John Frayne | Krannert's 50th anniversary is the season of delight

John Frayne | Krannert's 50th anniversary is the season of delight

The Krannert Center opened in 1969, so this season will feature the center's 50th anniversary in 2019. This anniversary celebration will have resonances during the whole 2018-19 season.

On Saturday, Sept. 15, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, conducted by Grant Gershon, will perform Orlando di Lasso's unaccompanied choral work "Lagrime di San Pietro" ("Tears of Saint Peter") in a staging designed by famous opera director Peter Sellars.

This work gives emotional expression to the seven stages of grief Saint Peter felt after denying knowing Jesus on the day of his arrest. This Sellars version stresses the application of facing contemporary guilt for past transgressions. (Foellinger Great Hall, 7:30 p.m., no intermission)

The Sinfonia da Camera, conducted by Ian Hobson, will start its season on Saturday, Sept. 22, with the all-French program "Siren Songs." The first half will feature Georges Bizet's delightful "Symphony in C Major," which was written as a student exercise close to Bizet's 17th birthday. It remained, unplayed, in the Paris Conservatory archives until 1933, when it was rediscovered and quickly became part of the orchestral repertory. Gabriel Fauré's suite of incidental music, "Masques et Bergamasques," will round out the first half.

In the second half, Claude Debussy's "Nocturnes" consists of his impressionist tone paintings of "Clouds," "Festivals" and "Sirens," in the last of which female members of the UIUC Oratorio Society will sing a wordless female choral part. Debussy's mysterious music suggests the allure of Sirens, without the destructive associations with their name. Both the men and women of the Oratorio Society will take part in the Bacchanalian orgy of sound that concludes Maurice Ravel's "Daphnis and Chloé, Suite No. 2." This suite is often played, but seldom with chorus. (7:30, Foellinger Great Hall)

On Wednesday, Oct. 3, guitarist Marcus Tardelli will give a recital presenting Brazilian popular music and classical compositions. (7:30 p.m., Foellinger Great hall)

The Jupiter String Quartet, at the season-opening concert on Thursday, Oct. 4, will be joined by the Jasper String Quartet, winner of Musical American's prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award, in an evening of chamber music, beginning with Johannes Brahms' Sextet No. 1, Op. 18. This 1860, comparatively early work by Brahms, then 27, will be matched with Felix Mendelssohn's Octet, Op. 20, composed when Mendelssohn was 16. Bassist Michael Cameron, of local fame, will join the two quartets in Osvaldo Golijov's "Last Round," for nine musicians. The 1996 Golijov work was begun in 1992 upon hearing of the fatal stroke suffered by Astor Piazzolla. The title "Last round" refers to a boxing story by Julio Cortázar. (7:30 p.m., Foellinger Great Hall)

Champaign-Urbana' most famous singer and piano team, Nathan and Julie Gunn, will present "An Evening on Broadway" on Saturday, Oct. 6. The title of the program promises the Gunns "and Friends," who will include instrumentalists as well as early-career vocal artists in music of Broadway and the Great American Songbook, a collection that refers to enduringly popular American songs from the 1920s to the 1950s. (7:30 p.m., Foellinger Great Hall)

The Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra will open its season on Saturday, Oct. 13, with a bang in the form of Gustav Mahler's mighty 1902 Symphony No. 5, with its famous "Adagietto" movement. Stephen Alltop concluded last year's season with Mahler's Symphony No. 1, "Titan," and the 2016 season featured Mahler's Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection." Both performances were highly successful. Extrovert Mahler will be matched by Richard Strauss' introvert masterpiece, "Four Last Songs," in which the soloist will be Metropolitan Opera star Amanda Majeski, who sang Fiordiligi in the Met's "Coney Island"-themed version of Mozart's "Cosi Fan Tutte," which was recently seen on TV. (7:30 p.m., Foellinger Great Hall)

John Frayne hosts "Classics of the Phonograph" on Saturdays at WILL-FM and, in retirement, teaches at the UI. Reach him at frayne@illinois.edu.

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