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Music Of The Baroque Announces 2021-22 Season

Subscriptions for the 2021-22 concert season are on sale now!

Music of the Baroque today announced plans for the 2021-22 season, the ensemble's 51st. Several of the featured programs were originally intended to be part of the group's 50th anniversary celebration, altered as a result of the pandemic. Music Director Dame Jane Glover directs two major choral works: Bach's Easter Oratorio in April and Haydn's Creation Mass in May. Principal Guest Conductor Nicholas Kraemer takes the podium in November for Thanksgiving performances of Handel's Messiah, the first by the group in over a decade and the Music of the Baroque Chorus's first regular season appearance since December 2019. Andrew Megill, conductor of the Montreal Symphony Chorus and the Carmel Bach Festival Chorale, will lead the annual Holiday Brass & Choral Concerts in December.

Orchestral programs include Handel's Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks in September under the direction of Dame Jane Glover. Glover will also lead Chicago native and New York Philharmonic principal clarinet Anthony McGill in February performances of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto.

Joining Music of the Baroque as guest conductor for the first time is renowned early music specialist John Butt, founder and director of Scotland's Dunedin Consort. Butt leads the orchestra in October performances of Vivaldi & Friends, featuring concertos by Vivaldi plus composers he inspired-and who inspired him, too.

Music of the Baroque will also present its second Baroque in the Park, an open-air performance on the stage of the Pritzker Pavilion on September 10 in association with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, featuring highlights of the upcoming season plus other Baroque works. The performance will feature the Strong Voices Choir, singers who participate in the ensemble's arts education program in Chicago public high schools, in the opening movement of Vivaldi's Gloria and the "Hallelujah" chorus from Messiah. The program also features the MOB debut of the exciting young Chicago cellist Ifetayo Ali- Landing, who will perform the final movement of Haydn's Cello Concerto No. 1.

Another highlight of the 51st season is Music of the Baroque's first commission: Spectacle of Light by internationally acclaimed composer Stacy Garrop, Chicago Opera Theater's first Emerging Opera Composer and recent composer-in-residence with the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra. Music of the Baroque will give the world premiere of Garrop's new work at Baroque in the Park in September and reprise the composition as part of the opening season concert, Baroque Fireworks, a week later.

Dame Jane Glover, the ensemble's music director, commented, "It was a joy to return our orchestra to the stage in January and we are determined to see the return of our wonderful chorus for A Thanksgiving Messiah in November-what could be more appropriate? Our four main 'pillars' of our repertoire, Bach, Handel, Haydn, and Mozart, are all strongly sustaining us as always. And we have a few surprises: a symphony by Michael Haydn, for instance, in companion with a Mass by his better-known brother, Joseph. And our big excitement is the new work which we commissioned from Stacy Garrop, Spectacle of Light, which we are at last able to bring into the world."

Executive Director Declan McGovern added, "We are in the business of giving live concerts, and while we were thrilled to be able to offer our audience a virtual season for our 50th anniversary, this new season restores two important elements: our magnificent chorus and our audience. Concerts just aren't the same when there is no audience in the hall-this is such a vital part of the chemistry that makes every live concert special. The return of our chorus also marks an important step as we get back to normal and see the restoration of the full Music of the Baroque ensemble."

The 2021-22 season will open in September and run through mid-May. Seven of the programs will be performed twice-at both the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in downtown Chicago and the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie.

Performances of the annual Holiday Brass & Choral Concert include two new venues: Saints Faith, Hope, & Charity Church in Winnetka, and Alice Millar Chapel in Evanston.

The season opens with Baroque in the Park and Baroque Fireworks; guest conductor John Butt leads the ensemble in October

Music of the Baroque's 2021-22 concert season opens on Friday, September 10, with Baroque in the Park, featuring 51st season highlights plus the world premiere of Stacy Garrop's Spectacle of Light on the stage of the Pritzker Pavilion under the direction of Dame Jane Glover. On September 19 and 20, Glover returns to the Music of the Baroque stage to lead the Music of the Baroque Orchestra in Baroque Fireworks, featuring a reprise of Garrop's work as well as Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks and Water Music Suite No. 2. Performances take place Sunday afternoon, September 19, at the North Shore Center, and Monday evening, September 20, at the Harris Theater.

