Audiences will enjoy eleven debuts in the 2024-25 concert season as Northwestern University’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music resumes its four guest-artist subscription series. 

Grammy Award-winner Michelle Cann and the Jeffrey and Gabriel Kahane Duo join the Skyline Piano Artist Series (Oct. 4, 2024 to May 2, 2025). This year’s lineup features an unprecedented seven performances. 

 The 28th Winter Chamber Music Festival (Jan.10 through 26, 2025) explores past and present chamber music masterpieces over the course of three weekends, with Northwestern debuts by Trio Valtorna, the Vertavo String Quartet and the Viano Quartet. The lineup features a special added performance by Third Coast Percussion with violinist and composer Jessie Montgomery, making their Festival debut. 

The Segovia Classical Guitar Series (Oct. 5, 2024 through May 10, 2025) showcases an array of global sounds from top artists, with series debuts by the Kupinski Duo and Aniello Desiderio. 

Through concerts with commentary, Jeffrey Siegel uncovers the inspiration behind piano masterpieces in a four-part Keyboard Conversations series (Sept. 27, 2024 through May 16, 2025). 

Subscriptions for each of the four series are now on sale and may be purchased online,  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, June 24. 

Subscription series concerts are as follows: 

Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel

Sept. 27, 2024 to May 16, 2025 
Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive 
The four-program series features spirited performances and insightful commentary by Siegel. 

  • The Power and Passion of Beethoven 
    7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, 2024 
    “Für Elise,” the Sonata in F-sharp Major (“For Thérèse”) and Beethoven’s “Appassionata” Sonata open the series’ 2024-25 season.  
  • A Few of Our Favorite Things 
    7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, 2024 
    Siegel uncovers the stories behind beloved music of Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Debussy. 
  • Schubert: The Sorrowful and the Sublime 
    7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, 2025 
    Siegel’s program includes select Schubert Impromptus and the composer’s Sonata in A Major, D. 664.  
  • Humor in Music 
    7:30 p.m. Friday, May 16, 2025 
    The series’ 2024-25 season concludes with witty selections by Haydn, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Chopin and Stravinsky.  

Skyline Piano Artist Series 

Oct. 4, 2024 to May 2, 2025 
Galvin Recital Hall, 70 Arts Circle Drive 
The seven-concert series highlights dynamic artistry against the backdrop of the Chicago skyline, and welcomes a new lineup of artists who are making their series debut in the 2024-25 season. 

  • Jeffrey Kahane 
    7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, 2024 
    Pianist, conductor and scholar Jeffrey Kahane is now in the fifth decade of an expansive and eclectic career that has ranged from concertos with the New York Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphonies, to recitals with Yo-Yo Ma and Joshua Bell, to collaborations with the Emerson, Miró, Dover, Attacca and Calidore String Quartets. A finalist of the 1981 Van Cliburn Competition, Kahane reached new heights in his performing career with his win of the Grand Prize at the Arthur Rubinstein International Competition in 1983. In the 2023-2024 season, he conducted the opening concerts of the San Antonio Philharmonic and appeared with The Knights at Carnegie Hall for a performance of Gabriel Kahane’s “Heirloom” under the direction of Eric Jacobsen.   
  • Clayton Stephenson 
    7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, 2024 
    In addition to being the first Black finalist at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2022, Clayton Stephenson has been named a 2022 Gilmore Young Artist, a 2017 US Presidential Scholar in the Arts and a Young Scholar of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation. Recent highlights of Stephenson’s burgeoning career include appearances with the Calgary Philharmonic, Chicago Sinfonietta and the Fort Worth, Louisville, Lansing and North Carolina Symphony Orchestras. He has been featured on NPR, WUOL and WQXR, and appeared in the “GRAMMY® Salute to Classical Music” Concert at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium.  
  • Jeffrey & Gabriel Kahane Duo 
    7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, 2025 
    Pianist, conductor and scholar Jeffrey Kahane performs with his son Gabriel Kahane, a musician and storyteller whose work increasingly exists at the intersection of art and social practice. As a composer, Gabriel Kahane has been commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Public Theater, which in 2012 presented his musical “February House.” A frequent collaborator across a range of musical communities, Kahane has worked with an array of artists including Paul Simon, Sufjan Stevens, Andrew Bird, Phoebe Bridgers, Caroline Shaw and Chris Thile.  
  • Louis Lortie 
    7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, 2025 
    Louis Lortie appears in the world’s most prestigious concert halls and festivals, including London’s Wigmore Hall, the Philharmonie de Paris, Carnegie Hall, Beethovenfest Bonn and Liszt Festival Raiding. He has established long-term partnerships with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de France and Dresden Philharmonic in Europe, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, San Diego Symphony and St. Louis Symphony in the US. Lortie’s vast recording catalogue includes Liszt’s complete “Années de pèlerinage,” which was named one of the top ten recordings of 2012 by the New Yorker. In 1984, Lortie won First Prize in the Busoni Competition and was a prizewinner at the Leeds Competition. 
  • Tom Borrow 
    7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, 2025 
    Pianist Tom Borrow has performed as soloist with major orchestras worldwide and has won every national piano competition in his native country of Israel, including first prize at the Israeli Radio & Jerusalem Symphony Young Artist Competition in Jerusalem and three first prizes at the "Piano Forever" Competition in Ashdod. He was presented with the prestigious Terence Judd-Hallé Orchestra Award in 2023. Equally in-demand on the chamber music and recital fronts, Borrow has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, London Philharmonic and Santa Cecilia Orchestra. 
  • Christopher Guzman 
    7:30 p.m. Friday, April 4, 2025 
    In addition to being a faculty member in the Bienen School, Christopher Guzman enjoys an international performing career that showcases a broad range of styles from the Baroque era to the avant-garde. Since winning top prizes in the Walter M. Naumburg Competition, the Seoul International Music Competition and the Isang Yun Competition, Guzman has performed across Europe, North and South America and Asia. His CD of music of Paul Reale on the Naxos label, “Chopin’s Ghosts,” was included in Fanfare magazine’s top five releases of 2018. As a chamber musician, Guzman has collaborated with such artists as Ilya Gringolts, Antoine Tamestit, David Fray and Jeremy Denk. 
  • Michelle Cann 
    7:30 p.m. Friday, May 2, 2025 
    Michelle Cann made her debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2021 and has recently performed concertos with the Cleveland Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore and Cincinnati. A leading interpreter of the piano music of Florence Price, Cann performed the New York City premiere of Price’s Piano Concerto in One Movement with The Dream Unfinished Orchestra in July 2016 and the Philadelphia premiere with the Philadelphia Orchestra and music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin in February 2021. Her recording of the concerto with the New York Youth Symphony won a Grammy Award in 2023 for Best Orchestral Performance. Cann was the recipient of the 2022 Sphinx Medal of Excellence, the highest honor bestowed by the Sphinx Organization.  

