Submitted by the Music Institute of Chicago
The Music Institute of Chicago concludes its 2022–23 season at Nichols Concert Hall with Celebrating Music Institute of Chicago Luminaries, which spotlights more than 90 years of the organization’s commitment to excellence in teaching and performance while providing access to music and music education for all.
Representing the Music Institute’s past, present and future, the performers include alumna pianist Inna Faliks, alumna pianist and Artist-in-Residence Marta Aznavoorian, Ensemble-in-Residence Quintet Attacca and the award-winning musicians of the Music Institute’s Academy Orchestra. The concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 6, at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave..
Faliks will perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto in D Minor, K. 466, joined by the Academy Orchestra, and Aznavoorian will join members of Quintet Attacca for Mozart’s Piano Quintet for Piano and Winds in E-flat Major, K. 452. The program also includes Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 by Heitor Villa-Lobos, the focus of the Music Institute’s One Composer, One Community program this year, performed by soprano Angela De Venuto, a member of the Music Institute’s voice faculty, and an orchestra of Academy student cellists and faculty cellist Bianca d’Avila do Prado.
“When students study at the Music Institute, their intellectual, interpersonal and creative development is enhanced,” said President and CEO Mark George. “Alumni excel with careers in business, science, even world-class aviation. Of course, some alumni become world-class musicians. Pianists Inna Faliks and Marta Aznavoorian are great examples, and I can’t wait to hear them perform two of Mozart’s best-loved pieces.”
Ukrainian-born pianist Inna Faliks has performed in recital and with many major orchestras around the world, most recently at the Ravinia Festival of Chicago, National Gallery in Washington D.C., and Chigiana Academy in Italy. She collaborates with and premieres music by some of today’s most significant composers, including Billy Childs, Richard Danielpour, Timo Andres and Clarice Assad. She founded the award-winning poetry-music series Music/Words in 2008, and she regularly tours her monologue-recital Polonaise-Fantasie, the Story of a Pianist, which tells of her immigration to the United States from Odessa with music by Bach, Chopin, Gershwin and Carter (recorded on Delos). She is a professor and head of Piano Studies at UCLA.
Marta Aznavoorian, a multiple Grammy-nominated musician, has performed to critical acclaim throughout the world as orchestral soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. She has appeared as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony, Aspen Concert Orchestra, The New Millennium Orchestra, San Angelo Symphony and San Diego Symphony. She is a founding member of the celebrated Lincoln Trio, which has toured throughout the United States, South America, Europe and Asia. She and her sister, cellist Ani Aznavoorian, released their debut CD Veiled Mountain, Gems from Armenia on Cedille Records in 2022. A faculty member in the Music Institute’s Piano Department since 1999, she became Artist-in-Residence in 2021 and has expanded her ambassadorial work to support performances, master classes, community outreach and fundraising activities. The Artist in Residence position at the Music Institute of Chicago held by Aznavoorian is made possible by Jim Stone.
Founded in 1999, Ensemble-in-Residence Quintet Attacca – Jennifer Clippert, flute; Erica Anderson, oboe; Barbara Drapcho, clarinet; Collin Anderson, bassoon; and Jeremiah Frederick, horn – is one of Chicago’s most dynamic chamber music ensembles. Past Grand Prize Winner and Wind Division Gold Medal Winner at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, Quintet Attacca has reached audiences internationally and across the U.S., performing extensively in Chicago and the Midwest. Recent engagements include the First Monday Series at the Chicago Cultural Center, a residency with Chamber Music Society of Detroit and live broadcasts on WFMT. The group has worked with contemporary composers including David Smooke, Collin Anderson, Rami Levin and Dana McCormick.
The Academy of the Music Institute of Chicago, led by Director James Setapen, is a nationally recognized training center for gifted pre-college pianists and string players that provides comprehensive music education for students who aspire to be professional musicians. Faculty, staff and students come together for an intensive 30-week program that includes private lessons with Academy artist faculty, a rigorous chamber music component, a stimulating chamber orchestra experience and accelerated music theory classes. Pianists additionally study keyboard history and literature, improvisation and keyboard skills in an intimate group setting. A hallmark of the Academy is the weekly master class when students perform for and observe acclaimed musicians and educators who share their knowledge. The Academy faculty, who teach at some of the country’s most prestigious conservatories and music schools, have a passion for developing young talent and an established record of student achievement.
For concert updates, visit nicholsconcerthall.org.