The Bienen School of Music's Institute for New Music opens its second season with “Ned@90,” a 90th birthday tribute to composer and Northwestern alumnus Ned Rorem.
Hailed by Time magazine as “the world’s best composer of art songs,” Rorem also composed three symphonies, four piano concertos and numerous orchestral, chamber and choral works. He is the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize, Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellowships, an ASCAP Deems Taylor Award and an ASCAP Lifetime Achievement Award.
Events below take place on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive and Lutkin Hall, 700 University Place, as noted.
“Ned@90” celebration opening concert, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. The performance features the Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble, conducted by Donald Nally; pianists James Giles, Sylvia Wang and Elizabeth Buccheri; clarinetist Steven Cohen; soprano Amanda DeBoer; baritone W. Stephen Smith; violinist Gerardo Ribeiro; and cellist Nicholas Photinos. The program highlights Rorem works and includes three movements from “Letters from Paris,” “Recalling,” “Ariel: Five Poems of Sylvia Plath” and “Aftermath.” Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for full-time students with valid IDs.
“Ned@90” Composer Roundtable, “Reflections on the Artist, Responses to the Teacher,” 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, in Lutkin Hall. This roundtable discussion of Rorem’s legacy features Bienen School faculty and special guest composers, including Roshanne Etezady, University of Illinois-Chicago; David Ludwig, Curtis Institute of Music; and Marcus Maroney, Moores School of Music, University of Houston. Admission is free.
“Ned@90” celebration closing concert, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Performers include the brass members of the Northwestern University Symphonic Wind Ensemble, conducted by Mallory Thompson; flutist John Thorne; pianists James Giles and Kathryn Goodson; trumpeter Robert Sullivan; saxophonist Timothy McAllister; and the Civitas Ensemble, a chamber group comprised of Chicago Symphony Orchestra violinist Yuan-Qing Yu, clarinetist J. Lawrie Bloom, cellist Kenneth Olsen and pianist Winston Choi. The program features Rorem’s “Solemn Prelude,” “Four Prayers,” “Cries and Whispers,” “Picnic on the Marne” and “Nine Episodes for Four Players.” Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for full-time students with IDs.
The Institute for New Music was established at Northwestern in 2012 to serve as a physical, intellectual and performance hub for 20th- and 21st-century art and popular music. It is co-directed by Bienen School faculty members Hans Thomalla and Timothy McAllister.