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Wendy Warner (Photo provided)

Before it embarks on a European tour, the Wheaton-based Camerata Chicago, an acclaimed chamber orchestra conducted by founder Drostan Hall, will perform this weekend with guest cellist Wendy Warner. The concert includes the world premiere of the "Pilatus" chamber symphony commissioned from Chicago composer Mischa Zupko. Warner will perform the Haydn D Major Cello Concerto.

The concert begins at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, May 19, in Lutheran Church of the Ascension, 460 Sunset Ridge Road, Northfield, where Zupko is music director. The program also includes the dramatic Symphony No. 7 by Beethoven, and Wagner’s "Siegfried Idyll." A free will offering will be accepted.

Warner has collaborated numerous times with Camerata Chicago, and will be traveling on tour with the group, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Cedille records will release an album featuring Wendy Warner and Camerata Chicago performing celli concerto by Haydn and Myslivecek mid-year.

About Camerata Chicago

The chamber orchestra has performed frequently on WFMT radio station. Within a year of its debut a decade ago, the ensemble won its first record contract with Centaur Records to record music by Stamitz. Camerata Chicago has had a particularly close relationship with the renowned Vermeer String Quartet, collaborating with the quartet’s leader, Shmuel Ashkenasi, who performed and recorded the fifth violin concerto of Mozart.

Ashkenasi became artistic advisor to the orchestra in 2006, calling the group one of the top five chamber orchestras in America. Hall also received guidance from his late uncle, famed conductor Sir Charles Mackerras.

In 2008, Mathias Tacke, second violinist of the Vermeer Quartet, was appointed concertmaster, and since then has recorded Bach concerti with Camerata Chicago.

The composer
Works by Zupko, an award-winning composer, have been featured in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Weill Hall, Merkin Hall, Aspen Music Festival and Moscow Conservatory. The New York Times declared Zupko's Five Etudes for Piano as "… Liszt-like in their florid generosity."

The cellist

Warner garnered international attention by winning first-prize at the Fourth International Rostropovich Competition in Paris in 1990. She has collaborated with such conductors as Mstislav Rostropovich, Vladimir Spivakov, Christoph Eschenbach, Andre Previn, Jesús López-Cobos, Joel Smirnoff, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, Charles Dutoit, Eiji Oue, Neeme Järvi and Michael Tilson Thomas.
The maestro
Hall is a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, and Northern Illinois University, where he studied with members of the Vermeer String Quartet including Ashkenasi, Piere Menard and Tacke. Drostan began violin lessons at the age of 4, and at 12 received a Martin Musical Scholarship to continue his studies with Frederick Grinke. A year later, he was selected to compete in the first Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition. The Aldeburgh Foundation invited him to participate in internationally acclaimed master classes at the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies. At age 14, he was the youngest violinist ever to participate in the master classes.

In 2001, Hall produced "Ferdinand & Friends," an educational compact disc for children on the DMD Classics label that became a best seller in various educational catalogues.

More info

Drostan Hall to conduct Camerata Chicago in concert

When: 4:30 p.m. Sunday, May 19

Where: Lutheran Church of the Ascension, 460 Sunset Ridge Road, Northfield

Cost: Free will offering; for more information, visit