Orchestras tuning up for busy season
Updated: September 12, 2012 3:26PM
Summer is winding down, but things are just warming up for area orchestras. Here is a look at the upcoming classical music season.
Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra, Alan Heatherington music director, opens its season Sunday, Sept. 23 with Khachaturian’s “Masquerade” Suite; the Brahms Double Concerto with soloists David Taylor, violin, and Richard Hirschl, cello, and Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 8. Season concerts feature Brahms, Sibelius and Shostakovich on Nov. 4; Vaughan Williams, Mahler and Beethoven on Jan. 13; Diamond, Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Schubert/Mahler on March 3; and Corigliano, Sibelius and a concerto played by the winner of the Music Institute of Chicago Concerto and Aria competition on April 28, all at 3 p.m. at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Boulevard Skokie. Visit www.arsviva.org.
Bella Voce, Andrew Lewis, conductor,
presents its opening concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20. Program includes William Byrd’s “Mass for Four Voices,” Frank Ferko’s “Stabat Mater,” commissioned by the organization when it was previously named His Majestie’s Clerkes. Soloist is soprano Patrice Michaels. Season concerts include Handel’s “Messiah” at 7 p.m. Friday Nov. 16; “Holiday Delights” at 4 p.m. Dec. 9, and “The Sweetness of Spring” at 7:30 p.m. April 27, all at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 939 Hinman, Evanston. Visit www.bellavoce.org
Chicago a cappella, artistic director Jonathan Miller, opens its season with “Genius in the Synagogue: A Musical Portrait of Max Janowski,” with songs by the Chicago composer of Jewish music, Saturday, Oct. 20. Upcoming concerts include “Navidad en Mexico” Saturday, Dec. 1; “Spirit/Breath/Voice” Friday, Feb. 15, and The A Cappella American Songbook and
Saturday, April 20, all at 8 p.m. in Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston. Visit www.chicagoacappella.org.
Chicago Chamber Choir, Timm Adams, artistic director, opens its season with “Bewitched: More Music for the Dead of Night,” eerie classical music by Bach, Britten, Verdi and Schubert, followed by creepy theater favorites from “Sweeney Todd,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Ruddigore” and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phanton of the Opera” at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28 at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church, 815 Wilmot Road, Deerfield. Singers will be in ghastly (or glossily) attire and the audience is encouraged to attend in costume. Subsequent programs include “Bach Magnificat: Christmas in Germany” at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16 at Our Lady of the Brook Church, 3700 Dundee Road, Northbrook, and “Burst Out Singing!” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 13 at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 1509 Ridge Ave., Evanston. Visit www.chicagochamberchoir.org.
Chicago Chamber Musicians
opens with “Italian Passion:” Franceschini’s Sonata for two trumpets, strings and continuo, with soloists Barbara Butler and Charles Geyer, plus music by Vivaldi, Respighi and Verdi at 7:30 p.m. Sunday Sept. 30 at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston. Future programs include “Debussy’s France” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday Oct. 13 at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Northwestern campus in Evanston, plus “Austrian Elegance” at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov 11; “Russian Heartbreak” at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2; “Revolutionary Czechoslovakia” at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 17 ; “American Spirit” at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 5, all performed at Nichols. Visit www.chicagochambermusic.org.
Chicago Master Singers, music director Alan Heatherinton, opens its season with choral works by Beethoven and Vaughan Williams, accompanied by the Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra. Soloists are soprano Michelle Areyzaga, mezzo-soprano Sarah Holman, tenor Peder Reiff, and bass-baritone Gerard Sundberg. Two concerts: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11. Christmas concert with Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7 and 7 p.m. Sunday Dec. 9, and “Give me wings of faith” with music by Vaughan Williams, Joseph Jongen, John Rutter, and Kenneth Leighton, with the Ars Viva Brass and organ at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 12, and 7 p.m. Sunday, April 14. All concerts at the Divine Word Chapel, 2001 Waukegan Road, Techny. Visit
Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra, music director Larry Rachleff, opens its season with “Bravo Brazil.” Alex Klein conducts and is soloist in Osvaldo Lacerda’s Oboe Concerto. The program also includes Overture to the opera “Il Guarany” by Antonio Carlos Gomes, Seresta No. 7 by Liduino Pitombeira, and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto with Arnaldo Cohen as soloist, on Sunday, Sept. 30. Additional concerts include music by Beethoven and Mozart conducted by Joel Smirnoff Sunday, Nov. 4; “Nordic Romance” with music by Grieg, Sibelius, and Svendsen, with violinist David Perry as leader on Sunday, April 21, and music by Leonard Bernstein and Schubert, conducted by Larry Rachleff with soprano Susan Lorette Dunn on Sunday, May 24. All concerts at 7 p.m. Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Northwestern campus in Evanston. Visit www.chicagophilmarmonic.org.
