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Department of Music Announces a Slate of Acclaimed Academics and Performers This Spring

Daniel Collins

University Chamber Orchestra rehearses before a concert. Photo: Daniel Collins

CHICAGO, Hyde Park—The University of Chicago Department of Music announces its events calendar for the 2009 spring quarter. Among the highlights are a highly anticipated University Symphony Orchestra performance with world-renowned bass player Edgar Meyer, the Middle East Music Ensemble’s Tehran: A World of Music, and a Women’s Chorale concert of choral works by American composers. The quarterly performance calendar will also feature the annual Javanese Gamelan concert, the Motet Choir’s concert of Jewish music, Sim Shalom, and the Jazz X-tet’s final 2008/09 offering, Spring Is Here!.  Additionally, both the Noontime Concerts Series and Visiting Committee Colloquium Series have robust schedules of speakers and artists planned.

The Middle East Music Ensemble kicks off the quarter with a musical journey to the capital of Iran with Tehran: A World of Music. The rich musical traditions of this city will be showcased and celebrated at the International House Assembly Hall on Tuesday, April 21 at 6:00 pm.

Guest soloist Edgar Meyer will join the Univeristy Symphony Orchestra for an unforgettable performance of Bottesini’s Concerto No. 2 in B Minor, Meyer’s own Concerto No. 1 in D Major and Johannes Brahms’ Variations on a Theme of Haydn on Saturday, April 25 at 8:00 pm in Mandel Hall. Barbara Schubert, Director of Performance Programs, conducts. Meyer, a household name in classical, blues, and jazz music, will also give a more intimate concert with pianist Amy Dorfman on Friday, April 24 at 7:30 pm. Tickets for the USO concert are $15/$5 students, and tickets for the Meyer/Dorfman concert are $32/$5 students. Tickets for both events are available by calling The University of Chicago Presents at 773.702.8068.

The Central Javanese Gamelan Ensemble and Friends will present their annual hammered orchestra performance on Sunday, April 26 at 6:00 pm at Hyde Park Union Church. Guest artist Joko Sutrisno joins the ensemble again this year for the premiere performance of Purwa-Pada, composed by the ensemble’s own Morgan Wirthlin.  Admission is free, with a suggested donation of $10/$5 students.

The New Music Ensemble will give its final performance of the year on Sunday, May 3 at 8:00 pm in Fulton Recital Hall. The program will feature chamber pieces by György Kurtag, Kaija Saariaho, Giacinto Scelsi, and Toru Takemitsu, plus works by graduate student composers. Admission is free.

Beginning Friday, May 8 and concluding Sunday May 10, a special interdisciplinary conference, Between Text and Performance will take place in Fulton Recital Hall. Keynote speakers include keyboard player, improviser, and Mozart scholar Robert Levin (Harvard University) and playwright, theatre director, and lyricist David Bell (Northwestern University). Other conference presenters will include Philip Gossett, Mark Franko, Matthew Jesse Jackson, Steven E. Jones, Jeffrey Kallberg, Roger Moseley, Richard Schechner, Lesley Stern, and Tiffany Stern. The conference is sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Franke Institute for the Humanities. Those interested in participating in the conference are encouraged to call the Music Department’s main office at 773.702.8484 for more information.

The Motet Choir will be joined by special guests to perform the Fourth Annual Sim Shalom Concert of Jewish Music on Sunday, May 10 at 5:00 pm at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel. Suggested donation is $10/$5 students.

The University Chamber Orchestra gives its final concert of the year on Saturday, May 16 at 8:00 pm. The Chamber Orchestra is joined by guest soloist Henry Wang for a performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Violin Concerto in D Major. The program also includes Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 3 in D Major. David Cubek conducts this free performance, which takes place in Fulton Recital Hall.

As a capstone to their 20th anniversary season, the University Wind Ensemble will give a varied concert featuring composers and pieces that constitute the pillars of wind ensemble repertoire. Works such as Slava! by Leonard Bernstein, “Jupiter” from The Planets by Gustav Holst, Variations on “America” by Charles Ives, and more are planned for this free concert on Sunday, May 17 at 2:00 pm in Mandel Hall. Wayne G. Gordon conducts.

Following their immensely popular winter performance, the Women’s Chorale will give a spring concert featuring choral settings by American composers on Sunday, May 17 at 7:30 pm.  Featured composers will include Vincent Persichetti, Eric Whitacre, Stephen Paulus, and Aaron Copland. This free concert, conducted by Elizabeth Shapovalov, will take place in Fulton Recital Hall.

The annual Cathy Heifetz Memorial concert, to take place on Saturday, May 30 at 8:00 pm and Sunday, May 31 at 4:00 pm in Mandel Hall, will serve as the grand finale of the 2008/09 Performance Program season. The University Symphony Orchestra, Motet Choir, and University Chorus will come together to present Behold, the Sea!.  Anchoring the program will be Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 1, A Sea Symphony, an expansive, grandiloquent musical essay based on texts by Walt Whitman. The program will open with Benjamin Britten’s Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes. The Performance Program ensembles are joined by several special guests—soloists Kimberly Jones, soprano and Thomas Hall, baritone, and the Grande Prairie Singers of Park Forest, Illinois—for this celebratory year-end event. Barbara Schubert, Director of Performance Programs, conducts. Suggested donation for this event is $10/$5 students.

