EVANSTON, Ill. --- Music will fill the Northwestern University Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music performance venues this summer as gifted high school musicians from around the nation participate in the intensive five-week National High School Music Institute (NHSMI).

The NHSMI summer concerts will begin with a June 30 NHSMI Faculty Musicale and conclude July 31 with a NHSMI Gala Finale that will feature an evening of choral and orchestral works and music by Johannes Brahms, Bedrich Smetana, Percy Grainger and others, performed by the NHSMI ensembles. All of the concerts are free and open to the public.

An integral part of Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music, the NHSMI offers high school students interested in music careers an intimate look at collegiate-level music study and music as a career. Not only do they have the opportunity to work with the University’s music faculty, these outstanding young musicians also perform in nearly 20 concerts throughout the summer as soloists and in large and small ensembles.

Led by artistic director and Northwestern music faculty member Daniel J. Farris, NHSMI is one of six divisions of Northwestern’s National High School Institute, which enrolls between 650 to 750 of the nation’s most accomplished high school students each summer, across the six divisions. Established in 1931, NHSMI is the oldest and largest university-based program of its kind in the nation.

The highly selective music division admits about 180 musicians who study, participate in master classes and seminars related to performance, health in the performing arts (how to perform without straining or damaging muscles), audition preparation and applying to top music schools. In addition to performing on the University’s campus, participants also take field trips to premier Chicago music venues.

“Students involved in the NHSMI summer program benefit in multiple ways because they get to interact with the Bienen School of Music faculty in a positive learning environment,” said Farris. “They also get a taste of University life by living on campus for five weeks, and meeting students from around the country and sometimes from around the world.”

Music lovers who attend the admission-free NHSMI summer concerts also reap benefits.

“Audiences have the opportunity to see ‘stars of the future,’ as well as enjoy a variety of music suited to everyone’s tastes,” said Farris. “The concerts range from string faculty recitals to student performances that vary from large wind ensembles, a full orchestra and chorus, to any number of small chamber groups, from duos and trios to quartets and quintets. The solo showcases feature the best talent from each of the eight areas of NHSMI study (composition, strings, piano, jazz studies, winds and percussion, voice, music education and conducting, and guitar).”

The following summer 2009 NHSMI music events will be held on Northwestern’s Evanston campus at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, or Lutkin Hall, 700 University Place, 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.

JUNE 2009

NHSMI Faculty Musicale, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 30, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.

JULY 2009

NHSMI Ravinia Steans Institute Chamber Concert, 7:30 p.m. Monday, July 6, Lutkin Hall. Each summer, the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Institute invites young artists from around the world to study with its stellar faculty. In cooperation with Northwestern’s National High School Music Institute, the Steans Institute brings several of these budding virtuosos to perform at Northwestern.

NHSMI Guitar Recital, 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 10, Lutkin Hall.

NHSMI Choir, Orchestra, and Wind Ensemble 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 11, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Erin Freeman, Philip Peters and Daniel J. Farris, will conduct NHSMI’s choir, orchestra and wind ensemble. Choral works will include Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Six Choruses for Female Voices and Piano,” Igor Stravinsky’s “Ave Maria,” Carlo Gesualdo’s “Moro, lasso, al mio duolo,” Paul Hindemith’s “Puisque tout passe” from “Six Chansons” and Giuseppe Verdi’s “Va Pensiero” from “Nabucco” and “Brindisi” from “La Traviata.” The orchestra will perform Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Overture to Egmont” and Johannes Brahms’ “Finale to Symphony No. 1 in C Minor.” The wind ensemble will perform Kenneth Hesketh’s “Masque” and Howard Hanson’s “Laude.”

NHSMI Solo and Chamber Recital, 3 p.m. Sunday, July 12, Lutkin Hall.

NHSMI String Faculty Recital, 7:30 p.m. Monday, July 13, Lutkin Hall. This event will showcase the string faculty of NHSMI. Musical works will include Dvorak’s String Quintet No. 2 in G Major and other works.

  • Daniel Farris