UC Presents to pay homage to World War I centennial in 2014-15 season

Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 6:02 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Harpist Benjamin Bagby will performs his genre-crossing version of "Beowulf" in the University of Chicago Presents' 2014-15 season.
Harpist Benjamin Bagby will performs his genre-crossing version of “Beowulf” in the University of Chicago Presents’ 2014-15 season.

A centennial commemoration of World War I, a recital by Anne Sofie von Otter, and a genre-crossing performance of Beowulf will be heard in the University of Chicago Presents’ 2014-15 season.

“I’m thrilled about the immensity of talent in the coming season,” says the series’ executive director Amy Iwano. “We’re fortunate to partner with the world’s best artists who will bring us riveting performances. Combine that with the music scholarship of the University of Chicago scholars and our discerning audience, and I know next season will be a rewarding one.”

In six programs over one weekend (April 10-12 2015), UCP will present “The Crossroads of World War I and Music.” The Pacifica Quartet will be joined by guest artists including clarinetist Anthony McGill and pianist Orion Weiss in several works from the period of the “Great War,” including music of Prokofiev Bartok, Elgar, Berg, Poulenc, and Stravinsky. University of Chicago scholars and composers will also discuss the significance and legacy of the war.

The UCP season will kick off October 10 at Mandel Hall with the Chicago debut of the Danish String Quartet in music of Haydn, Schubert and the U.S. premiere of Thomas Agerfeldt Olesen’s the extinguishable.

Other events in the Classic Concert Series include pianist Denis Kozhukhin (November 21); mezzo-soprano Annie Sofie von Otter and pianist Angela Hewitt in French and German songs (January 11); violinist Isabelle Faust and pianist Alexander Melnikov in their Chicago debut (February 6); and the Jerusalem Quartet (February 27).

Six-string harpist Benjamin Bagby will present his unique version of the epic Old English poem Beowulf, a confection that encompasses chant, bluegrass and Appalachian influences as much as early music (May 1). Other artists in the Howard Mayer Brown International Early Music Series include Tafelmusik (November 7), the Alba Consort (January 30), and Blue Heron (April 17).

In addition to the World War I programs, the Pacifica Quartet will perform music of Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Shulamit Ran (October 12) and Puccini, Beethoven and Elliot Carter (January 25).

The Music Across Genres series will present Third Coast Percussion in music of Cage, Rzewksi and David T. Little (Nvember 1), and mandolinist Avi Avital and pianist David Greilsammer (February 20).

The venerable new-music series Contempo will mark its 50th anniversary with resident artists Pacifica Quartet and eighth blackbird. Composers represented include Shulamit Ran, Ralph Shapey, Kurt Rhode, Earl Kim, Sofia Gubaidulina, David Gordon, and Eric Brinkman (January 24, March 1, April 23).


The UCP’s Jazz at the Logan Series will offer the Regina Carter Quintet with harpist Edmar Casteneda (October 24); the Alfredo Rodriguez Trio (November 14); the Tigran Hamasyan Trio (February 13); the Delfeayo Marsalis Quartet (April 19); and Jason Moran and The Bandwagon (May 29).

Subscriptions start at $53 for three concerts. First time subscribers can call 773-702-2787, order online at ticketsweb.uchicago.edu/subscriptions, or visit the UChicago Arts box office at the Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th Street.

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