John Frayne

John Frayne

John Frayne | Venue change is only bummer in Twilight Concert

On the evening of June 21, the Twilight Concert by the UI Summer Band was, as usual, scheduled to be on the Quad, just south of the Illini Union. Because of the frequent downpours of the past week, the concert was switched to the Foellinger Auditroium, at the other end of the Quad. The result was a quantum leap in the quality of the sound, but there were losses.

John Frayne | BACH's season-ender provides quite a contrast

Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana concluded its 2017-18 season with a highly successful concert on June 10 at St. John's Catholic Chapel.

John Frayne | Harp concert is plucky finish to UI's semester

For the past several years, one of the features of concert-going after the University of Illinois semester ends is the annual Illinois Harp Class, organized by Professor Ann Yeung.

The harp is one of my favorite instruments, and I usually find the concert associated with the Harp Class unalloyed pleasures.

John Frayne | Three cheers for Central Illinois Youth Orchestra concert

The East Central Illinois Youth Orchestra, conducted by Kevin Kelly, gave its spring concert in the Foellinger Great Hall on May 20. This youth orchestra, under Kelly's firm and encouraging beat, played eight pieces, in various moods, displaying a highly praiseworthy level of musicianship and technical achievement. This ensemble is a program of the Conservatory of Central Illinois.

John Frayne | Ending the Krannert season with a (big) bang

On May 1, the audience for Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem" in the Foellinger Great Hall was very large in number, more than I have ever seen for a concert by the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra.

John Frayne | Fruits of a musical pileup: 2 juicy performances

There seems to be an unwritten law here that all major musical events must be concluded before the last weekend of April. The result is a musical equivalent of rush hour.

In my experience, the pileup of events was the Champaign-Urbana Symphony concert on Saturday, April 28, and the Lyric Theatre@Illinois's performance of "She Loves Me" on Sunday afternoon, April 29.

John Frayne | Sweet suite concert ends Sinfonia's season in style

The season-ending concert by the Sinfonia da Camera, conducted by Ian Hobson, had the eye-catching title "A Sweet Ending." Indeed, two of the longer works were suites from famous works, one using ballet music from Sergei Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet," and the other a suite from Richard Strauss' most popular opera, "Der Rosenkavalier." Also on the program was a work by UI Professor Stephen Tayl

John Frayne | 'Gathering' celebrates UI's 150th in style

On Saturday, April 21, a gala concert entitled "Gathering" was given in Krannert Center's Foellinger Great Hall to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the University of Illinois. This concert displayed the talents of the UI Chamber Singers, conducted by Andrew Megill, and the UI Wind Symphony, conducted by Stephen Peterson.

John Frayne | Brownlee shows off wide vocal range at Foellinger

Tenor Lawrence Brownlee, famous for his virtuoso top notes in arias by Rossini and Donizetti, came to Foellinger Great Hall on April 19, and gave a program that included two song cycles. First came Robert Schumann's well-known cycle, "Dichterliebe" ("Poet's Love") from 1840, and then came a contemporary cycle as pertinent as today's headlines.

John Frayne | BACH impresses with Schutz's works

On April 8, Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana, led by music director Joseph Baldwin, gave at Grace Lutheran Church, Champaign, a concert at which Heinrich Schutz's oratorio, "The Story of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ," was performed. On this occasion, Chester Alwes, founder of BACH, who retired last year, conducted the performance.