Six Northwestern University debuts are in store for the 2023-24 season as the Bienen School of Music resumes its four guest artist subscription series showcasing a diverse lineup of talent from around the world.

Entering its seventh season, the Skyline Piano Artist Series (Nov. 3, 2023, to April 28, 2024) highlights pianistic virtuosity across five performances and champions a full roster of women artists, including winner of the 2023 Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance  Maria João Pires.

The 27th Winter Chamber Music Festival (Jan. 5 to 21, 2024) takes audiences on a journey through past and present chamber music masterpieces and features the debuts of the Balourdet and Viano Quartets.

The Segovia Classical Guitar Series (Oct. 21, 2023 to May 4, 2024) features an array of global sounds from top musicians, including Raphaella Smits, Nigel North, David Russell, Álvaro Pierri and An Tran.

Through his concerts with commentary, Jeffrey Siegel uncovers the inspiration behind piano masterpieces in a four-part Keyboard Conversations series (Sept. 29, 2023 to May 10, 2024).

Subscriptions for each of the four series are now on sale and may be purchased online at, by phone at 847-467-4000 or in person at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive in Evanston, during ticket office hours. Single tickets will be available Monday, August Aug. 14.

Ticket office hours through Sept. 15 are Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Beginning Sept. 18, ticket office hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Subscription series concerts are as follows:

Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel

Sept. 29, 2023, to May 10, 2024
Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston

The four-program series, entering its 54th season on Chicago’s North Shore, features spirited performances and insightful commentary by Siegel.

Mozart and Friends
7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29, 2023

Beethoven’s humorous Variations on “God Save the King,” Mozart’s Variations on “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” Haydn’s “Gypsy Rondo,” and a delightful Rondo by Mozart’s star pupil, Johann Nepomuk Hummel round out this program of works by Mozart’s contemporaries.

Chopin and Liszt
7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, 2023

Siegel showcases nocturnes, polonaises and Hungarian rhapsodies by the two Romantic era composers Frédéric Chopin and Franz Liszt.

A French Musical Feast
7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, 2024

This tasting menu of masterpieces by French composers includes Debussy’s ever-popular “Clair de lune,” Ravel’s enchanting Sonatine and Saint-Saëns’s devilish “Danse macabre.”

Three Great Beloved Romantics
7:30 p.m. Friday, May 10, 2024

Siegel closes the 54th season of Keyboard Conversations with music of Tchaikovsky, Brahms and Grieg.

Skyline Piano Artist Series

Nov. 3, 2023, to April 28, 2024
Galvin Recital Hall, 70 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston

The five-concert series highlights dynamic artistry against the backdrop of the Chicago skyline. Four accomplished pianists make their Northwestern debuts this season: Yulianna Avdeeva, Anna Geniushene, Beatrice Rana and Maria João Pires. Gabriela Montero returns for her first Skyline Piano Artist Series performance, following an October 2012 appearance at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.

Yulianna Avdeeva
7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, 2023

Yulianna Avdeeva gained worldwide recognition at the 2010 Chopin Competition, receiving first prize and garnering praise from judges and press alike. A favorite artist in Europe with recurring concert engagements at Poland’s Warsaw Philharmonic, Prague’s Rudolfinum, Berlin’s Pierre Boulez Saal and the Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Avdeeva has also given concerts for Ukrainian relief, including one together with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter at the Lucerne Chamber Music Festival. Among her extensive orchestral collaborators are the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic. Recent seasons have seen Avdeeva in recital at the Salzburg Festival, Palau de la Música Catalana, International Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival and the Shostakovich Festival in Saxony. 

Anna Geniushene
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024

Silver medalist of the 2022 Van Cliburn Competition, Anna Geniushene has developed a versatile career as an artist, performing in major venues such as the National Concert Hall in Dublin, Tel Aviv Museum of Arts in Tel Aviv and the Grandeat Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. She has appeared with famed conductors including Marin Alsop, Gintaras Rinkevičius and Valentin Uryupin, and collaborates with her husband, pianist Lukas Geniušas and Quartetto di Cremona. A laureate of major international piano contests, she previously had strong finishes at the Leeds (laureate and finalist), Tchaikovsky (semifinalist) and Busoni (third prize) International Competitions.

Beatrice Rana
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024

Beatrice Rana attracted international attention in 2011, when she won first prize and all special prizes at the Montreal International Competition at age 18. Rana performs at the world’s most esteemed concert halls and festivals including Vienna’s Konzerthaus and Musikverein, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and New York’s Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. She collaborates with such conductors as Paavo Järvi, Leonard Slatkin and Zubin Mehta. In 2015, Rana’s first album with Antonio Pappano and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia di Romain Rome, featuring piano concertos of Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky, received international acclaim, including the prestigious Gramophone Editor’s Choice and BBC Music Magazine’s Newcomer of the Year Award. In June 2013, Rana won the silver medal and the audience award at the Van Cliburn Competition. 