The Jazz X-tet will present Spring Is Here!, a dynamic end of the spring quarter concert on Thursday, June 4 at 8:00 pm in Fulton Recital Hall. Director and conductor Mwata Bowden will bring together yet to-be-announced special guests for a signature X-tet performance, guaranteed to energize and inspire. There will be free admission to this event.

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Albert Schweitzer’s historic visit to the University of Chicago, a glorious gala concert is planned for Saturday, June 6 at 4:30 pm in Rockefeller Memorial Chapel. The Motet Choir and Rockefeller Chapel Choir will perform the world premiere of “The Schweitzer Portrait” on the restored E.M. Skinner pipe organ, along with music of Bach, beloved by Schweitzer, on the organ and newly restored Laura Spelman Rockefeller carillon. There will also be an encore performance of the newly commissioned piece for organ and choir, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme by Sven-David Sandström.  James Kallembach, Director of Choral Programs, conducts this free event.

The Noontime Concert Series holds weekly chamber concerts in Fulton Recital Hall every Thursday at 12:15 pm. Artists to be featured include the University of Chicago Jazz Combo, Elliot Leung, piano and Chi-Hyun Kim, clarinet, a concert of Four Hands piano compositions featuring Thomas Christensen and Roger Moseley, showcases by the Program’s vocal and piano programs, and more exceptional performances by students, alumni, and professional musicians. These concerts are free of charge.

The Visiting Committee Colloquium Series continues a tradition of hosting scholars on the forefront of music-related academia in the 2009 spring quarter. Scholars from world-renowned universities such as the University of Pavia, Cornell University, and the University of California at San Diego present on topics ranging from their own groundbreaking musicianship to Musikwissenschaft and critical whiteness studies.

The University of Chicago Department of Music involves over 600 musicians and 100+ concerts each season.  Student ensembles include the aforementioned and many others, including the Chamber Music Program and Piano Program.  A series of Master Classes and Lectures supplement the wide variety of concerts that take place on campus each year.

The University of Chicago Department of Music is in Goodspeed Hall located at 1010 E. 59th Street, Chicago, IL 60637 and the main office is located in Room 309.  The Department is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am-5:00 pm and can be reached by calling 773.702-8484 or visiting

Please direct all media inquiries to Katy Coy at 773.702-3427.

Concerts and Recitals
Sat.     Apr. 18        2:00    Piano Master Class with Dr. Eun-Joo Kwak (FRH)
Tue.    Apr. 21        6:00    Middle East Music Ensemble; Tehran: A World of Music (IHAH)
Sat.     Apr. 25        8:00    USO and Edgar Meyer, bass (MH)
Sun.    Apr. 26        6:00    An Evening of Javanese Music  (HPUC)
Sun.    May 3          8:00    New Music Ensemble (FRH)
Sun     May 10        5:00    Motet Choir; Fourth Annual Sim Shalom Concert of Jewish Music (RMC)
Sat.     May 16        8:00    UChO and Henry Wang, soloist (FRH)
Sun.    May 17        2:00    University Wind Ensemble (MH)
Sun.    May 17        3:30    Chamber Music Showcase (FRH)
Sun.    May 17        7:30    Women’s Chorale (FRH)
Sat.     May 23        2:00    Piano Master Class with Deanne Mohr (FRH)
Sat.     May 30        8:00    USO; Cathy Heifetz Memorial Concert  –  “Behold, the Sea!” (MH)
Sun.    May 31        4:00    USO; Cathy Heifetz Memorial Concert  –  “Behold, the Sea!” (MH)
Thu.    Jun. 4          8:00    Jazz X-tet – Spring is Here! (FRH)
Sat.     Jun. 6          4:30    UChorus, Motet; A Tribute to Albert Schweitzer (RMC)

Visiting Committee Colloquium Series (These free lectures begin at 3:30 in Fulton Recital Hall)
Thu.    Apr. 2        Chinary Ung; On His Own Work: Spiral XI: Mother and Child
Fri.      May 1        Eric Usner; Critical Whiteness Studies and Musikwissenschaft
Fri.      May 8        Fabrizio Della Seta; D’amor sull’ali rosee: the Genesis of a Verdi Melody
Fri.      May 22      Steven Stucky; On His Own Work

Noontime Concert Series (These free lunchtime concerts begin at 12:15 in Fulton Recital Hall)
Thu.    Apr. 2        Elliot Leung, piano and Chi-Hyun, clarinet
Thu.    Apr. 9        Martine Ralph Morris, viola; Doris Morris, violin, Martine Benmann, cello,
Starla Hibler, piano
Thu.    Apr. 16        Christensen and Moseley Piano Duo
Thu.     Apr. 23        Inna Faliks, piano
Thu.    Apr. 30        University of Chicago Piano Showcase
Thu.    May 7        University of Chicago Jazz Combo
Thu.     May 14        University of Chicago Vocal Showcase
Thu.    May 21        University of Chicago Piano Showcase
Thu.    May 28        Diana Hubbard, Kate Lipkowitz, and Alyssa Mathias, sopranos
Thu.    Jun. 4        Allyson Berman, soprano and Margo Schwartz Newton, piano

USO – University Symphony Orchestra
UChO – University Chamber Orchestra
CJG – Central Javanese Gamelan
RCC – Rockefeller Chapel Choir
SPCO – Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
FRH – Fulton Recital Hall
MCA – Museum of Contemporary Art
MH – Mandel Hall
RMC – Rockefeller Memorial Chapel
IHAH – International House Assembly Hall
HPUC – Hyde Park Union Church

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