Music Institute of Chicago Hosts its Annual Gala Benefit in May

The event is on Monday, May 20 at 5:30 p.m.

By: Feb. 22, 2024
Music Institute of Chicago Hosts its Annual Gala Benefit in May
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Celebrating its decades of dedication to music education and performance, the Music Institute of Chicago will host its Annual Gala Benefit on Monday, May 20 at 5:30 p.m. at The Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, 120 E. Delaware Place, Chicago. Event highlights include the presentation of the prestigious Dushkin Award to Marcus Roberts, the Cultural Visionary Award for Chicago to Fran and John Edwardson, and the Colburn Award for Teaching Excellence to Erica Anderson.
 
Gala leadership includes Honorary Chairs Karen Z. Gray-Krehbiel and John H. Krehbiel, Jr., and Co-Chairs Carlos R. Cardenas, Courtney Holohan and Wesley Mueller, David and Eileen Zampa, and Tao Zhu and Weihua Ye. Key sponsorship support for the 2024 Gala Benefit is provided by Grand Benefactor Alexandra C. Nichols and Benefactors Courtney Holohan, ITW, and Scott and Areta Verschoor and KPMG.

Proceeds from the Annual Gala Benefit support excellence in teaching, upholding a standard and tradition centuries in the making, and provide the single-largest source of funds for financial aid and scholarships, tuition-free community engagement, and neighborhood-based service activities. Each year the Music Institute positively impacts thousands of individuals of all ages and backgrounds from nearly 100 Illinois communities and scores of Chicago neighborhoods.
 
The evening begins with a private cocktail reception, followed by an elegant dinner featuring performances by Dushkin Award honoree Marcus Roberts and Music Institute students and faculty and a ceremony honoring the 2024 award recipients, all celebrating the Music Institute’s vision of cultivating a lifelong relationship with music for everyone.

Established more than 30 years ago and named for the Music Institute’s visionary founders Dorothy and David Dushkin, the Dushkin Award recognizes international luminaries in the world of music for their contributions to the art form as well as to the education of youth. Previous award honorees include Marin Alsop, Hilary Hahn, Zubin Mehta, Wynton Marsalis, Stephen Sondheim, Maestro Riccardo Muti, and Yo-Yo Ma, among others.
 
This year’s Dushkin Award recipient Marcus Roberts is a highly acclaimed modern jazz pianist, composer, and educator who has graced the Music Institute of Chicago’s Nichols Concert Hall stage with the Marcus Roberts Trio for years. He is known for his ability to blend jazz and classical idioms into something wholly new and his unique approach to jazz trio performance, which relies on all musicians sharing equally in shaping the direction of the music by using a system of musical cues and flexible forms to change its tempo, mood, texture, or form. He is the founder of the Modern Jazz Generation, a multi-generational ensemble that is the realization of his long-standing dedication to training and mentoring younger jazz musicians. Roberts is also an accomplished composer who has been commissioned by Chamber Music America, Jazz at Lincoln Center, ASCAP, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the Savannah Music Festival. He is an associate professor of music at the School of Music at Florida State University and holds an honorary doctor of music degree from The Juilliard School.

The Cultural Visionary Award for Chicago recognizes individuals who make an indelible impact on the community through their philanthropic, civic, and cultural leadership. This year’s honorees, Fran and John Edwardson, are longtime supporters of the Music Institute and have made significant contributions in Chicago and internationally. John is a veteran businessman with a successful track record at such industry giants as Northwest Airlines, Ameritech, and United Airlines and as chairman and CEO of CDW Corporation. Fran serves as chief executive officer of the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago, following positions in C-suite leadership at United Airlines, the State of Illinois, and Mayer Brown.

The Music Institute presents the Richard D. Colburn Award for Teaching Excellence to faculty members who exemplify the high standard of excellence set by Richard D. Colburn in his many musical endeavors. This year’s honoree, Erica Anderson, is head of the Music Institute’s Woodwinds, Brass, and Percussion Department and has served on the oboe faculty for nearly 25 years. She has a bachelor of music degree from Eastman School of Music and a master of music degree from DePaul University, both in oboe performance. She is a member of Music Institute ensemble-in-residence Quintet Attacca and the Chicago Philharmonic and has performed with numerous orchestras and ensembles, including The Joffrey Ballet, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Music of the Baroque, and Ravinia Festival Orchestra. She is an adjunct faculty member at Carthage College.




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