LSM Newswire

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The First Chicago Early Music Festival

CHICAGO EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL

April 20 – 25, 2010

 
Inaugural six-day celebration of music of the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque eras
at multiple Chicago music venues

The Chicago Early Music Festival debuts as the City’s first festival celebrating music of the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque eras.  The six-day festival, presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Chicago Office of Tourism, represents an unprecedented collaboration amongst the City of Chicago and some of Chicago’s leading ensembles and organizations, including Chicago Opera Theater, University of Chicago Presents, Baroque Band, International Music Foundation, and the Newberry Consort. 

The Chicago Early Music Festival features free and ticketed performances, workshops, and master classes by internationally renowned musicians in venues throughout the city. 

Chicago ensembles have been presenting Early Music for some time, but this exciting new festival takes it to a new level, showcasing our city’s Early Music community and bringing in top international performers,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Lois Weisberg.  “We hope that residents and tourists alike will enjoy this historic and truly wonderful music.”

The Chicago Early Music Festival will present music spanning five centuries- from the 14th until the mid-18th century.  Early Music is a term commonly used to describe Western classical music before the time of Mozart, encompassing Medieval chant, the late Baroque masterworks of Handel and Bach, and everything in between.  Pioneers like Wanda Landowska and Arnold Dolmetsch paved the way for a resurgence of interest in Early Music in the mid-20th century, with the rediscovery of historical instruments and long-lost techniques of playing them.  Now, sixty years later, Early Music has finally entered the musical mainstream, with ensembles all over the world playing and singing this music.

For updates to the schedule and more information, visit www.ChicagoEarlyMusicFest.org or call the hotline at 312.742.1938.

SCHEDULE OF CONCERTS

The English Nightingale: Virtuoso Recorder Music from Renaissance to Romantic
Piers Adams, Recorders; Howard Beach, Harpsichord
Tuesday, April 20, 12:15 pm
Enclosed stage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, Michigan Ave at Washington St
Admission: Free
A self-styled modern Pied Piper, British recorder virtuoso Piers Adams performs music spanning four centuries with duo-partner, harpsichordist Howard Beach.  The incredibly diverse program includes renaissance selections by Bassano and Van Eyck, tracing the development of the sonata through Castello, Corelli, and J.S. Bach before arriving at the 19th century with a set of variations by Ernst Kraehmer.

Being Dufay
Tuesday, April 20, 7:30 pm
Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall, 78 E. Washington St

Admission: Free

The hauntingly beautiful Being Dufay combines early music with some of today’s most cutting-edge digital techniques in a lush, harmonic sound world. Sound artist Ambrose Field realizes his own score, a mesmerizing series of electronic soundscapes, with former Hilliard Ensemble tenor John Potter’s expressive rendition of vocal fragments by 15th century composer Guillaume Dufay. 

Dame Myra Hess Concert: A Musical Voyage: Baroque Music from Italy, Germany & France
Brandi Berry, baroque violin; Anna Steinhoff, baroque cello; Jason Moy, harpsichord
Wednesday, April 21, 12:15 pm

Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall, 78 E. Washington St

Admission: Free
Embark on a journey through 18th century Italy, Germany, and France with violinist Brandi Berry, cellist Anna Steinhoff, and harpsichordist Jason Moy, in this program of violin sonatas by Arcangelo Corelli and J.S. Bach, and an exquisite but rarely-heard chaconne of Jacques Morel.  Dame Myra Hess Concerts are a celebrated series of weekly concerts featuring solo and ensemble classical music performed by young musicians. Produced by the International Music Foundation and supported by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the concerts are broadcast live on WFMT (98.7 FM). 

Baroque Band: Vivaldi’s L’Estro Armonico
Wednesday, April 21, 7:30 pm
St. James Cathedral, 65 E. Huron St
Admission: $35; seniors $30; students $15 at 312.235.2368
Chicago’s period instrument orchestra, Baroque Band, presents Vivaldi’s L’Estro Armonico (The Harmonic Inspiration) in the exquisite sanctuary of St. James Cathedral.  Violinist Garry Clarke leads the ensemble in scintillating performances of eight concerti from Vivaldi’s popular and influential collection that features solo cello, and at times, up to four solo violins. 

