Music of the Baroque to Present “The Chevalier”

Music of the Baroque will present the Midwest premiere of The Chevalier, a new concert theater work written and directed by Bill Barclay. The Chevalier is about the life and music of 18th-century Black composer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, a master composer, virtuoso violinist, a friend of Mozart’s, music teacher to Marie Antoinette, the finest fencer in Europe, general of Europe’s first Black regiment and a crusader for the abolishment of slavery.  Taking a “concert theater” approach, featuring the interplay of four actors with orchestral and chamber music excerpts, Barclay blends Bologne’s remarkable history with his own compositions, ultimately conflating the French Revolution with the social and political unrest in society today.

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Ravinia Appoints Steve Wilson Co-Director of Jazz Program

In anticipation of the reopening of its gates for the 2021 season, the Ravinia Festival has announced the appointment of saxophonist Steve Wilson as a co-program director of the Ravinia Steans Music Institute (RSMI) Program for Jazz. Wilson joined the program for Jazz faculty in 2019, bringing his extensive performance expertise and a deep respect for jazz education to the role. A talented multi-instrumentalist specializing in alto and soprano saxophone performance, he has served as the director of Jazz Studies at City College of New York and conducts clinics and master classes around the world. Jazz Times calls him “the consummate saxophonist-composer” and “one of the finest alto and soprano saxophonists of our time.”

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Chicago Children’s Theatre Appoints Sam Mauceri Inclusive Education and Programs Manager

Chicago Children’s Theatre has announced the appointment of Sam Mauceri (they/them/theirs) to a new full-time staff position: Inclusive Education and Programs Manager. Mauceri’s responsibilities include creating and ensuring an open and inclusive environment for all education programming at Chicago Children’s Theatre, including its full, year-round roster of performing arts classes and camps for children 0 to 18.

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LUMINARY: Q&A with Singer/Songwriter Kelly Hunt

When it comes to the core artistic tenants of the Folk/Americana genre, Kansas City-based singer/songwriter Kelly Hunt is what they call the genuine article. In a musical landscape that is in any given year ripe for reflection and authenticity, Hunt is an artist’s artist who revels in the stuff. And why should that surprise? Her entire ecosystem from an early age has fed a sensitivity to diverse musical voices impacting her trajectory, from her mother who sang professional opera and saxophonist father who marinated in the hottest jazz, all amid the musical ethos of Memphis, Tennessee, no less. It’s almost as if necessity dictated she evolve into a professional musician or something 180 degrees removed from the space. When that evolution did materialize, Hunt harnessed her considerable artistic resources to produce her debut album, Even the Sparrow, a stunning, stripped down acoustic paean to modern Southern roots music and the near-raw, evocative intimacy and immediacy that makes that sound so well beloved.

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LUMINARY: Q&A with Singer/Songwriter Camila Meza

Chilean jazz musician Camila Meza is well-known for her fresh improvizations and her intuitive blending of voice and instrument in a seamless outpouring of music. Ever since the musical upstart left Chile for New York in 2009 to attend the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, she has grown more and more influential as an artist of rank. Almost immediately, she became a regular at jazz clubs in the Big Apple, and as such etched out a reputation of superlative mastery of both voice and guitar, something rare in the jazz world. And as a composer and arranger, she’s developed a voice that embraces both jazz and Latin American traditions, something that is clearly expressed in her recordings for Chilean record label Vertice Records. Having performed in South American, Europe and the US, Meza is already becoming a veteran on the global circuit. She’s performed at the Blue Note of Poznan in Poland and the Swindnica Jazz Festival.

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Architecture and Music Meld in New University of Chicago Series

As one of the world’s leading institutions of higher learning, the University of Chicago is renowned for combining critical research and understanding of the past with free and open inquiry that drives new ways of thinking. The University’s campus reflects this duality with dramatic neogothic structures juxtaposed with provocative modern architecture conceived by some of the most forward-thinking designers in the world. In a new series called Sound Sites, the University of Chicago Department of Music and UChicago Presents will join past and present in music and architecture with performances by the Department’s performance faculty in some of the University’s most notable spaces.

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Lyric Opera Names Sylvia Neil First Woman Board Chair

Anthony Freud, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s general director, president & CEO, has announced the election of Sylvia Neil as chair of Lyric’s Board of Directors, the first woman board chair in Lyric’s history. Neil was elected unanimously during Lyric’s Annual Meeting of members and the Board of Directors’ Annual Meeting in early September, after holding the position of board chair-elect for the last year. In her acceptance speech Neil said, “I am honored to be the first woman chair of Lyric, and am humbled and inspired by Carol Fox and Ardis Krainik, the extraordinary groundbreaking women general directors of our past. These are the folks that light my path forward.”

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