North Shore Chamber Fest to go live and public this fall; Haymarket, CAIC announce online seasons

Wed Aug 12, 2020 at 1:45 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Vadim Gluzman and Angela Yoffe will present North Shore Chamber Music Festival events live with small audiences in the 2020-21 season.

Three of Chicago’s major classical organizations are marking their tenth anniversaries in 2020 and all are responding to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic in creative ways.  

The North Shore Chamber Music Festival had its tenth anniversary celebration in June cancelled due to the coronavirus. But the enterprising festival is coming back in strong and even audacious style—as the first local professional music organization to announce live events this fall with audiences, beginning next month.

“Music-making is about connecting and it always works reciprocally, from the artists to the audience and back from the audience to the artist,” said violinist Vadim Gluzman, artistic director of the festival, in a released statement. “For the past ten years, the summer festival has fostered a welcoming environment that removes formalities that might create a boundary between the audience and the artists.

”During this moment of global isolation, our goal of taking down these borders and building a community is especially poignant. We will create memorable evenings that are sure to lift your spirits!”

Rather than just a single summer week of events at its usual church venue in Northbrook, the new NSCMF onstage/offstage series will present four live concerts throughout the 2020-21 season as well as a master class and young musicians program. All events will take place at PianoForte Studios in the South Loop and also be livestreamed. 

The North Shore Chamber Fest series opens with back-to-back concerts in September. On September 10,  the series will present “Jewish Kaleidoscope” featuring music of Milhaud, Gershwin, Bloch, Ravel and the world premiere of Avner Dorman’s Dancing at Mount Meron. The September 11 program offers Brahms’ Piano Trio in B flat, Clara Schumann’s Three Romances and Robert Schumann’s Three Piano Pieces.

Tickets are $70. Audience seating is limited in the small venue due to social distancing measures. Streaming admission is $20.


Vocal recitals and opera remain the most challenging events to present in this pandemic era.

Haymarket Opera will “go to the video” in 2020-21, by offering an ambitious all-Handel season to mark the company’s first decade. All three productions will be filmed and presented online, in partnership with Revolution Studios.

Haymarket Opera launched in 2011 with performances of Handel’s Aci, Galatea e Polifemo. This fall the company will come full circle by presenting the composer’s other, better-known English language setting of the same myth, Acis and Galatea on October 28. The cast includes Michael St. Peter, Kimberly Jones, David Govertsen, and Kaitlin Foley. 

The high-def Handel lineup continues with Apollo e Dafne starring Erica Schuller and Ryan de Ryke on March 5. Haymarket’s season will conclude in majestic style with Handel’s Orlando in summer of 2021 (date TBA).

Discount packages are available now. Go to


The Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago will move its annual late-summer Collaborative Works Festival to October this year and will mark its tenth anniversary with songs and lieder by women composers. All three programs will be prerecorded and presented online October 9, 16 and 23.

The Collaborative Arts Festival will present sopranos Amanda Majeski and Janai Brugger, mezzo-soprano Amanda Lynn Bottoms, tenor Nicholas Phan, baritone Chris Kenney, and bass Anthony Reed.

CAIC opens its season with a September 18 online recital by tenor Jonathan Johnson with pianist Craig Terry in a program of Britten and Duparc.

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