Ensemble Lipzodes: Shakespeare & the Bassano Family
Thursday, April 22, 12:15 pm
Enclosed stage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, Michigan Ave at Washington St
Admission: Free
Ensemble Lipzodes presents a program inspired by the relationship between Shakespeare and the Bassano family, and their trip to Venice together at the end of 1593.  Famous as performers and instrument makers for the royal courts and churches of English and Italy, the Bassanos are thought to have invented the dulcian family of instruments featured in this concert. The program includes sonnets about the Emilia Bassano, the “Dark Lady”, and quotations from The Merchant of Venice inspired by the Bassano family.

Mitzi Meyerson, harpsichord
Thursday, April 22, 7:30 pm
Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall, 78 E. Washington St
Admission: Free
Harpsichordist and fortepianist Mitzi Meyerson returns to her native Chicago to present a recital of solo harpsichord music.  Meyerson is one of the world’s most highly regarded early keyboard specialists, with over 50 internationally-acclaimed recordings; a busy teaching schedule at the esteemed Universität der Künste in Berlin, where she is Professor of Harpsichord; and numerous concert engagements both as a solo artist and with her ensemble, The Bottom Line, which is dedicated to the performance of repertoire for bass and continuo instruments. 

Baroque Dance Performance: Paige Whitley-Bauguess with the Bach and Beethoven Ensemble
Friday, April 23, 12:15 pm
Enclosed stage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, Michigan Ave at Washington St
Admission: Free
Baroque dancer Paige Whitley-Bauguess interprets, recreates, and performs baroque theatre dance in venues all over the world.  She is accompanied in this performance by the Bach and Beethoven Ensemble, one of Chicago’s newest, rising-star period instrument ensembles founded by violinist Brandi Berry and oboist Curtis Foster.

Liber Ensemble: Crowned with Laurels presented by University of Chicago Presents
Friday, April 23, 7:30 pm
Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 5850 S. Woodlawn Ave
Admission: $32; $5 students with valid ID at 773.702.8068
Founded in 1996, vocal ensemble Liber (formerly Liber unUsualis) has soared to prominence for its warm, compelling, and assured performances of medieval and early-renaissance music. The ensemble's mastery of medieval vocal technique and inventive programming have drawn enthusiastic audiences throughout the United States and Europe. This 4-voice program explores the extraordinary repertoire of 14th century Italy and France in settings of poetry by Petrarch, Sacchetti, Boccaccio, and others.

Fair Orianna: Early Movie with Early Music presented by The Newberry Consort
Saturday, April 24, 12 pm
Fullerton Hall at the Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave
Admission: $25 at 312.255.3610
Sarah Bernhardt’s 1912 silent movie, Elizabeth I, is accompanied by music performed by The Newberry Consort, one of the Chicago area’s longest running and most successful early music ensembles.  Soprano Ellen Hargis joins the ensemble of viols and violin in an original soundtrack of Elizabethan music compiled by the Consort’s director, David Douglass.

Overtures
Saturday, April 24, 12:15 pm
Enclosed stage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, Michigan Ave at Washington St

Admission: Free

A concert showcasing the next generation of early music stars including performers from Northwestern University, DePaul University, Midwest Young Artists, and the Music Institute of Chicago.

Chicago Opera Theater: Giasone
Saturday, April 24, 7:30 pm
Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph St
Admission: $30 - $120 at 312.704.8414
Francesco Cavalli’s at-times bawdy adaptation of the myth of Jason and his Argonauts made Giasone one of the 17th century’s most popular operas.  Led by critically acclaimed early music conductor and harpsichordist Christian Curnyn and the gifted young Australian director Justin Way, this production marks the premiere performance of Giasone by a professional opera company in Chicago.  Giasone kicks off Chicago Opera Theater’s trilogy of Baroque operas exploring the tragic character of Jason’s wife, Medea, in its next three seasons