Maria João Pires
7:30 p.m. Friday, April 12, 2024

Winner of the Bienen School’s 2023 Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance, Maria João Pires has toured or performed with many of the world’s greatest orchestras, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, London Philharmonic and Orchestre de Paris, among others. She is a four-time recipient of the Grand Prix du Disque, and her extensive discography includes recordings for Deutsche Grammophon and Erato Records. A devoted teacher, Pires created the Belgais Centre for the Study of the Arts in Portugal and initiated two complementary projects in Belgium: the Partitura Choirs and workshops and the Hesperos Choir, which aim to create an altruistic dynamic between artists of different generations. Pires is the recipient of the Don Juan de Borbón da Música Prize and the Eduardo Lourenço Prize for her contribution to the diffusion of musical culture.

Gabriela Montero
7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 28, 2024

Celebrated for her exceptional musicality and ability to improvise, Gabriela Montero has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Vienna Radio Symphony and Belgian National orchestras. A graduate and Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in London, Montero is a frequent recitalist and chamber musician, having given concerts at such distinguished venues as London’s Wigmore Hall and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. Montero’s 2008 album “Baroque” received a Grammy nomination, and her recording of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and her first orchestra composition, “Ex Patria,” won her a Latin Grammy Award for Best Classical Album. Montero is a committed advocate for human rights and was named an Honorary Consul by Amnesty International in 2015. She was also awarded the 2012 Rockefeller Award for her contribution to the arts and was a featured performer at Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential Inauguration.

Segovia Classical Guitar Series

Oct. 21, 2023, to May 4, 2024
Galvin Recital Hall, 70 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston

This five-concert series, named for legendary guitar virtuoso Andrés Segovia, is entering its 30th season. Its 2023-24 programming features Raphaella Smits, Nigel North, David Russell, Álvaro Pierri and An Tran.

Raphaella Smits
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023

Raphaella Smits plays worldwide on eight-string guitars and historical instruments, and her performances have met with enthusiastic audiences and press. In addition to her live performances, Smits has made 21 recordings and is internationally praised as an inspiring teacher for both guitar and chamber music, serving on the juries of many international music competitions. In 1986, Smits was the first woman to win the first prize of the Certamen Internacional de Guitarra Francisco Tárrega, the famous international guitar competition in Benicàssim, Spain, earning praise from chairmen Andrés Segovia and Narciso Yepes. She holds a chair at the Lemmens Institute in Belgium and regularly gives master classes across Europe, the Americas and Japan.

Nigel North
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024

Nigel North is a self-taught lutenist who has developed a unique career as a teacher, accompanist, soloist, director and writer. He has performed internationally as a solo recitalist at venues including London’s Wigmore Hall, the Vienna’s Konzerthaus and the São Paulo International Guitar Festival, as well as with the award-winning ensemble Romanesca, which he co-founded. An avid teacher, North has held professorships at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Universität Berlin’s Hochschule der Künste Berlin, The Hague’s Royal Conservatory and Indiana University’s Early Music Institute. His recordings of Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber’s sonatas won Gramophone Classical Music and Edison Awards. North’s extensive list of collaborators includes the Academy of Ancient Music, the Brandenburg Consort, the Purcell Quartet and the Hilliard Ensemble.

David Russell
7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 2, 2024

Classical guitarist David Russell is world-renowned for his superb musicianship and inspired artistry, having earned the highest praise from audiences and critics alike. He received a Grammy Award for his CD “Aire Latino” and in 2018 was inducted into the Guitar Foundation of America Hall of Fame. In recognition of his great talent and his international career, he was named a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in London in 1997 and was given the Medal of Honor of the Conservatory of the Balearic Islands in November 2003. He is also an honorary member of "Amigos de la Guitarra," the oldest guitar society in Spain. Russell appears regularly at prestigious halls in cities including New York, London, Tokyo, Madrid, Toronto and Rome. In addition to his renown as a live performer, Russell is a prolific recording artist whose collection includes seventeen 17 CDs with the Telarc International label. 

Álvaro Pierri
7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 13, 2024

A two-time recipient of the Canadian Félix Award for Classical Album of the Year, Álvaro Pierri was awarded first prize in the International Guitar Competition in Buenos Aires, Argentina and the International Guitar Competition in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and received the gold medal in the 18th International Music Competition in Paris. He has shared the stage with Charles Dutoit and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Astor Piazzolla and the WDR Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra Köln with Pinchas Steinberg, the Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra with Wojciech Rajski and the London Chamber Orchestra, among many others. Pierri gives master classes at major music festivals and venues internationally, including the Manhattan School of Music, Sevilla and Elche in Spain and the International Summer Academy of the Mozarteum Salzburg.