In October, early music specialist John Butt, renowned founder and music director of Scotland's Dunedin Consort, leads an orchestral program dedicated to one of the Baroque era's most innovative figures: Antonio Vivaldi. In addition to one of Vivaldi's bassoon concertos and Concerto for 3 Violins, Butt explores the music of the composers Vivaldi influenced and who influenced him, including J. S. Bach and Arcangelo Corelli. Vivaldi & Friends, which showcases Music of the Baroque ensemble members as soloists, takes place Sunday evening, October 17, at the North Shore Center, and Monday evening, October 18, at the Harris Theater.

The holiday season begins with Thanksgiving performances of Handel's Messiah and Holiday Brass and Choral Concerts in December

Music of the Baroque's interpretations of the great Handel oratorios have been celebrated since the organization's inception in 1972. In November, Principal Guest Conductor Nicholas Kraemer makes his first of two season appearances-and the Music of the Baroque Chorus makes its first regular season appearance since December 2019-in the most iconic of them all: Messiah. Kraemer leads the chorus, orchestra, and soloists Sherezade Panthaki, Allyson McHardy, Richard Croft, and Matthew Brook on Sunday evening, November 28, at the North Shore Center, and Monday evening, November 29, at the Harris Theater.

Four performances of Music of the Baroque's traditional Holiday Brass and Choral Concerts follow in mid-December. After preparing the chorus during the 2019-20 season, Andrew Megill makes his Music of the Baroque conducting debut in this beloved holiday experience, which will be performed this year for the first time in two new spaces: Saints Faith, Hope, & Charity Church in Winnetka, and Alice Millar Chapel in Evanston. Concerts take place Thursday evening, December 16, at Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest; Friday evening, December 17, at St. Michael's Church in Chicago; Saturday afternoon, December 18, at Saints Faith, Hope, & Charity Church in Winnetka, and Sunday afternoon, December 19, at Alice Millar Chapel in Evanston.

The New Year begins with internationally renowned clarinetist Anthony McGill, continues with the Music of the Baroque debut of soprano Amanda Forsythe

Music of the Baroque's 2021-22 concert season continues as Mozart authority Jane Glover teams up with Chicago native and New York Philharmonic principal clarinet

Anthony McGill in February for McGill Plays Mozart, featuring Mozart's gorgeous Clarinet Concerto. The Music of the Baroque Orchestra will also perform Mozart's Symphony No. 40 in G Minor and Overture to Lucio Silla. Concerts are Sunday evening, February 27, at the North Shore Center, and Monday evening, February 28, at the Harris Theater. Nicholas Kraemer returns in March for Classical Heroines, a fascinating program exploring the tension between 18th-century operatic heroines' traditional roles as wives, girlfriends, and lovers and the undeniable sheer power of the female voice. Baroque specialist Amanda Forsythe sings Cleopatra's aria "Da tempeste" from Handel's Giulio Cesare, Haydn's Scena di Berenice, Dido's famous lament from Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, and more. Performances take place Sunday evening, March 20, at the North Shore Center, and Monday evening, March 21, at the Harris Theater.

Bach's Easter Oratorio in April, followed by Haydn's Creation Mass in May

In April, Dame Jane Glover leads the Music of the Baroque Chorus, Orchestra, and four world-renowned soloists-Yulia Van Doren, Elizabeth DeShong, James Gilchrist, and Michael Sumuel-in Bach's imaginative Easter Oratorio, a journey from a cavern's darkness into the light of heaven. Gilchrist takes a solo turn in Bach's only surviving cantata for tenor, "I, wretched man." The thrilling Sinfonia in D Major-possibly a fragment of a now-missing violin concerto-and the affecting motet "Komm, Jesu, komm" complete this all-Bach spring extravaganza. Concerts take place Sunday evening, April 10, at the North Shore Center, and Monday evening, April 11, at the Harris Theater.

The 2021-22 concert season closes with Music Director Dame Jane Glover on the podium for The Brothers Haydn. Glover leads a celebration of Joseph and Michael Haydn's unique artistry, including Michael Haydn's Symphony No. 26 (until 1907, believed to be by Mozart) and Joseph Haydn's The Creation Mass. The vocal soloists are soprano Heidi Stober, mezzo-soprano Meg Bragle, tenor Michael St. Peter, and baritone Tyler Duncan. Performances take place Sunday evening, May 8, at the North Shore Center, and Monday evening, May 9, at the Harris Theater.

Subscriptions for the 2021-22 concert season are on sale now at the Music of the Baroque box office, (312) 551-1414 and baroque.org. Single tickets will go on sale in late August. Complete season details are available on baroque.org


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