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November 27 @ 7:30 PM

Submitted by The Orion Ensemble

The Orion Ensemble‘s 30th anniversary season continues with a world premiere and an earlier work written for the ensemble by Jackson Berkey and noteworthy quartets by Amon and Brahms. Welcoming frequent guest violist Stephen Boe, Orion performs the program at three venues: Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston (November 27), PianoForte Studios in Chicago (November 30) and New England Congregational Church in Aurora (December 4). The Chicago and Evanston performances also will be available via livestream.

American composer Jackson Berkey (b. 1942), who is perhaps best known as the co-founder of the acclaimed Mannheim Steamroller, has composed a world premiere in honor of Orion’s 30th anniversary, “Homage to Emily Dickinson.” The program also includes Berkey’s Earth Voices for Violin, Clarinet, Cello and Piano, which the composer wrote for Orion in 2000 and displays an immediacy of intimate expressions, gently shifting harmonies and lilting rhythms. Berkey’s earlier compositions were choral works he composed for his wife Almeda, a choral director at the University of Nebraska. Since the 1980s, he has expanded to other genres and composed concertos for various instruments including harp, organ and piano. A composer of many chamber works, Berkey often finds inspiration in his East Coast travels.

Johann Andreas Amon (1763–1825) reflects the elegance of the Classical era and the dawning of 19th century Romanticism in his compositions. A virtuoso guitarist, Amon was also a renowned horn player, accomplished pianist and celebrated composer/conductor. His output includes two viola concertos, chamber works for various instruments and symphonies. The Quartet in E-flat Major for Clarinet, Violin, Viola and Cello presents the elegance and melodic expression Amon is known for.

The Quartet for Violin, Viola, Cello and Piano in C minor by Johannes Brahms (1833–97) is sometimes called the Werther Quartet, named after Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther. Compelling and intense, this expressive work features rich and dark harmonies, impassioned themes and haunting transitions. The second theme in the first movement is exemplary of the magnificent expressions one expects from Brahms.

The Orion Ensemble performs Concert 2 of its 30th anniversary season:

Sunday, November 27 at 7:30 p.m. at
Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston

Wednesday, November 30 at 7:30 p.m. at
PianoForte Studios, 1335 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Sunday, December 4 at 7 p.m. at
New England Congregational Church, 406 W. Galena Boulevard, Aurora.

Tickets are $30, $25 for seniors (65+) and $15 for students (13+); children 12 and younger are free. Flexible four-ticket subscriptions, valid for any date or venue, are $110, $90 for seniors, $50 for students.

Tickets are available at 630-628-9591 or

The livestream will be available free on Orion’s YouTube channel; donations are welcome at

All programming is subject to change; for information visit



November 27
7:30 PM
Event Category:


Nichols Concert Hall
1490 Chicago Ave
Evanston, 60201 United States
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(773) 281-7820
View Venue Website

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