Sunday Salon Series: Fêtes Galantes
Trio Settecento
Sunday, April 25, 3 pm
Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall, 78 E. Washington St

Admission: Free

Period instrument ensemble Trio Settecento combines the virtuosic talents of  Rachel Barton Pine (violin), John Mark Rozendaal (viola da gamba/‘cello), and David Schrader (harpsichord/organ)in "... some of the most refreshing, life-enhancing Baroque playing heard in years" (Chicago Tribune).  Their French Baroque program includes festive music by Marais and Forqueray, virtuoso sonatas of Leclair and Rebel, one of Rameau’s Pieces de Clavecin en Concert, and a suite from Francois Couperin’s Concert Royaux.

By a Celestial Fountain: Music of William Byrd presented by The Newberry Consort
Sunday, April 25, 7 pm
The Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago, 126 E. Chestnut St
Admission: $25; students $5 at 312.255.3610
Presented by the Newberry Consort
The Newberry Consort’s viols and singers are joined by keyboardist David Schrader in music by the foremost Elizabethan composer, William Byrd. This concert honors the late musicologist, Howard Mayer Brown, whose scores and instruments were bequeathed to the Newberry Library, and includes his favorite works performed on instruments from his collection.

 

SCHEDULE OF WORKSHOPS & LECTURES

In addition to the events listed below, several of the concerts will be accompanied by a pre-concert lecture.  Visit www.chicagoearlymusicfest.org for more information.

Ensemble Lipzodes: Performing Medieval Song
Thursday, April 22, 2:30 – 5 pm
Enclosed stage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, Michigan Ave at Washington St
Admission: Free, reservations required to participate in class 312.742.TIXS (8497)
The musicians of Ensemble Lipzodes present a workshop on the performance of vocal repertoire from the Middle Ages.  All are welcome, and no prior experience is necessary!

Paige Whitley-Bauguess: Early Dance Class
Friday, April 23, 2 – 4:15 pm
Enclosed stage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, Michigan Ave at Washington St
Admission: Free, reservations required to participate in class 312.742.TIXS (8497)
Come experience the intricacies of this popular 17th and 18th century art form in a class given by Baroque dance specialist Paige Whitley-Bauguess.  The musicians of the Bach and Beethoven Ensemble provide the musical accompaniment.  All are welcome, and no prior experience is necessary!

Performance Practice Panel
Presented by Chicago Opera Theater
Thursday, April 22, 1:15 – 2:15pm
Enclosed stage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, Michigan Ave at Washington St
Admission: Free
An esteemed panel including Giasone conductor Christian Curnyn, University of Chicago Professor Robert Kendrick, Chicago Opera Theater stage director Andrew Eggert, and Baroque violinist Nadja Zwiener discuss early music performance practice.    

 

SCHEDULE OF MASTER CLASSES

 

To participate in any of the master classes, check the festival’s website at www.chicagoearlymusicfest.org for application information.  All are welcome to listen and enjoy the music.

Piers Adams, recorder

Tuesday, April 20, 2 – 4:30 pm
Enclosed stage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, Michigan Ave at Washington St

Admission: Free

Come hear some talented, up-and-coming recorder players!  British recorder virtuoso Piers Adams gives a free master class at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. 
This event is supported in part by the American Recorder Society, Chicago Chapter.

Mitzi Meyerson, harpsichord
Wednesday, April 21, 2 – 3:30pm
Enclosed stage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, Michigan Ave at Washington St
Admission: Free
Harpsichordist Mitzi Meyerson, a Chicago native, is a world-renowned early keyboard specialist based in Germany, where she is Professor of Harpsichord and Fortepiano at the Universität der Künste in Berlin. 

Nadja Zwiener, violin
Presented by Chicago Opera Theater
Wednesday, April 21, 3:30 – 5 pm
Enclosed stage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, Michigan Ave at Washington St
Admission: Free
German-born violinist Nadja Zwiener is a frequent soloist and concertmaster with some of the leading orchestras and period instrument ensembles in Europe, like the English Concert, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Les Arts Florissants and others.

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