Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
Members of the award-winning chamber music group, Orion Ensemble (photo© Devon Cass).
The Orion Ensemble, winner of the prestigious Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, has announced its 22nd season: A Taste of Chicago, A World of Romance, spotlighting Chicago composers Jim Gailloreto, Sebastian Huydts, Stacy Garrop and Marc Mellits. And its season-opening concert will put the focus squarely on three of its chief collaborators when it performs “Stepping Out,” welcoming guest musicians: bassist Robert Kassinger, a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and an avid chamber and jazz musician; pianist Sebastian Huydts, director of keyboard studies at the Music Center of Columbia College Chicago, concert pianist and chamber musician; and violinist/violist Stephen Boe, acclaimed musician and also teacher at the Music Institute of Chicago.
The program includes Jim Gailloreto's Jazz Trio for Clarinet, Violin and Cello (2014); John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" arranged for Clarinet, Violin, Viola and Cello by Gailloreto (2014); Morton Gould's "Benny's Gig" for Clarinet and String Bass (1962); Dvorak's Selected Slavonic Dances for Piano, Four Hands, Op. 72; and Franz Schubert's "Trout" Quintet in A Major, Op. 114, D. 667. Performances take place September 28 (Geneva), October 1 (Sherwood/Chicago) and October 5 (Evanston).
Complimenting the opening program of the ensemble’s Chicago-centric season will be concerts featuring the Huydts’ Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano; George Enescu's Romanian Rhapsody Op. 11, No. 1, arranged for Orion by Ilya Levinson and Peter Labella and Marc Mellits' "Tapas" for Violin, Viola and Cello (2007).
Along with appearances on broadcast series "Live from WFMT" March 23 and June 1, 2015, Orion will, for the second year, continue its initiative aiming to make chamber music more accessible. The group’s Janet's Stage collaboration will pair Orion with the orchestra departments at area partner high schools, providing multifaceted, year-long student support in the form of master classes and chamber music coaching, performances for students and parents at each school, invitations to attend Orion concerts and the opportunity for student ensembles to perform on the Orion concert stage.
For more information about Orion’s season-opening concert or their upcoming A Taste of Chicago programming, visit orionensemble.org.