a morning master class, afternoon conversation and evening concert featuring the Guarneri String Quartet (Dec. 7) and a master class with acclaimed American mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves (Dec. 11).
Other December events include a performance by Northwestern’s new Saxophone Ensemble (Dec. 2), two holiday concerts (Dec. 6 and 7) and the annual Festival of Lessons and Carols (Dec. 7).
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; or Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Road, as noted below.
For more information, call the Pick-Staiger Concert Office at (847) 491-5441 or visit the Pick-Staiger Web site at www.pickstaiger.org. To order tickets by phone, call the Pick-Staiger Ticket Office at (847) 467-4000.
DECEMBER 2008 MUSIC EVENTS
Northwestern University Saxophone Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2, Regenstein Recital Hall. Frederick Hemke will conduct the ensemble in a concert of diverse transcriptions and original music from the Bienen School of Music’s newest performance ensemble. Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for full-time students.
Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra, “First Symphonies,”7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Robert G. Hasty will conduct the Chamber Orchestra in a program featuring Elliott Carter’s Symphony No. 1; Kennan’s arrangement of Sergei Prokofiev’s Clarinet Concerto in D Major; and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 in C Major. Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for full-time students.
Jazz Small Ensemble Concert, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, Regenstein Recital Hall. An evening of jazz performed by small ensembles from the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, coordinated by faculty member Victor Goines, director of Northwestern University’s Jazz Program. Admission is free.
Symphonic Band, “Wildflowers -- The Music of Percy Grainger,”7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Bienen School of Music faculty member Ryan T. Nelson will conduct the Symphonic Band in a program featuring the works of Percy Grainger. Selections will include “The Duke of Marlborough Fanfare,” “Molly on the Shore,” “Irish Tune from County Derry,” “Shepherd’s Hey,” “Lads of Wamphray March,” “Handel in the Strand,” “Sussex Mummers Christmas Carol” and “Lincolnshire Posy.” Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for full-time students.
University Chorale, “69th Annual Christmas Concert,” 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Robert A. Harris and Amy G. Weller will conduct the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra, University Singers, University Chorale and University Chorus in their performance of choral music for the holiday season, including the cantata “Hodie” for soloists, chorus and orchestra by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Tickets are $12 for the general public; $9 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $6 for full-time students.
Guarneri String Quartet Master Class, 10 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, Regenstein Recital Hall. During the master class members of the Guarneri String Quartet will coach pre-selected Bienen School of Music string students. Admission is free.
A Festival of Lessons and Carols, 10:40 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, Alice Millar Chapel. Stephen Alltop will conduct the Alice Millar Chapel Choir, Northwestern University Philharmonia and Millar Brass Ensemble featuring solo oboist Michael Henoch in this holiday tradition of combining readings and musical gems. The carol settings -- from medieval to modern for brass, strings, organ and choir -- include Bob Chilcott’s “The Shepherd’s Carol” and Jeff Ens’ “O Magnum Mysterium.” Also featured is music by Herbert Howells, John Rutter and Camille Saint-Saens plus carol arrangements for strings by Matthew Naughtin. Admission is a freewill offering.
A Conversation with the Guarneri String Quartet, 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, Regenstein Recital Hall. This event is an opportunity for conversation and reminiscences in an intimate setting with this esteemed ensemble. Admission is free.
Winter Chamber Music Festival, Guarneri String Quartet, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Since its founding in 1964, the Guarneri String Quartet has circled the globe countless times, playing in the most prestigious halls in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. Comprised of violinists Arnold Steinhardt and John Dalley, violist Michael Tree and cellist Peter Wiley, the Guarneri has been featured on many television and radio specials, documentaries and educational presentations in North America and abroad. In addition to mastering the finest works in the quartet repertoire, the group has performed and popularized works by today’s foremost composers. At the end of this season, the quartet will retire after 45 years of performing. This legendary ensemble will perform one last time during the inaugural concert of the 2008-09 Winter Chamber Music Festival, with Bienen School of Music faculty member Peter Lloyd as special guest. Tickets are $25 for the general public; $22 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $12 for full-time students.
NOTE: Six additional 7:30 p.m. Winter Chamber Music Festival concerts are scheduled for Jan. 9, Evanston Chamber Ensemble ($22/20/10); Jan. 11, Lincoln String Quartet ($22/20/10); Jan. 16, Cassatt Quartet ($25/22/12); Jan. 18, violinist Shmuel Ashkenasi, cellist Marc Johnson and pianist Andrea Swan ($22/20/10; Jan. 23, pianists James Giles and Robert McDonald; violinists Joseph Genualdi and Gerardo Ribeiro; violist Catherine Brubaker; cellist Stephen Balderston; bassist Michael Hovnanian; clarinetist Steven Cohen; bassoonist Christopher Millard and hornist Gail Williams ($22/20/10); and Jan. 25, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra featuring guest sitarist Anoushka Shankar ($30/26/14).
Guest Artist, Denyce Graves Master Class, 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 11, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Recognized worldwide as one of today’s most exciting vocal stars, mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves continues to gather unparalleled popular and critical acclaim in performances on four continents. The combination of her vocalism, stage presence and theatrical abilities allows her to pursue a wide breadth of operatic portrayals as well as delight audiences in concert and recital appearances. During the master class, she will coach pre-selected voice students from Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music. Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for full-time students.
Guest Artist, “Keyboard Conversations: Basking in Beethoven,” 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Pianist Jeffrey Siegel will perform and discuss Beethoven’s works, including “Fur Elise,” the Bagatelles and the “Farewell” Sonata in E-flat. Tickets are $23 for the general public; $21 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $16 for full-time students.