GEORGE CRUMB FESTIVAL To Feature Concerts, Exhibitions, Panels And More
The Music Institute of Chicago celebrates Grammy and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer George Crumb, who recently celebrated his 90th birthday, with a festival of music, discussion, and exhibition January 31 and February 1 at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston.
Both programs feature Music Institute faculty and special guests. A reception of champagne and chocolates takes place during each performance.
The January 31 program includes Sun and Shadow with mezzo soprano Barbara Ann Martin and pianist Marie Alatalo; Makrokosmos I with pianist Marie Alatalo; Makrokosmos IV for four hands with pianists Louise Chan and Susan Tang; and Makrokosmos III with pianists Louise Chan and Fiona Queen and percussionists John Corkill and Joshua Graham.
The February 1 program includes Vox Balaenae (Voice of the Whale) with flutist Melissa Ngan, cellist Herine Coetzee Koschak, and pianist Katherine Petersen, all members of Fifth House Ensemble, performing on a stage filled with blue lighting; Eine Kleine Mitternacht Musik with pianist Katherine Petersen; Makrokosmos II with pianist Jeffrey Jacob; and Night of the Four Moons with mezzo soprano Barbara Ann Martin, flutist Caroline Pittman, percussionist Joshua Graham, and other musicians to be confirmed, conducted by James Setapen.
On February 1 at 5 p.m., a panel discussion on Crumb's life and work-with Crumb himself joining the conversation remotely by video call-will include composer William Neil, Barbara Ann Martin and others to be announced.
A multimedia exhibit, including Crumb's artistic and meticulously notated and autographed scores and a multimedia presentation including photos of the composer and video, will be on display at Nichols Concert Hall throughout the festival. Providing materials are Bridge Records, which is issuing an ongoing series of "Complete Crumb" recordings; Barbara Ann Martin; and others.
Born in 1929, George Crumb is one of the most frequently performed composers in today's musical world. He is the winner of Grammy and Pulitzer Prizes and continues to compose new scores that enrich the lives of all who come in contact with his profoundly humanistic art. Crumb's music often juxtaposes contrasting musical styles, ranging from music of the western art-music tradition, to hymns and folk music, to non-Western music. Many of his works include programmatic, symbolic, mystical, and theatrical elements, which are often reflected in his beautiful and meticulously notated scores. Crumb retired from teaching at the University of Pennsylvania after more than 30 years of service. Honored by numerous institutions with honorary doctorates, and the recipient of dozens of awards and prizes, Crumb makes his home in Pennsylvania, in the same house where he and his wife of more than 60 years raised their three children. His music is published by C.F. Peters and an ongoing series of "Complete Crumb" recordings, supervised by the composer, is being issued on Bridge Records.
The Music Institute's 2019-20 season continues with "From the Heart," a Valentine's Day-themed concert performed by Music Institute faculty February 15; "Piano Giants" featuring the Marcus Roberts Trio March 14; a tribute to Art Blakey March 28; and the Formosa Quartet April 4.
The George Crumb Festival concerts take place Friday, January 31 and
Saturday, February 1 at 7:30 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall,
1490 Chicago Avenue in Evanston.
Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door; a Festival pass for both concerts is $40.
The panel discussion takes place Saturday, February 1 at 5 p.m.
at Nichols Concert Hall;admission is free with a ticket purchase for either concert
or $10 separately. Exhibition hours begin at 6 p.m. each evening.
Tickets are available at musicinst.org/nch or by calling 847.448.8326.
All programming is subject to change. Nichols Concert Hall
Noted architect Solon S. Beman designed the architecturally and acoustically magnificent First Church of Christ, Scientist, located at 1490 Chicago Avenue in Evanston, in 1912.
In 2003, the building was sensitively restored to become Nichols Concert Hall, a state-of-the-art, 550-seat performance space and music education destination, easily accessible to numerous restaurants, on-street and metered parking, and the Davis Street CTA and Metra stations. The converted building, featuring a fully restored, 1914 E. M. Skinner pipe organ, received the Richard H. Driehaus Award for best adaptive use by the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois. Each year Nichols Concert Hall reaches approximately 15,000 people and hosts a world-class chamber music series, workshops and master classes, student recitals, and special events.