A Valentine Weekend Treat

Nichols Concert Hall

Still looking for something special for Valentine’s Day?  An irresistible concert awaits you.  Just go and enjoy. Plan a “date night” on Valentine’s Day weekend when the Music Institute of Chicago presents “From the Heart,” a concert featuring the Music Institute’s internationally renowned faculty performing romantic music. Concertgoers may enjoy a glass of champagne and a program of jazz and classical works featuring piano, violin, marimba, flute, guitar and more, including works by Brahms, Gershwin, Piazzolla, Liszt, and more.

This is a selection of music that will inspire.

The Music Institute’s Director of Performance Activities, Fiona Queen, shared thoughts about this concert:

The program selected for this very special evening is irresistible. How was the program selected?

The presenting season always features an all-faculty concert, usually programmed around a specific theme. This year we chose Valentine’s Day, and so many faculty artists responded with wonderful works that were “from the heart.” Very quickly we had a wonderfully diverse representation of faculty performing repertoire across many genres. I knew we had a program we could be proud of. And it’s still taking shape—pianist Fred Simon and guitarist Dave Onderdonk came to me just the other day to say that if nobody was playing “My Funny Valentine,” they would do so, in addition to some original work that was already on the program. We open with our duo piano artists-in-residence Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem performing Brahms Waltzes. We’ve also got Gershwin, Piazzolla, Rachmaninoff, and so much more. Several solo performances feature intimate acoustic instruments like solo guitar and marimba. Add to that champagne, chocolate, candlelight, and some special offers at area restaurants, and it’s a lovely night out!

Fiona Queen

How does this special evening fit into the overall goals and spirit of the Music Institute of Chicago?

We are covering the musical spectrum on this concert. The program literally has something for everyone. The concert spotlights the diverse array of music we have available to share.

Is there anything you would like to share with our readers about the Music Institute’s goals and accomplishments as they relate to this program? 

This concert complements our goals and objectives and showcases our renowned faculty. While they are exceptionally skilled educators, our faculty really get to shine on this live concert as virtuoso performers. And offering such a wide range of music on a single program exemplifies this institution beautifully.

“From the Heart” takes place Saturday, February 15 at 7:30 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue in Evanston. Admission is $50 for VIP seating, $25 for advance purchase, and $30 at the door. Tickets are available at musicinst.org/nch or by calling 847.448.8326. All programming is subject to change.

Who can resist this great offering?

Concertgoers may enjoy champagne and chocolates with a program of jazz and classical works featuring piano, violin, marimba, flute, guitar and more, as follows:
Brahms’s Waltzes Op. 39, Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 15
Schubert’s Sonatina, Op. 137, No. 2Kreisler’s Liebeslied and LiebesfreudRachmaninoff’s Variation XVIII from Rhapsody on a theme of PaganiniPiazzolla’s “Romantico” from Cinco Piezas Para GuitarraAlbeniz’s “Granada” from Suite Espanola
Mangore’s Una Limosna Por El Amor De DiosClara Schumann’s Three Romances for Violin and Piano, Op.22
Schumann/Liszt’s Widmung
Schubert/Liszt’s Standchen
Liszt’s Sonetto 104 del Petrarca from Années de pèlerinage
Gershwin’s An American in Paris/medley from Porgy and BessWaxman’s 1930 film Young in Heart (excerpts)
Hanson’s Serenade
Ron Surace’s “Latin Love” and “Sky Blue”

Pianist Fred Simon and electric guitarist David Onderdonk performing original works and Valentine’s Day standards Music Institute faculty performing (to date) include pianists Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem (duo pianists in residence), Daniel BaerElaine FelderSoo Young LeeKatherine PetersenFred SimonAnn Surace and Ron Surace (duo), and Reiko Yamada; violinists Charlene KluegelSarah PlumRachelle Puccini, and Addison Teng; percussionist Josh Graham (on marimba); flutist Maria Schwartz; and guitarists Brad Conroy and David Onderdonk.

Patrons may present their tickets at the Evanston locations of Farmhouse, Bar Louie, and other area restaurants for special discounts.

The Music Institute’s 2019–20 season continues with a double header of jazz-focused concerts—“Piano Giants” featuring the Marcus Roberts Trio March 14 and a tribute to Art Blakey March 28—followed by the Formosa Quartet performing its exclusive collection of music April 4.

Photos: Courtesy of Music Institute of Chicago

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