Rockefeller Memorial Chapel

Skip to: main navigation | utility navigation | main content

Performances 2013-14

Organ pipes

Piping hot tea...

Seraphic Fire with the Spektral Quartet on April 16.


(All events are at Rockefeller Chapel unless otherwise noted).

April Performances

Seraphic Fire with the Spektral Quartet: Haydn's Seven Last Words
Wednesday April 16, 7:30 pm
A Chicago Presents performance

Composed for the grand Holy Week celebrations of the cathedral in Cádiz, Franz Joseph Haydn’s Seven Last Words is a sumptuous feast of classical choral and string writing. With aching adagios and passionate, plaintive singing, the Seven Last Words represents the pinnacle of Haydn’s considerable output. For this once-in-a-decade performance, the singers of Seraphic Fire are joined by the Spektral Quartet, an ensemble that Time Out Chicago calls a “chamber supergroup.” Come and listen to the musical alchemy that occurs when two of the nation’s foremost chamber ensembles combine to perform a consummate musical masterpiece in the midst of Rockefeller Chapel’s Holy Week cycle.

Tickets $25, students $5, at or at the door.

This performance is made possible through a generous grant by the Clinton Family Fund, Bruce and Martha Clinton.

Gerrish Organ Performance Series: Isabelle Demers
Saturday April 26, 7:30 pm
Isabelle Demers plays a glorious concert of her own transcriptions of music by Tchaikovsky (excerpts from The Sleeping Beauty), Praetorius, and Mendelssohn (from A Midsummer Night’s Dream), with the première of Three Short Studies by Rachel Laurin (Monologue for Solo Pedal, The Flight of the Hummingbird, and Dialogue of the Mockingbirds), and grand classics for organ by Healey Willan, Ernest Macmillan, Alexandre Guilmant, and Marcel Dupré. Isabelle Demers is organ professor and chair of the organ program at Baylor University, TX. A native of Québec, she is rapidly becoming recognized as one of North America’s most virtuosic organists. A recent review said that “she enchanted the entire audience with her virtuoso performance,” leaving the entire congress in an atmosphere of “Demers fever.”

Demers began piano and organ study at age 11 at the Montréal Conservatory of Music, and later studied in Paris at the École Normale de Paris-Alfred Cortot. She received her doctorate in musical arts from the Juilliard School, where she studied with Paul Jacobs. Her recent engagements have included the cathedrals of Cologne and Regensburg in Germany, St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, the Royal Opera House of Muscat, Oman, as well as major universities and concert halls in the United States and Europe, among them San Francisco’s Davies Hall, Los Angeles’ Disney Hall, the rededication of the Royal Festival Hall organ in London, and upcoming tours in Australia, New Zealand, and Germany. She has released three CDs, most recently Bach, Bull, and Bombardes (Pro Organo, 2013).

This is the fifth annual recital in the Brian Gerrish Organ Performance Series, made possible by a generous endowment given to honor Divinity School professor emeritus Brian Gerrish and to promote the joy of listening to world-class organ performance! Tickets at the door $10, free to students.

May Performances

Friday May 2, 6 pm | Bond Chapel
The University of Chicago’s Piano Performance Program presents a concert directed by Svetlana Belsky celebrating the 300th birthday of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, master of the gallant style who broke away from the formalism of Baroque music and paved the way for some of his greatest admirers, Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven.

Presented by the Department of Music Performance Programs and Piano Performance Program.

Newberry Consort
Celestial Sirens: Music from the Mexican Convent of the Encarnacion

Saturday May 3, 8 pm | Bond Chapel
The Newberry Choir books are the source for this program of brilliant new world music by Mexican and Spanish composers. Written for women’s voices and accompanying instruments, these works designed for convent worship feature the elegant polyphony, dancing rhythms, and rich harmonies that characterize this unique repertoire from New Spain. Ellen Hargis, soprano, with women’s vocal ensemble accompanied by guitar, bassoon, and organ. Tickets $35-45 at or at the door.

Schola Antiqua: Music for St. Anne
Friday May 9, 8 pm | Bond Chapel
Schola Antiqua explores chant and polyphonic music for the apocryphal St. Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary, including works by Pierre de la Rue and Jean Mouton. This concert coincides with the release of artistic director Michael Alan Anderson’s book St. Anne in Renaissance Music: Devotion and Politics (Cambridge University Press). General admission $25, students and seniors $10, at

Chicago Syntagma Musicum: Harmonia Sacra, music of Henry Purcell
Saturday May 10, 7 pm | Bond Chapel
Chicago Syntagma Musicum presents sacred chamber music by Henry Purcell, featuring keyboard music and devotional songs from the 1688 collection Harmonia Sacra including The Blessed Virgin’s Expostulation and the dramatic cantata Saul and the Witch at Endor. With Kimberly Jones, soprano, Wayne Parham, tenor, Andrew Schultze, bass-baritone, Martine Benmann, cello, Svetlana Belsky, harpsichord, and Thomas Weisflog, baroque organ. General admission $25, students and seniors $10, at the door.

Early Music Ensemble Spring Concert!
Tuesday May 13, 7:30 | Bond Chapel
The Department of Music’s Early Music Ensemble brings together English Renaissance classics, including Thomas Morley’s Now is the Month of Maying and April is in My Mistress’ Face, John Dowland’s Come Heavy Sleep, Come Again, Sweet Love Doth Now Invite, and William Byrd’s In Winter Cold, Laetentur coeli and Ave verum corpus. Free.

Choral Splendor with Pomona College!
Saturday May 24, 7:30 pm
The elite chamber choir of Pomona College (home of Robert Shaw) presents a concert of works from Victoria and J.S. Bach to Arvo Pärt and John Tavener. Directed by Donna M. Di Grazia. Free.

June-August Performances

Bond Chapel's New Organ: Concerti for Alumni Weekend
Saturday June 1 pm | Bond Chapel
Associate University Organist Phillip Kloeckner performs three colorful and contrasting concerti for organ and chamber orchestra by George Frideric Handel, Johann Christian Bach, and Michel Corrette, on Bond Chapel’s beautiful new Reneker organ. Iced tea provided. Free.

Rockefeller Gala Concert: Joy!
Saturday June 7, 4:30 pm
The best of Rockefeller! For Alumni Weekend, our most talented students present joyous choral music by Benjamin Britten, William Walton, James Kallembach, and Paul Crabtree, with organ music of Louis Vierne and Ben Steinberg, in an hour-long festival concert. Conducted by James Kallembach, with Tom Weisflog at the organ. Iced tea and light refreshments offered. Free.

The Bells of Summer: The 49th Annual Rockefeller Carillon Festival
Sundays June 22 thought August 24, 5 pm
Come for a gentle summer afternoon of picnicking on the Rockefeller lawns to the magical sound of the bells from high above. Carillonneurs from Europe and North America play hour-long concerts of music of all periods, written and arranged for carillon. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and your picnic basket. In the event of rain, the concert moves inside the Chapel, with sound and video transmission (picnics still welcome!). Tower tours from 4:30 pm.