Welcome to the North Shore Chamber Music Festival – the music makers!
We had a dream. We wanted to start a chamber music festival as a way to enhance and give back to our community. In 2011, we were running errands near our home in Chicago’s North Shore, noticed the Village Presbyterian Church, and quickly realized it would be ideal for such an event. For participating artists, we knew we could draw on a top-notch network of friends and colleagues with whom we have had the good fortune to collaborate throughout the years.
What resulted was the North Shore Chamber Music Festival, which takes place each June over four days in Northbrook. Critics have hailed it as one of the best-kept secrets in Chicago’s classical scene, and it’s not hard to understand why. “World-class” is an over-used term, but we never hedge on quality, consistently inviting guest artists who live up to the descriptor. The programs mix old and new, the well-known and little-known, so there is always something fresh and something familiar. Perhaps best of all, the concerts are warm, inviting, and intimate – all the qualities any worthwhile chamber music presentation should have.
If not for the pandemic, 2020 would have marked the 10th anniversary of the festival – a noteworthy milestone in the rough-and-tumble non-profit world. During this unprecedented year, we created a new onstage/offstage series with limited in-person seating that enjoyed a livestream audience of tens of thousands of people in the Chicago area and around the globe. Our concerts were streamed in Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Bright Star Community Outreach, and included performances by students of The Betty Haag Academy of Music.
The series provided a way for our artists to stay connected to you, our dear audience, and for talented young musicians to have the opportunity of performing in concerts, and to be encouraged and supported in masterclasses with world-renowned teachers.
And now, we are extremely proud and moved to announce that we will be celebrating our 10th anniversary season this year with performances on June 9, 11, and 12, and we invite you to join the festivities! Following health protocols and all necessary precautions, in-person seating will be limited, and all concerts will be streamed live on our website – www.nscmf.org – and on the platform of our wonderful media partner – The Violin Channel.
Thanks to the amazing support of our donors and especially to that of our lead sponsor, The Alphadyne Foundation, this year we are able to offer complimentary access to everyone in celebration of our 10th anniversary and as a gesture of thanks and encouragement to our community here in Chicago’s North Shore and elsewhere. This included in-person attendance and all streaming concerts.
Among the festival highlights is Beethoven’s Septet, a cheerful, too-little-heard masterwork tinged with the rococo galant style of Mozart and Haydn. It anchors the opening “Mostly Beethoven” program on Wednesday, June 9, commemorating the recent 250th anniversary of the great composer’s birth.
Continuing the festival’s commitment to education and outreach, the performance on Friday, June 11th features seven recipients of our Arkady Fomin Scholarship, which we founded in 2015. Extraordinary young artists violinists Julian Rhee, Jacqueline Audas, Joshua Brown and Masha Lakisova, cellist Katherine Audas, pianist Janice Carissa, and Russian-born African Canadian bassoonist Marlène Ngalissamy will be joined by festival artists Vadim Gluzman, William Wolfram, and Angela Yoffe. Bridging generations in a heartwarming program full of beauty and virtuosity called “Romance from France”
The festival culminates on Saturday, June 12, with a concert titled “Brahms and Company”, offering Haydn’s brilliant “Gypsy Trio” and Hungarian composer Ernst von Dohnányi’s Sextet for the unusual combination of piano, violin, viola, cello, clarinet, and French horn. Written in 1935, it includes elements of jazz and what one writer has described as a “lopsided Viennese waltz.” Brahms grandiose Piano Quintet crowns this exciting evening with an all-star team of musicians.
We usually mix new guest artists and returnees, but for this special year, all the participants will be familiar faces. Violist and composer Atar Arad, violinist Lisa Shihoten, clarinetist Ilya Shterenberg, cellist Wendy Warner and pianist William Wolfram, for example, have appeared numerous times at the festival, including its debut edition in 2011.
2021 is a big year for the North Shore Chamber Music Festival for many reasons. If you are a regular attendee, welcome back. If you’ve never experienced the event, this is the perfect time to give it a try, and welcome music as a sign of a new, brighter beginning.
We look forward to welcoming you in June to the NSCMF – the music makers!