KAM Chamber Music Series Blends Music and Visual Arts

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Works by Mozart and Mendelssohn as well as arrangements by jazz pianist Chick Corea and Stephen Sondheim will be performed this fall as part of a new chamber music series at Krannert Art Museum.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Works by Mozart and Mendelssohn as well as arrangements by jazz pianist Chick Corea and Stephen Sondheim will be performed this fall as part of a new chamber music series at Krannert Art Museum.
Sharita Forrest - University of Illinois News Bureau
Press

Champaign, Ill. — Works by Mozart and Mendelssohn as well as arrangements by jazz pianist Chic Corea and Stephen Sonheim will be performed this fall as part of a new chamber music series at Krannert Art Museum.

A partnership between the museum and the School of Music, the series will comprise three free concerts in the Gelvin Noel Gallery at KAM that will feature University of Illinois faculty and student performers and artists-in-residence the Jupiter String Quartet. Each performance will be about an hour long.

“The series provides unique opportunities for the visual and performing arts on campus to intersect,” said music faculty member J. Michael Holmes, who developed the series with Anne Sautman and Julia Kelly, both at KAM. Sautman is the museum’s director of education and Kelly is a communications and marketing specialist.

“The audience will have the chance to experience a parlor style of music, where the audience and performers are all on one level,” said Holmes, who also is the School’s enrollment management director and a nationally acclaimed saxophonist. “It’s more intimate and there can be much more interaction between performers and listeners.”

The Jupiter String Quartet will open the series at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 23 with a performance of Schubert’s Quartet in A Minor, D.804.

The Boston-based quartet — violinists Nelson Lee and Meg Freivogel, violist Liz Freivogel and cellist Daniel McDonough — has won numerous chamber music competitions and performed throughout Asia, Europe and North and South America.

Two quartets of graduate students will perform with the Jupiter Quartet. Cellist Juan Guillermo Mireles, violist Ryan Beauchamp and violinists Eun-Jeong Choi and Grace Yang will perform Mozart’s String Quartet in D minor, K.421.

The second student ensemble — cellist Seungwon Chung, violist Kim Uwate and violinists Seul Lee and Erika Zelda — will perform a piece by Mendelssohn or Mozart.

On Nov. 1 at 2 p.m., the Obsidian Saxophone Quartet will give the second concert in the series. Formed last year, the Obsidian Quartet comprises Illinois alumni Joyce Griggs, Holmes, Henning Schröder and Heidi Radtke Siberz. 

Griggs, who plays tenor saxophone, is the School of Music’s associate director. Holmes plays soprano saxophone in the quartet. Schröder (baritone saxophone) is a professor of music at Ohio Northern University, and Siberz (alto saxophone) is a newly appointed saxophone professor at Butler University.

The Obsidian Quartet will present a recent work by Amos Gillespie, called “Providence of Zorn.” The concert will be only the second time the composition has been performed, Holmes said.

The ensemble also will play a French standard by Gabriel Pierné, an arrangement of children’s songs by Corea, a piece by Richard Rodney Bennett and other compositions. 

The series concludes on Dec. 13 with a 2 p.m. performance by Lyric Theatre @ Illinois, a program that combines elements of opera and musical theater.
 
Graduate students will join faculty members Michael Tilley and Sarah Wigley Johnson — and possibly “a special faculty guest” — in performing scenes featuring the music of Mozart and Stephen Sondheim, Tilley said.

A composer, singer, musical director and accompanist, Tilley was a featured performer with regional orchestras such as the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, and has composed music for the stage and a feature-length soundtrack.

A clinical assistant professor of voice, Johnson has performed professionally with several regional companies and in productions of “The Grapes of Wrath,” “Man of LaMancha,” and “Jekyll and Hyde.”

The series will continue with two concerts during the spring semester. Holmes said the school plans to run a competition for students in the chamber program, with the winners to be featured in the spring concerts. 

Krannert Art Museum is located at the corner of Sixth St. and Peabody Drive in Champaign. 

-Story by Sharita Forrest, Education Editor, University of Illinois News Bureau | Full Coverage