Dempster St. Pro Musica, Michael Henoch artistic director, starts its season Sunday, Nov. 4 with “Brahms and Friends” with music by Brahms, Schumann, Herzogenberg and Rontgen, with players from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, including concertmaster Robert Chen, Nov. 4. Additional concerts will be “Northern Lights” with music by Scandinavian composers Sunday, March 3; and “From Russia with Love” Sunday, April 28. All concerts are at 3 p.m. in S.P.A.C.E., 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston. Visit dempstermusica.org.
Evanston Symphony Orchestra, music director
Lawrence Eckerling, begins its season Sunday, Oct. 21, “Viennese Masterworks,” featuring Mozart’s Overture to “The Magic Flute,” Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, with Matthew Hagle soloist, and Brahms’ Symphony No. 2. Concerts continue with “Slavic Favorites” Sunday, March 3; “Music from the English Countryside” Sunday, May 5, and “From the City of Light to Eternal Rome” Sunday, June 16. All concerts at 2:30 p.m. in Pick-Stiager Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Northwestern campus, Evanston. Visit www.evanstonbymphony.org.
Highland Park Strings, Francesco Milioto music director, opens its season with violinists Nikki Chooi and Timothy Chooi, in a program titled “The Fabulous Fiddlers.” Music by Handel, Bach, Haydn, Sarasate and Saint-Saens will be played, as well as Haydn’s Symphony No. 49 at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21 at Highland Park High School, 433 Vine Ave. Subsequent programs featuring pairs of siblings will be “Two Shades of Gray” at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16 at Elm Place School, 2031 Sheridan Road, Highland Park; “Schumann Squared,” a benefit program at 3 p.m. Sunday Feb. 17 in Bennett-Gordon Hall, Ravinia Festival, Highland Park, and “Brahms Doubled” at 3 p.m. Sunday May 19 at Highland Park High School, 433 Vine. Programs are free, except for the benefit Feb. 17. Visit hpstrings.org
Lake Forest Symphony, music director Alan Heatherington, continues its season with “Virtuosic Trumpet” Friday, Oct. 19 and Saturday, Oct. 20; “Sizzling Strings” Friday Jan. 25 and Saturday, Jan. 26; “Stormy Tchaikovsky” Friday, March 15 and Saturday, March 16, and “Mahler and Master Singers” Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18. Concerts are at 8 p.m. in the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts on the College of Lake Countrty, 19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake. Visit lakeforestsymphony.org
Music of the Baroque, music director Jane Glover, opens its season with orchestra and chorus performing Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. Also on the program will be Mozart’s Divertimento in F Major and Symphony No. 38 “Prague.” Additional concerts include “Bravura Bach,” conducted by Nicholas Kraemer, at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18 at First Presbyterian Church, 1427 Chicago Ave., Evanston; “Holiday Brass & Choral Concerts,” conducted by William Jon Gray, at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 and Sunday, Dec. 16, Divine Word Chapel, 2001 Waukegan Road, Techny; “Mozart Celebration,” conducted by Glover, at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27 at the North Shore Center in Skokie; “The Water Music and More,” conducted by Kraemer, with music by Handel and Haydn at 7:30 p.m. Sunday Feb. 24 at the North Shore Center in Skokie; Handel’s “Israel in Egypt” with orchestra and chorus conducted by Glover, at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 7 at the North Shore Center in Skokie, and Bach’s “St. John Passion,” conducted by Glover, at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 19 at First Presbyterian Church in Evanston. Visit baroque.org.
New North Shore Chamber Orchestra
opens its season at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18 at the Unitarian Church, 1330 Ridge, Evanston, with permanent conductor Anatol Lysenka leading an all-Russian program: Glinka’s Overture to “Russian and Ludmilla,” Tchaikovsky’s “Sleeping Beauty Valse,” Tushmalov’s arrangement of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” and Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto by Gallia Kastner as soloist. For additional dates, visit thenewnorthshorechamberorchestra.org
Northbrook Symphony Orchestra,
music director Lawrence Rapchak, holds the first concert of its 33rd season at its first concert, titled “Joie de Vivre,” Sunday Sept. 30. Music by Rameau, Bizet, and Pierne, plus the Saint-Saens Organ Symphony with Patricia Lee as soloist. Subsequent concerts are “Eastern European Folk Fest” Sunday, Nov 4; “From Classical …” Sunday, Feb. 17; “…To Romantic” Sunday, April 7, and “In Mahler’s Shadow” Sunday, May 5. All concerts start at 4 p.m. in the Sheely Center for the Performing Arts, Glenbrook North High School, 2300 Shermer Road, Northbrook.
