Throughout the academic year, Elmhurst College will celebrate music and dance from an eclectic range of cultures and styles during the Elmhurst College World Music Series.
This year’s theme is “Kontras! Music of Contrasts,” and concerts will explore the folk melodies of Russia and the lively mariachis of Mexico, as well as the music of Japan, Korea, Spain, Brazil, India, South Africa and the U.S.
The first concert in the series will feature the guitarists of Duo Tandem performing music from Latin America and Spain. Duo Tandem’s performances have been described as “magical” and praised for their “beautiful articulations, rhythm and timing.” The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, in Buik Recital Hall in Irion Hall, 190 Prospect Ave., Elmhurst. Admission costs $15. For directions, visit www.elmhurst.edu/campusmap.
At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, in Buik Recital Hall, guest artist Pt. Havaldar will perform and conduct a workshop on Hindustani classical music. Havaldar spent a semester-long residency on the Elmhurst College campus in 2011, in conjunction with a course taught by Elmhurst music professor Mark Harbold. The event is free.
The main concert, to be held Saturday, Oct. 26, will feature three world-class artists performing with the Elmhurst Philharmonic Orchestra and Elmhurst College dancers.
Mariachi Real de Jalisco will perform Mexican classics, playing on their own and with full orchestral accompaniment. Cellist and composer Ian Maksin will perform a world premiere solo composition featuring folk music from Russia, as well as Anatoly Liadov’s “Eight Russian Folk Songs” with the Elmhurst Philharmonic. Flutist Jennie Oh Brown, who also teaches at Elmhurst College, will present a solo composition of music native to Japan, and will solo with the orchestra in Robert Smith’s depiction of the invasion of Inchon Beach during the Korean War. The concert will conclude with a favorite, inspired by the music of Argentina, “Blue Tango” by Leroy Anderson, featuring Elmhurst College dancers.
The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 in Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel, 190 Prospect Ave. Admission costs $12 to $20.
Other concerts in the World Music Series include:
Guitar Ensemble Concert with guest artist Susan Dennis of Bartlett: The Elmhurst College Guitar Ensemble, led by director Steve Suvada, will perform the music of Spain and Latin America at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, in Buik Recital Hall. The concert will feature soprano Susan Dennis, music/artistic director of Elgin Opera. Admission costs $5.
Percussion Ensemble Brazilian Workshop/Concert with Geraldo de Oliveira: Geraldo de Oliveira started playing percussion professionally at the age of 14 in his hometown of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He is the percussionist for the Lake Side Singers and Andy Tecson’s musical productions “The Jazz Passion” and “Bending Towards the Light.” The concert will be held Friday, Nov. 22, in Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel. The workshop begins at 7 p.m. and the concert at 8 p.m. Admission costs $10.
Kontras String Quartet Concert: Lauded as a “tightly crafted and beautiful instrument,” the Kontras String Quartet is becoming one of the most vibrant young string quartets on the scene. The quartet is all the more unique in that its members — violinists Dmitri Pogorelov and Francois Henkins, violist Ai Ishida, and cellist (and Elmhurst College cello instructor) Jean Hatmaker — hail from four different parts of the world. Kontras, which means “contrasts” in Henkins’ native Afrikaans language, debuted in Chicago after the four musicians met while performing in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. The quartet will play music from Japan, Russia, South Africa and the United States. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 15, in Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel. Admission costs $15.
For more information on the series and to purchase tickets, visit www.elmhurst.edu/worldmusic.