Music Institute of Chicago celebrates a decade at Nichols Concert Hall

Tenth Season Includes Rachel Barton Pine, Lincoln Trio, Pacifica Quartet,

Billy Strayhorn Festival with Terell Stafford and More

Celebrating a decade at Evanston’s Nichols Concert Hall, the Music Institute of Chicago presents a season of 10 stellar musical performances for its 2012–13 Faculty and Guest Artist Series.
Highlights include the September 23 opening concert by the award-winning Lincoln Trio, a Billy Strayhorn festival featuring jazz great Terell Stafford in late October, the internationally acclaimed Pacifica Quartet in February, and pianist Sergei Babayan in April. Noteworthy annual events include Family Concerts in December and March; the Martin Luther King, Jr. concert with the Brotherhood Chorale in January; the Four Score Festival of contemporary music in March; and the third annual Emilio del Rosario Distinguished Alumni Concert, this year featuring violinist Rachel Barton Pine and pianist Matthew Hagle in May.
The complete schedule, including both the special 10th anniversary events and annual programs, includes:
1. Sunday, September 23, 3 p.m.                                                                                                       Lincoln Trio
The season opens in parallel celebration with Lincoln Trio, also celebrating its 10th anniversary season. Winners of the 2008 Masterplayers International Competition in Venice, Italy, the trio is known for its polished presentations of well-known chamber works as well as its ability to forge new paths with contemporary repertoire.
2. Sunday, October 21, 3 p.m.                                                                                2012 Fischoff Grand Prize winners
Complementing its numerous medalists in the junior division of the prestigious chamber music competition, the Music Institute is pleased to present this year’s Grand Prize winners in the senior division, to be determined at the 2012 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in May.
3. Friday, October 26, 7:30 p.m.                                                Terell Stafford and Music Institute Jazz Faculty
Hailed as “one of the great players of our time” by the legendary pianist McCoy Tyner, Grammy-winning trumpeter Terell Stafford collaborates with the Music Institute’s acclaimed jazz studies faculty, including trumpeter Victor Garcia and percussionist Ernie Adams.
4. Saturday, October 27, 7:30 p.m.                                                Terell Stafford Quintet: This Side of Strayhorn
Inspired by his own recording of the same name, jazz trumpeter Terell Stafford and his ensemble pay tribute to one of the 20th century’s greatest jazz composers and collaborators—Billy Strayhorn. The quintet also features Tim Warfield Jr., saxophone; Bruce Barth, piano; Peter Washington, bass; and Dana Hall, drums.