An Tran
7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4, 2024

An Tran continues to impress audiences with innate musicality and dynamic artistry. In recent seasons, Tran has been invited to perform recitals at international concert stages including the Guitar Society of Toronto’s International Performing Artist Series, Saigon International Guitar Festival and the Knoxville Classical Guitar Society. Tran’s debut album, “Stay, My Beloved,” was included in the Chicago Tribune’s "Recordings of the Year" for 2020. He has won over a dozen international guitar competitions and music awards, including top prizes from the Berlin International Guitar Competition and Festival, New Orleans International Guitar Competition Festival and the Society of American Musicians guitar competition. Tran recently completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Northwestern University as a Dorothy and Carl Johnson endowed scholar and student of Anne Waller.

Winter Chamber Music Festival

Jan. 5 to 21, 2024
Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston

The annual festival explores centuries of chamber music masterworks over the course of six performances during the month of January.

Balourdet Quartet
7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 5, 2024

Gold medalist of both the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the Annual Competition for Chamber Music  in Yellow Springs Competition, the Balourdet Quartet has performed internationally at festivals and series including the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts and Santa Fe Pro Musica. The quartet received the Grand Prize at the 2021 Concert Artists Guild’s Victor Elmaleh Competition, as well as prizes in the Banff, Paolo Borciani and Carl Nielsen competitions.

Ariel Quartet with pianist Orion Weiss
3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024

The Ariel Quartet has garnered critical praise worldwide for more than 20 years, winning numerous international prizes including First Prize at the Franz Schubert and Modern Music Competition in Austria, Grand Prize at the 2006 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the Székely Prize at the Banff International String Quartet Competition. Pianist Orion Weiss, who joins the Ariel, has performed with orchestras including the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony and New York Philharmonic. Weiss’s impressive list of awards includes the Classical Recording Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year, the Gilmore Young Artist Award and an Avery Fisher Career Grant.

Quartet-in-Residence, Dover Quartet
7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 12, 2024

Named one of the greatest string quartets of the last century by BBC Music Magazine, the Grammy-nominated Dover Quartet has rapidly become one of the world’s most in-demand chamber ensembles. The group’s many awards include a sweep of all the top prizes at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition, grand and first prizes at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and prizes at the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition. Their 2022-23 season includes collaborations with Edgar Meyer, Joseph Conyers and Haochen Zhang, as well as two tours of Europe. The quartet recently premiered Steven Mackey’s theatrical-musical work “Memoir” together with arx duo and actor-narrator Natalie Christa.

Viano Quartet
3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024

Since winning first prize at the 2019 Banff International String Quartet Competition, the Viano Quartet has captivated audiences across the globe, with stops including  New York, London, Berlin, Vancouver, Paris, Beijing and Lucerne. In their formative years the quartet swept top prizes at major competitions, including Grand Prize at the 2019 ENKOR International Music Competition, second prize at the 2019 Chamber Music in Yellow Springs Competition and the Silver Medal at the 2018 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. The Quartet has collaborated with pianists Emanuel Ax, Marc-André Hamelin, Inon Barnatan and Elisso Virsaladze, violists Paul Coletti and Paul Neubauer, vocalist Hila Plitmann and clarinetist David Shifrin.

Parker Quartet
7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, 2024

The Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet has rapidly distinguished itself as one of the preeminent ensembles of its generation, making recent appearances at Wigmore Hall, Konzerthaus Berlin and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. The quartet is committed to working with composers of today, with recent commissions including works by Augusta Read Thomas, Felipe Lara, Jaehyuck Choi and Zosha di Castri. This season the quartet marks their 20th anniversary with The Beethoven Project, a multi-faceted initiative which includes performances of the complete cycle of Beethoven’s string quartets; the commissioning of six composers to write encores inspired by Beethoven’s quartets; the creation of a new video library spotlighting each Beethoven quartet; and bringing Beethoven’s music to non-traditional venues around the quartet’s home base of Boston. The Parker Quartet’s numerous honors include winning the Concert Artists Guild Competition, the Grand Prix and Mozart Prize at France’s Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition and Chamber Music America’s prestigious biennial Cleveland Quartet Award.

Gryphon Trio
3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024

The Gryphon Trio is firmly established as one of the world’s preeminent piano trios, regularly touring throughout North America and Europe and enjoying longstanding relationships with the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Ottawa Chamberfest and Festival del Lago International Academy of Music in Ajijic, Mexico. The trio often performs triple concerti with the world’s major symphony orchestras and smaller chamber orchestras, and their prolific recording catalogue includes 22 releases on the Analekta, Naxos and other labels. Honors include 11 nominations and three Juno Awards for Classical Album of the Year. The Gryphons are ensemble-in-residence at the Isabel Bader Centre for Performing Arts in Kingston, Ontario, and artists-in-residence at Trinity College, University of Toronto. Since 2010, the trio’s ground-breaking outreach program, Listen Up!, has inspired 16 Canadian communities to collaborate on large-scale multifaceted arts creation projects.

  • Skyline Piano Artist Series
  • winter chamber music festival
  • Segovia Classical Guitar Series
  • Keyboard Conversations