Orion Ensemble returns to Nichols Concert Hall on March 13

Music from the 19th and 20th centuries fills the program for the third concert of the Orion Ensemble’s 29th season, with works by Farrenc, Still and Tchaikovsky at the Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday March 13 at the Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave in Evanston. There will also be performances of the same program at the New England Congregational Church in Aurora on March 6 and at PianoForte Studios in Chicago on March 9. Performances from Chicago and Evanston will be available live.

Tchaikovsky’s Trio in A Minor is a touching commemorative piece for his mentor, Nikolai Rubinstein, founder of the Moscow Conservatory. Rubinstein was Tchaikovsky’s employer at the conservatory and the pianist to whom Tchaikovsky originally wanted to dedicate his Piano Concerto in B-flat minor. A very poignant work in two movements completed in 1882, it is the only work that Tchaikovsky wrote for violin, cello and piano.

Trio for clarinet, cello and piano in E flat major op. 44 by Louise Farrenc (1804-1875). Farrenc was a decisive musical force in Paris in the middle of the 19th century. A brilliant concert pianist and gifted composer, she opened a publishing house with her husband and became a successful music publisher. In 1842, she obtained a lifelong position as piano teacher at the Paris Conservatoire. This Trio, which she composed in 1840, is a work of great delicacy and lyrical beauty, depicting moments of great passion.

William Grant Still’s haunting “Three Visions for Piano” offers a musical journey into eternal mystery: death and the questions of the afterlife. This piano composition, which Still composed for his wife in 1935, is provocative and seductive. Still’s Folk Suite #2 includes delightful and colorful movements tastefully presented as chamber miniatures.

In accordance with State of Illinois requirements, all members of the public will be required to wear masks at all three venues. Additionally, Nichols Concert Hall performance on March 13 requires proof of full COVID-19 vaccination status or a negative COVID PCR test processed within 48 hours of the day of the event. For the venue’s full policy, visit musicinst.org/covid-policy-nichols-concert-hall. Audience members can email info@orionensemble.org for any updates to these requirements closer to performances.

The Chicago and Evanston live streams will be available on Orion’s YouTube channel, which will also host a recording of the performance for a limited time.

In-person tickets are $30, $25 for seniors 65 and older, and $15 for students. Children 12 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased in advance at 630-628-9591 or info@orionensemble.org.

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