John Frayne: Next semester to be full of exciting sounds at Krannert
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts has issued listings of concert events for this coming fall. While all the details have not been announced, it already sounds like an exciting season. Some highlights:
The Ellnora Guitar Festival will open the season Sept. 5-7, and the full lineup of artists will be announced June 11.
On Sept, 12, the Jupiter Quartet, in residence at the University of Illinois, will be joined by the Jasper Quartet.
When two quartets join in concert, the result is usually the famous octet by Felix Mendelssohn, and so it will be on this occasion.
Jasper Quartet members will be familiar to some Krannert concertgoers from their concert in January.
The concert of the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra on Oct. 5 will mark the first appearance, as music director, of new conductor Stephen Alltop. Entitled "A World of Color," this program will start with Christopher Theofanidis' "Rainbow Body."
Theofanidis' "Marimba Concerto" just recently received its world premiere here, with marimbist William Moersch playing it brilliantly with the UI Wind Symphony, conducted by Robert Rumbelow.
Elissa Koljonen will play two pieces, Ernest Chausson's "Poem for Violin and Orchestra" and Maurice Ravel's "Tzigane."
Michael Daughtery's "Red Cape Tango," which is the fifth movement of his 1993 Superman-themed "Metropolis" Symphony, will follow, and the concert will conclude with both orchestral suites from Maurice Ravel's masterpiece, "Daphnis and Chloe." (Much colorful music, indeed!)
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which was here a few weeks ago, will return Oct. 12, conducted by Riccardo Muti. After a tuneful divertimento by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (K. 136), Robert Chen, concertmaster of the CSO, will be soloist in Paul Hindemith's violin concerto (1939).
I heard some criticism about the CSO's most recent concert that the full orchestra was not heard. Well, the upcoming concert features music from Sergei Prokofiev's ballet "Romeo and Juliet," and from the last time I heard this music at a Krannert concert, it required a very large orchestra.
The Hindemith concerto is also heavily scored in brass and percussion.
"Apollo's Fire," the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra, will be led by its founder, Jeannette Sorrell, in a concert Oct. 30. The program will include the Brandenburg Concertos of Johann Sebastian Bach, Nos. 2-6.
And I know what you are thinking: Why no No. 1? Maybe the concert would be too long, or it may be because of the extra instrumental requirements of the first concerto; two horns, three oboes and a bassoon.
Cellist Jan Campbell, first prize winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition, will perform Nov. 3 a program of works by Johannes Brahms, Ludwig van Beethoven and Igor Stravinsky.
The world's most famous flutist, Sir James Galway, will give a concert Nov. 7, and his wife, Lady Jeanne, will also appear, with the Irish Chamber Orchestra.
The concert will open with "In Ireland," by the famous Irish conductor/composer Sir Hamilton Harty, who led the Halle Orchestra of Manchester in the 1920s.
Mozart's Flute Concerto in D Major will also be heard, as well as Philip Hammond's "Carolan's Variations." Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738) was a famous blind Irish harpist. Mendelssohn's Third (Scottish) Symphony will round out the Celtic tone of the evening.
On Nov. 14, the Opera Program of the UI School of Music will begin its four-performance run of Guiseppe Verdi's late masterpiece "Falstaff."
Verdi's librettist, Arrigo Boito, drew mainly on William Shakespeare's comedy "The Merry Wives of Windsor," but also used famous passages from Shakespeare's history play, "Henry the Fourth, Part I."
The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, will visit Nov. 15. Ludwig van Beethoven's most famous Overture, "Leonore No. 3," will open the evening, followed by Stephen Mackey's "Eating Greens" (1993). Pianist Jeremy Denk will then be heard as soloist in Mozart's Concerto No. 25 in C Major.
The oft-recorded Takacs String Quartet will appear Dec. 5 in a program featuring a Beethoven quartet (Op. 18, No. 4), Bela Bartok's Quartet No. 2, and Bedrich Smetana's Quartet No. 1, "From My Life," a work in which Smetana recalls his discovery that he was losing his hearing.
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts plans to make more program listings public in the upcoming weeks.
John Frayne hosts "Classics of the Phonograph" on Saturdays at WILL-FM and, in retirement, teaches at the University of Illinois. He can be reached at frayne@ illinois.edu.