Segovia Classical Guitar Series

Oct. 5, 2024 to May 10, 2025 
Galvin Recital Hall, 70 Arts Circle Drive 
This five-concert series, named for legendary guitar virtuoso Andrés Segovia, is entering its 31st season. 2024-25 season programming features the return of Paul O’Dette and Marcin Dylla, as well as Meng Su, who makes her solo debut following a 2021-22 appearance with the Beijing Guitar Duo. The Kupinski Duo and Aniello Desiderio will make their series debut.  

  • Paul O’Dette 
    7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, 2024 
    One of the most influential figures in his field, lutenist Paul O’Dette has helped define 21st-century technical and stylistic standards for early music performance. He has appeared at major international festivals in Vienna, Barcelona, Tokyo and Melbourne, and is an active conductor of Baroque operas. O’Dette has made more than 155 recordings, earning extensive acclaim; he is a two-time winner of the Grammy, a twelve-time winner of the Diapason d’Or and a two-time winner of the Echo Klassik award. His program focuses on newly-discovered Italian lute manuscripts. 
  • Kupinski Duo 
    7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov.16, 2024 
    The Kupinski Guitar Duo, comprised of Ewa Jablczynska and Dariusz Kupinski, has been honored multiple times with prestigious awards and scholarships for artistic achievements, playing recitals in Europe, the US, Mexico, China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan. As a part of their passion for education, the Duo has given master classes internationally, and in the 2018-19 season completed an 18-month research and recording project of music by Grawemeyer Award-winning composers. Their latest CD, “Kupinski Guitar Duo Goes Modern,” was released in 2022 with the intention of recording new, unknown and original pieces for guitar duo. 
  • Meng Su 
    7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, 2025 
    Multifaceted guitarist Meng Su is an avid chamber musician who tours regularly in the Beijing Guitar Duo and as a soloist with many orchestras. She has performed in over 30 different countries in venues including the Concertgebouw, Palau de la Música, Tchaikovsky Hall and Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts. Her debut CD with the Beijing Guitar Duo, “Maracaípe,” received a Latin Grammy nomination for the titular piece. Su has won first prize in numerous international competitions around the world, most recently in the prestigious Parkening International Guitar Competition in 2015.  
  • Shin-ichi Fukuda
    7:30 p.m. Friday, March 14
    Shin-ichi Fukuda began playing the classical guitar at the age of eleven under the direction of Tatsuya Saitoh and has since pursued a brilliant career as a leading guitarist. He has performed with orchestras and as a solo recitalist in concert halls around the world, including New York’s Merkin Concert Hall, Tokyo’s Metropolitan Museum, and Athens’s Megaron Concert Hall.  Fukuda’s repertoire spans from the Renaissance to today, and he has premiered many pieces by 21st-century composers, such as Leo Brouwer’s Concerto da Requiem, an homage to Toru Takemitsu that is dedicated to Fukuda. 
  • Aniello Desiderio 
    7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 10, 2025 
    Aniello Desiderio has won 18 first place awards, including top prizes at international guitar competitions in Havana and Madrid and First Prize and Special Prize for the best interpretation of Tárrega’s music at the International Francisco Tárrega Competition in Benicàssim, Spain. He performs regularly as a recitalist in concert halls around the world, including in New York’s Carnegie Hall, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Barcelona’s Palau de La Música and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. A frequent soloist with orchestras, Desiderio has performed with the Oregon Symphony, the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra and Kremerata Baltica with Gidon Kremer, as well as by invitation from the legendary violinist and conductor Salvatore Accardo to the “Settimane di Musica Internazionali” in Naples, Italy.  