North Shore Chamber Arts Ensemble, artistic director David Rubens, opens its season with Handel’s Messiah Part One with orchestra, soloists and vocal ensemble Sunday, Dec. 2. Additional programs are “Cookies, Cocoa & Carols” (free) Dec. 9; A Schubert Evening for String Orchestra, Albert Wang violin soloist, Sunday, Feb. 24, and Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” with Albert Wang, violin soloist, Sunday, April 28. All programs are at 4 p.m. at the North Shore United Methodist Church, 213 Hazel Ave., Glencoe. Visit www.chamer-arts-ensemble.org.
Northshore Concert Band,
artistic director Mallory Thompson, gives four seasonal concerts, beginning at Sunday, Nov. 4 with music by
Ryan Nowlin and Robert Spittal, as well as Franz Albert Doppler’s flute concerto “Fantasie pastorale honogroise,” with John Thorne, professor of flute at Northwestern University as soloist, plus Hindemith’s Symphony in B-Flat. Additional concerts will be “Cultural Fusion” Sunday, Feb. 10, and “American Emblems” Sunday, April 21. All three are performed at 3 p.m. at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive on the Northwestern campus in Evanston. The final concert “Crossing Borders” will be held at 3 p.m. June 9 in Evanston Township High School, 1600 Dodge Ave., Evanston. Visit www.northshoreband.org
North Suburban Symphony Orchestra,
conducted by Ron Arden, begins its season with “American Spirit,” a program of jazz and symphonic pops on Sunday, Oct. 7. Future performances are “German Masters” Sunday, Nov. 18, “Russian Treasures” Sunday, March 3 and “Italian Passion” Sunday May 5. All concerts are at 4 p.m. in the Gorton Community Center, 400 E. Illinois Road, Lake Forest. Visit www.lakebluffparks.org
Pilgrim Chamber Players, Carol Honigberg artistic director, opens its 16th season with the Fifth House Ensemble Sunday, October 28.
Music includes Martinu’s Trio for Flute, Cello and Piano; Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Piano,“Blues” movement; Crumb’s “Voice of the Whale” for Flute, Cello and Piano, and Mendelssohn’s Trio No. 1 in D Minor for Piano, Violin & Cello. Season programs continue with “Winter Song” Sunday, Jan. 27; “String Fantasy” Sunday March 17, “Stars of Tomorrow” Sunday, April 21 (a free concert), and “Clarinet Colors” Sunday, May 19. All programs are at 3 p.m. in the Highland Park Community House, 1991 Sheridan Road, Highland Park. Visit www.pilgrimplayers.org
Rembrandt Chamber Players, marking its 23rd season, presents “Jazzy and Mellow Cellos” with Stravinsky’s “Pulcinella Suite,” arranged by Peter LaBella; Eugene Friesen’s “Low Fives for viola and two cellos,” and Schubert’s String Quartet. Sunday, Sept. 30 at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston. This is followed by a holiday program of Bach and Mozart on Sunday Dec. 9 in Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Road, Evanston; a program titled “Lyrical Dvorak” on Sunday, March 10 in Evanston (venue TBA), and “Rhythm and Song” on Sunday May 12 in Nichols Concert Hall, Evanston.
Program times to be announced. Visit www.rembrandtchamberplayers.org.
Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra, Francesco Milioto artistic director, begins is 51st season with Brahms Violin Concerto, with soloist Gallia Kastner, first prize winner of the Young Artist Competition, and Taneyev’s Symphony No. 4 on Sunday, Oct. 28 . Additional concerts include Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite,” Borodin’s “Polovtsian Dances,” and Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2 on Sunday, Dec. 2; “The American Symphonists,” with music by Ives, Elgar and Schuman on Sunday, Feb. 10; a pops concert, titled “Space Cowboys” with music about outer space and the wild West on April 14, plus a benefit presentation of Verdi’s “La Traviata,” on Sunday, May 5. All concerts are at 3 p.m. in the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. Visit www.svso.org