Chamber Festival welcomes young performers to Northbrook
North Shore Chamber
Village Presbyterian Church, 1300 Shermer Road, Northbrook
June 6, 8 and 9
Pre-Concert Performance, 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 6: ICODA on Stage, a presentation by young artists from the International Center on Deafness and the Arts through Education
Opening concert: “From Duo to Octet,” 7:30 p.m. Wednesday June 6
For details, visit www.nscmf.org or call (847) 370-3984
Updated: July 30, 2012 1:43AM
The North Shore Chamber Music Festival, run by internationally acclaimed husband and wife team violinist Vadim Gluzman and pianist Angela Yoffe, begins its second season Wednesday evening, with the Northbrook couple playing Bartok’s Rhapsody No. 1 for Violin and Piano as the opening piece.
The evening also includes Beethoven’s String Quartet by the renowned Pacifica String Quartet.
Perhaps the most unusual work Wednesday is “Ferdinand the Bull,” by Alan Ridout, a prolific British composer who often wrote music for children. Ridout adapted the 1936 best-selling children’s book by American author Munro Leaf for narrator and violin.
Vadim Gluzman will play the violin and the narrator will be Henry Fogel, dean of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, who was also president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1985 to 2003.
“Vadim is on my faculty at Roosevelt,” said Fogel, when reached by telephone at the downtown university. “I went to his first festival last June at his invitation and I really liked what I heard. The quality he and Angela are presenting is really good.”
Fogel, who lives in River Forest, began his career on WONO, the classical music radio station in Syracuse, New York, and is credited with creating the first-ever fund-raising radiothon.
After leaving the CSO, Fogel headed the League of American Orchestra for five years, visiting more than 190 American orchestras during that time. He facilitated the highly successful Ford Made in America project, which commissioned works from leading American composers to be played by small budget orchestra from coast to coast. “I’m very proud of that project,” he said. “The composers got a lot of performances, instead of just one. It was a good idea and it was a success.”
Despite all his long administrative career, Fogel has never quite turned off the radio. He presents the nationally syndicated “Collectors’ Corner” at 8 p.m. every Sunday evening on WFMT (98.7FM), drawing from his own library of about 5,000 LP recordings and between 20,000 and 25,000 CDs. “We have separate room for them all,” he said, laughing. “We might be the only people who had to move into a bigger house after the children grew up!”
Fogel has been heard as a narrator with many orchestras, frequently in Aaron Copland’s “A Lincoln Portrait.”
Joining Fogel as a silent narrator is Kirsten Moomey Merilo, who is coming in from Los Angeles to interpret the story in American sign language.
Merilo’s appearance is part of the festival’s outreach to the International Center on Deafness and the Arts through Education, now located in temporary quarters in Northbrook.
“Kirsten is a contemporary of Marlee Matlin, “ said Dr. Patricia Scherer of Northbrook, ICODA’s founder and president, invoking the name of ICODA’s most famous student to date, who won an Academy Award in 1986 for her starring role in the Hollywood film “Children of a Lesser God.”
Matlin began her stage career at the age of seven in ICODA’s first theater group, as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.” “Kirsten was in that show,” said Scherer. “She played the Scarecrow.”
At 6 p.m. Wednesday young artists from the center will give a theatrical presentation, which Merilo will also sign.
The pre-concert program, given by students from 14 to 18 years of age, includes “America” from “West Side Story,” a selection from “Into the Woods,” and a song titled “Proud.”
“Then our kids will be joined by students from the Betty Haag Academy of Violin Studies,” Scherer continued, “and they’ll all present ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow.’ The audience will be asked to sing.”
Betty Haag’s young musicians, who were featured in last year’s festival, will also play the first movement of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3.
As part of the pre-concert program, Angela Joffe, who asked ICODA to take part in the festival, will play a piano-four hands version of Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” with Madeline McKelvey of Glenview, who is a sophomore in the deaf and hard-of-hearing program at Hersey High School in Arlington Heights.
Art work from children at ICODA, from 12 to 18 years of age, will be on display in the church.
The festival continues with “From Darkness to Light” Friday, June 8 with music by Schubert, Shostakovich, Schnittke and Brahms. The final program “Musical Kaleidoscope” will be Saturday, June 9 with music by Stravinsky, Golijov, Piazzolla and Franck.