Northwestern University Alumnae Continuing Education Series

Fall 2016

Great Composers - From Schubert to Gershwin

Stephen Alltop, Senior Lecturer, Conducting & Ensembles

Tuesdays, 12:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

McCormick Auditorium

DATE

SEPT. 20 Franz Schubert: Giant of Song

Sept. 27  Hector Berlioz: Larger than Life

October 4 Robert Schumann: Tormented Genius

October 11 Antonín Dvořák: Bohemia’s Favorite

October 18 NO CLASS

October 25 Claude Debussy: Impressionist in Music

Nov. 1 George Gershwin: Rhapsody in the USA

Nov. 8 Maurice Ravel: Musical Colorist Extraordinaire

Nov. 15 Aaron Copland: America’s Composer

Nov. 22 John Corigliano: A Genius of Our Time

Nov. 29  César Franck: French Romantic Master

(For this date, NOTE EARLY START TIME 12:30 - 2:30, location: Alice Millar Chapel)

Musical Explorations


Stephen Alltop, Senior Lecturer, Conducting and Ensembles Winter 2017

Tuesday afternoons, 12:45-2:45 p.m.,
Norris University Center
Note: The final class will be in Alice Millar Chapel. 

DATE

Jan. 3 Franz Liszt: Virtuosic Visionary

Franz Liszt is best known for his exploits as one of the first and greatest virtuosos on the piano. While initially he composed in support his performance needs, Liszt ultimately became one of the most ifluential and forward-looking composers of the 19th century.

Jan. 10 Giacomo Puccini: A Lion of Opera

Giacomo Puccini was the most famous creator of the verismo operas – works that drew upon real-life subjects and characters as opposed to those of mythology or legend. One of the great melodists of all time, his music also features sumptuous harmonies and soaring vocal lines. From Manon Lescaut to Turandot, Puccini’s hit parade is one of the most beloved in opera history.

Jan. 17 Béla Bartok: Hungarian Genius

Along with his countryman Zoltán Kodály, Béla Bartók melded the essence of Hungarian folk songs with musical forms of great imagination and sophistication. Bartók achieved worldwide prominence during the turbulent first half of the 20th century.

Jan. 24 Samuel Barber: American Voice

(Note earlier time: 12:30-2:30 p.m.)

From his early days as a young musician who caught the attention of Toscanini to his ascendancy as one of America’s greatest composers, Samuel Barber enjoyed a stellar career. His music is imbued with a vocal quality that was derived in part from his own singing as a baritone.

Jan. 31 Ornamentation and Variation

Ornamentation and variation are two closely related ways that musical themes and compositions are embellished and developed. The lecture will examine how performers and composers enhance beautiful music through both imagination and careful craftsmanship.

Feb. 7 Crossing the Line – Where Jazz meets Classical Music

While the melding of jazz and classical idioms is now a long-standing concept, other parallels between these musical styles are compelling to examine, particularly the similarities between the rhythms section of a jazz combo and the continuo group in baroque music. Supported by live performers, you can expect some improvisation in this presentation!

Feb. 14 All Keyed Up: How Composers Choose Their Keys

We hear of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor and Bach’s Mass in B Minor, but why were those keys selected for these monumental pieces? Stephen Alltop examines the practical, historical, mystical, and symbolic reasons behind how composers chose their keys.

Feb. 21 Plucked and Strummed: Harp, Harpsichord, & Theorbo

An in-depth presentation on three closely related instruments: the harp, harpsichord, and theorbo. The fascinating histories, capabilities and importance of these instruments will be discussed and supported by live performances.

Feb. 28 Strings and Things

The forebearers of modern string instruments such as the violin, viola, cello and bass include rebecs, bowed lyres, and viols. Each of the members of the modern string family will be presented and played by outstanding performers from the Bienen School of Music.

Mar. 7 Maurice Duruflé: Musical Perfectionist

(Alice Millar Chapel)

Maurice Duruflé was an enigmatic and highly accomplished organist and composer. His music blends elements of Gregorian chant, exquisite counterpoint, and impressionistic harmonies. Dr. Alltop will discuss Duruflé’s Requiem, one of the masterpieces of the choral repertoire, and perform organ works by Duru é, Louis Vierne, and Charles Tournemire. 

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