I will be performing with the Chicago Philharmonic at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall on the Northwestern University campus this Sunday at 7 p.m. We are playing the Brahms Symphony No. 2 and the Sibelius Violin Concerto. Andreas Deák is the conductor for this program, and the soloist is violinist Krista Stuart. Ben Rachlis of the Chicago Classical Music blog quoted Chicago Philharmonic president James Berkenstock speaking about Krista and this performance in a recent post:
Two years ago, we were having a rehearsal of the Chicago Philharmonic at Northwestern University. Following the rehearsal our Concertmaster, David Perry, came up to me and asked if I had a few minutes. He then explained that he had a student who was about to rehearse next door with the Midwest Young Artists Orchestra. (I should mention that David is one of the country’s finest violinists.
He is first violin in the famed Pro Arte Quartet; is concertmaster of the Aspen Music Festival; and appears regularly with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.) His student was one of the winners of the MYA concerto competition and would be appearing in concert with them the next day at Pick-Staiger.
David thought that this young high school student was someone I should hear. We stepped into the concert hall and immediately came upon his student at the back of the auditorium. She was waiting for one of her colleagues, who was to appear on the same program, as he finished rehearsing onstage with the orchestra. David introduced me; she was a cute and quite shy fourteen year-old who was obviously nervous as she awaited her turn to rehearse. David and I listened to the young man who was playing while his student quietly paced back and forth silently fingering a few passages.
Within a few moments it was her turn. The conductor motioned to her and she strode onto the stage. The orchestra began the Sibelius Violin Concerto and this young lady seemed to be transformed. As she listened to the orchestra from her solo position standing next to the conductor, a calm, collected demeanor came over her.
She raised the violin and began to play.From the first note it was obvious that this was a huge talent. She didn’t just play the notes, she played the music, and she did it with such a sense of understanding and passionate commitment. This shy youngster I had been standing next to a few moments before now commanded the stage, physically and musically. Her lush gorgeous tone soared out over the orchestra.
Read the complete post here.
Pick-Staiger is Northwestern University’s main concert hall, and I played countless concerts there during my undergraduate and graduate degrees in the 1990s. It is a blast from the past to go back to this hall and play again. The acoustic is extremely wet and reverberant–it is like playing in a giant Olympic swimming pool (but in a good way). It is actually the acoustic that I used to associate with all classical music since I did so many performances in this hall, but coming back to it years later is an unusual experience.
The Pick-Stager acoustic is actually ideal for the music of Brahms. Everything has this beautiful sonic glow to it, and it is really a lot of fun to play this music in this hall.
The Chicago Philharmonic is an orchestra composed of members of the Lyric Opera of Chicago orchestra and the freelance community, and it is a very good ensemble. These are some of my favorite concerts to play during the year.
Here is a map of the area. Click the map to find out more information about tickets and this venue. Visit the Chicago Philharmonic’s website here.
Here is the Brahms Symphony No. 2 in its entirety courtesy of Google Video and Gil Raveh. This is a youth orchestra performance, but it should get you in the mood for this weekend’s concert:
Brahms Symphony No. 2 movement 1