Winter Chamber Music Festival

Jan. 10-26, 2025 
Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive 
The annual festival explores centuries of chamber music masterworks over the course of three weekends in January, with Northwestern debuts by Trio Valtorna, the Vertavo String Quartet and the Viano Quartet. A special additional performance features violinist and composer Jessie Montgomery together with Third Coast Percussion.  

  • Quartet-in-Residence, Dover Quartet 
    7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10, 2025 
    Recipient of top prizes at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition, Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition as well as two Grammy Award nominations, the Dover Quartet has become one of the world’s most in-demand chamber ensembles. Highlights of the quartet’s 2023-24 season have included a North American tour with pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, performances with pianist Haochen Zhang and clarinetist David Shifrin and a tour to Europe. 
  • Third Coast Percussion with Jessie Montgomery
    7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, 2025 
    Grammy Award-winning composer and violinist Jessie Montgomery is the recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Leonard Bernstein Award and the Sphinx Medal of Excellence, and her growing body of work is performed by leading musicians and ensembles worldwide. Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2025, Chicago-based quartet and Bienen graduates, Third Coast Percussion—also a Grammy Award winner—has commissioned and premiered new works by composers including Philip Glass, Missy Mazzoli, Danny Elfman, Augusta Read Thomas, Glenn Kotche and David T. Little, among many others. Their program showcases Montgomery’s Percussion Quartet, and Montgomery joins the ensemble for Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Violin with Percussion Orchestra. 
  • Trio Valtorna 
    3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12, 2025 
    Bringing together three internationally recognized artists—violinist Ida Kavafian, horn player David Jolley, and pianist Gilles Vonsattel—the trio has performed for festivals and chamber music series throughout the US.   
  • Vertavo String Quartet 
    7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, 2025 
    Winner of Norway’s Grieg Prize as well as First Prize, the Audience Prize and the Critics’ Prize at the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, the Vertavo String Quartet has toured extensively throughout Europe, the US and Japan. Their recording of Debussy and Grieg quartets received France’s Diapason d’Or. The quartet’s collaborations have included pianists Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Leif Ove Andsnes, clarinetist Sabine Meyer and violinist/violist Isabelle van Keulen. 
  • Viano Quartet 
    3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, 2025 
    First Prize winner at the 2019 Banff International String Quartet Competition, the Viano Quartet is also the recipient of the Grand Prize at the 2019 ENKOR International Music Competition as well as the Haydn Prize and Sidney Griller Award at the 2018 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition. The group’s collaborators have included pianists Marc-André Hamelin and Inon Barnatan, violinist Noah Bendix-Balgley, soprano Hila Plitmann and clarinetist David Shifrin.  
  • Dudok Quartet Amsterdam 
    7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, 2025
    2018 winner of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust award, the Dudok Quartet Amsterdam has also received The Netherlands’ Kersjes Prize and numerous Editors’ Choice awards from Gramophone magazine. The ensemble’s recent projects have included the world premiere of the Kaija Saariaho opera “Only the Sound Remains” with Philippe Jaroussky and the Dutch National Opera, a collaboration with director Rosabel Huguet re-imagining Beethoven’s Op. 132 String Quartet for children and a 2023 album release, “Circus Dinogad,” with contralto Hilary Summers and the theorbo and bass clarinet duo of Mike Fentross and Maarten Ornstein. 
  • Miró Quartet 
    3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, 2025 
    The Winter Chamber Music Festival closes with the Miró Quartet, winner of first prize at the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Naumburg International Chamber Music Competition. Highlights of the quartet’s 2023-24 season have included the performance and recording project “Here on Earth” with pianist Lara Downes and the premiere of a new version of Kevin Puts’s “Credo” with the Naples Philharmonic, as well as performances for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Premiere Performances in Hong Kong. 

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