Music Institute of Chicago 2018-19 FACULTY AND GUEST ARTIST SERIES Preview

Nichols Concert Hall Photo courtesy of Music Institute of Chicago

The Music Institute of Chicago announces the 2018–19 season of its Faculty and Guest Artist Series, featuring classical, jazz, and multi-genre artists; holiday programming for families; and a collaboration with the Bach Week Festival. All concerts take place at the historic Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue in downtown Evanston.

Acclaimed Music Institute alumna and Glen Ellyn native violinist Jennifer Koh returns September 15 to play a program featuring two solo works by Bach—Sonata No. 1 in G minor and Sonata No. 3 in C Major—juxtaposed with a contemporary piece for solo violin, For Violin Alone, by John Harbison.  “Koh’s arresting tone and emotional interpretations of Bach are a perfect fit for the acoustics of Nichols Concert Hall,” said Music Institute President and CEO Mark George.

Jennifer Koh Photo by Juergen Frank
Wang Piano Dueo Photo by Neda Navaee

To conclude its 30th anniversary season, the Chicago Duo Piano Festival presents Taiwanese-American twin sisters Susan and Sarah Wang, who have won the prestigious ARD International Two Piano Competition in Munich, second prize in the world-renowned Murray Dranoff International Two Piano Competition, third prize in the Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Preis in Berlin, third place in the 4th International Piano Duos Competition in Bialystok, Poland, and second prize in the Ellis National Duo Competition in the United States. Their October 26 concert includes Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, K448; Stravinsky’s Concerto per Due Pianoforti Soli; Mendelssohn’s Andante and Allegro Brillant, Op. 92; Sven Daigger’s “su” for two pianos (2009); and Ravel’s La Valse.

The Music Institute's “Spooktacular” Concert and Haunted Musical Open House will be held on October 28.The appropriately “scary” concert program features selections from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Operaand Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, performed by the Music Institute’s acclaimed faculty. The Haunted Musical Open House, which takes place at 4 p.m. and is available separately, invites guests to travel from room to room for music, trick or treating, and other activities. Audience members of all ages are encouraged to wear costumes and get into the spirit of the event.

Nichols Concert Hall Photo courtesy of Music Institute of Chicago
Callisto Quartet Photo courtesy of Callisto Quartet

Fresh from their Grand Prize-winning performance at the 2018 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the Callisto Quartet debuts at Nichols Concert Hall November 10 with a program featuring Schubert’s String Quartet in C Minor, D 703; Bartók’s String Quartet No. 6; and Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 59, No. 2. Callisto also performs the Chicago premiere of Cantosby one of Spain’s most prestigious young composers, Francisco Coll. Formed in 2016 at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM), Callisto was a prize winner at the 2018 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition and was the only American quartet selected to compete in the 2018 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, winning third prize in the Grand Finals.

The Music Institute presents “Duke It Out,” an unusual version ofThe Nutcracker December 8, alternating music from the classical (Tchaikovsky) and jazz (Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn) scores with choreography curated by Dance Chicago. Musicians include members of Axiom Brass and Music Institute Ensemble-in-Residence Quintet Attacca in a performance that runs a family-friendly 60 minutes, followed by a festive holiday reception with refreshments and a photo booth with the artists.

Duke It Out Image courtesy Music Institute of Chicago
Inna Faliks Photo by Lisa Marie Mazzucco

 “Polonaise-Fantasie, the Story of a Pianist” on February 10 traces, in music and words, Inna Faliks’ journey from Odessa, in the former Soviet Union, to the freedom of the United States and a life in music. The Music Institute alumna and head of piano at the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA tells her incredible story while playing music of Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Gershwin, and much more.

Pianist and chanter Paul Barnes performs his powerful musical meditation on the ways in which humanity grapples with death: “Love and Death and Resurrection in the Musical Vision of Philip Glass, Franz Liszt, and Ancient Chant,” on March 10. Beginning with the story of Orpheus, the program connects the music of Franz Liszt, Philip Glass, and a world premiere by Victoria Bond with Byzantine chant, as it artfully explores the hope for the destruction of death and of life eternal.

Paul Barnes Photo by Peter Barnes
Time for Three Photo by Shervin Lainez

Coming to Nichols Concert Hall on April 7, the young, dynamic trio Time For Three—violinist/vocalist Nicolas (Nick) Kendall, violinist/vocalist Charles Yang, and double bassist/vocalist Ranaan Meyer—breaks boundaries with its performances and defies traditional genre classification, performing works from Bach to Brahms to bluegrass to the Beatles.

The Music Institute’s annual jazz event celebrates the late American vibraphonist and bandleader Lionel Hampton on what would have been his 111th birthday with an exuberant program April 20 featuring performances by Music Institute Artist-in-Residence Tammy McCann; jazz vibraphonist Joe Locke, voted number one vibist by Downbeat magazine’s Critics’ poll; vibraphonist Thaddeus Tukes, a graduate of Chicago’s Whitney Young Magnet High School; and members of the Music Institute’s Jazz Studies faculty.

Lionel Hampton
Sergei Babayan Photo by Marco Borggreve

Concluding the season on April 28, the Music Institute’s Academy Orchestra and members of the Bach Week Festival Orchestra join forces for a program of Baroque concertos and dances, directed by Richard Webster and James Setapen and featuring pianist Sergei Babayan in a celebration of mentorship combining professional and extraordinary student musicians.


Jennifer Koh - September 15, 7:30 p.m.
Wang Piano Duo - October 26, 7:30 p.m.
“Spooktacular’ Concert - October 28, 3 p.m.; Haunted Musical Open House - 4 p.m.
“Duke It Out” - December 8, 2 p.m.
Inna Faliks - February 10, 3 p.m.
Paul Barnes - March 10, 3 p.m.
Time for Three - April 7, 3 p.m.
Lionel Hampton Birthday Tribute - April 20, 7:30 p.m.
Sergei Babayan - April 28, 3 p.m.


Nichols Concert Hall
1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston


$50 VIP seating, $40 adults, $25 senior citizens, $15 students
Except “Duke It Out” $5 general admission

For tickets call 847-905-1500, ext. 108 or visit the Music Institute of Chicago website.

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