Sunday, October 28, 3 p.m.                                                         Film: Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life, Panel Discussion
As Duke Ellington’s longtime collaborator from the 1940s to the 1960s, Billy Strayhorn penned some of the world’s most definitive jazz standards, including “Take The ‘A’ Train,” and the widely recorded “Lush Life.” This highly acclaimed documentary uncovers the mystery behind the complex life of this pioneering African-American composer, arranger and pianist. Panelists include Strayhorn biographer David Hajdu and filmmaker Robert Levi.
5. Saturday, November 17, 7:30 p.m.                                                                                                  WarnerNuzova
World-renowned American cellist Wendy Warner and eminent Russian pianist Irina Nuzova have earned critical acclaim for their riveting performances as the duo WarnerNuzova. The two performers’ contrasting cultures and traditions are at the core of the energy and insight of their interpretations.
Saturday, December 8, 9 a.m.                                                                                    Family Concert: The Nutcracker
Families begin this morning of music with the Music Institute’s Instrument Petting Zoo, followed by a 10 a.m. performance of “Duke it Out” – Ellington/Strayhorn vs. Tchaikovsky. Music and dance take the stage as resident ensembles Axiom Brass and Quintet Attacca perform classical and jazz versions of the popular Nutcracker Suite. The Ellington/Strayhorn arrangements are by Jim Stephenson. This performance is presented in conjunction with Dance Chicago. Admission is only $10 per family.
Sunday, January 13, 5 p.m.                                                               Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Concert
The Music Institute’s annual concert features the Brotherhood Chorale of the Apostolic Church of God. Free admission! 
6. Saturday, February 16, 7:30 p.m.                                                                                                  Pacifica Quartet
Recognized for its virtuosity, exuberant performance style, and often-daring repertoire choices, the Pacifica Quartet has gained international stature as one of the finest chamber ensembles performing today. Recently named quartet-in-residence at Indiana University and Ensemble of the Year by Musical America, Pacifica received the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance.
Sundays, March 3 and March 10, 3 p.m.                                                                                Four Score Festival
The Music Institute’s annual celebration of contemporary music; highlighted composers will be announced later.
Friday, March 8, 7:30 p.m.                                                                    Generation Next/Composer’s Lab Concert
This concert features works by the winners of the Music Institute’s 2013 Generation Next Young Composer’s Competition, which encourages and promotes the development of young composers.
Saturday, March 16, 9 a.m.                                                               Family Concert: Evanston 150: Day of Music
Families begin this morning of music with the Music Institute’s Instrument Petting Zoo, followed by a 10 a.m. performance featuring Music Institute ensembles-in-residence celebrating Evanston’s 150th anniversary. Admission is only $10 per family.
7. Saturday, March 24, 7:30 p.m.                                                                          Opus 10 Faculty Extravaganza
The impassioned virtuosity and artistry of more than 20 of the Music Institute’s violin and piano faculty shine in this concert featuring performances of 10 of Brahms’ Hungarian Dances and Chopin’s Études, Op. 10.
8. Sunday, April 7, 3 p.m.                                                                                                  Lincoln String Quartet
                                                                                 Featuring musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Since its founding in 1997, The Lincoln String Quartet has been a staple of the Chicago music scene. Comprising current and former Chicago Symphony Orchestra members, the renowned quartet includes violinists Lei Hou and Qing Hou, violist Lawrence Neuman, and cellist Stephen Balderston.
9. Sunday, April 21, 3 p.m.                                                                                                   Sergei Babayan, piano
Pianist Sergei Babayan performs the Bach’s Goldberg Variations in a joint celebration of the 10th anniversary of Nichols Concert Hall, the 40th anniversary of the Bach Week Festival, and the 150th anniversary of the City of Evanston. Babayan studied in Moscow with Mikhael Pletnev before settling in the U.S. in 1989. Within a span of three years, he took first prize in four top international competitions, including the Robert Casadesus International Piano Competition. Currently Artist-in-Residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music, he performs regularly with Valery Gergiev, Yuri Temirkanov, and Neeme Järvi. Co-sponsored by the Bach Week Festival in Evanston.
10. Saturday, May 18, 7:30 p.m.                                            Rachel Barton Pine, violin; Matthew Hagle, piano
                                                                      Third Annual Emilio del Rosario Distinguished Alumni Concert
Violinist Rachel Barton Pine has captivated the music world as one of the most musical and inspiring artists on today’s concert scene. She has performed and recorded with some of the top orchestras, conductors, composers, and performers of our time. Equally at home on an electric violin or on the Joseph Guarnerius del Gesu known as the “ex Soldat,” she is renowned for her masterful interpretations of a wide variety of musical genres from Baroque to classical, from contemporary to rock.
About 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 and is on the National Registry of Historic Places. 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.  

About the Music Institute of Chicago

The Music Institute of Chicago believes that music has the power to sustain and nourish the human spirit; therefore, our mission is to provide the foundation for lifelong engagement with music. As one of the three largest and most respected community music schools in the nation, the Music Institute offers musical excellence built on the strength of its distinguished faculty, commitment to quality, and breadth of programs and services. Founded in 1931 and one of the oldest community music schools in Illinois, the Music Institute is a member of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. Each year, the Music Institute’s world-class music teachers and arts therapists provide the highest quality arts education, reaching more than 10,000 students of all ability levels, from birth to 102 years of age, at campuses in Evanston, Highland Park, Lake Forest, Lincolnshire, Winnetka, and Downers Grove and through its longstanding partnership with the Chicago Public Schools. The Music Institute also offers lessons and programs at the Steinway of Chicago store in Northbrook and early childhood and community engagement programs throughout the Chicago area and the North Shore. The Music Institute offers lessons, classes, and programs through four distinct areas: Community School, The Academy, Creative Arts Therapy (Institute for Therapy through the Arts), and Nichols Concert Hall.

All concerts take place at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue in Evanston. Tickets, except where noted, are $25 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for students, available online or 847.905.1500 ext. 108. All programming is subject to change.