Initial Events of Shakespeare 400 Project Announced

Quire & Place concert announced as part of Chicago Shakespeare 400

By Hedy Weiss, in the Chicago Sun-Times

Shakespeare 400 Chicago – the yearlong international festival that will run throughout 2016, and is designed to commemorate the four hundred years since Shakespeare’s death in 1616 – has announced the events planned for January through March, 2016. The full line-up of the year’s productions and other events will be announced in January.

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Rockefeller Chapel Choir casts a wide musical net in Kristallnacht homage

Chicago Classical Review on Rockefeller Chapel's Voices of Kristallnacht

By John Y. Lawrence

Musical tributes to the victims of the Holocaust are plentiful, but likeminded tributes to the musical culture that the Holocaust nearly destroyed are more rare.

Such a tribute took place Sunday afternoon in Rockefeller Memorial Chapel. Co-organized by James Kallembach and Cantor David Berger as part of the University of Chicago’s Quire & Place series, the concert was titled “Voices of Kristallnacht,” marking the atrocities of November 9-10, 1938.

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Rockefeller hosts Shrine of Christ the King after fire

Rockefeller Chapel hosts Latin mass at short notice

By Sam Cholke

Shrine of Christ the King has raised $50,000 in less than month since a fire ravaged the church.

Rev. Matthew Talarico, a canon at the shrine at 6401 S. Woodlawn Ave., said the congregation has found great support among its neighbors as the church works on rebuilding after the Oct. 7 fire.

“This is not about a fire, this is about the community response, a response of solidarity,” Talarico said.

He said Rockefeller Chapel was able to accommodate holding services at the last minute on Monday with only six hours notice after a pipe burst at St. Thomas the Apostle, where Shrine of Christ the King has held Mass since the fire.

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There’s something about you that makes the angels look up to you

Joey Brink leads an unsuspecting family visiting for Admissions Day up the 271-step tower

It’s college visitation time, and I recently accompanied my daughter, Meg, and her friend, Savanna, to check out the University of Chicago. The information session was helpful, but the best part was hearing about the University’s quirky admission essay questions – e.g., “What's so odd about odd numbers?” and “So where is Waldo, really?” My favorite: “How do you feel about Wednesdays?” I could really launch on that one. Aside from being Mittwoch (auf Deutsch), “Wednesday” is basically an Old English mash-up of “Odin’s Day” – as in the Norse god Odin, a deity associated with war and magic and mayhem. Think about that next time you find yourself dragging through the middle of the week. 

Anyway, after the info session and a campus tour, we were on our own in Hyde Park. Since I had lived a spell on Chicago’s south side, I knew something about the neighborhood – Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House, for example, which I duly pointed out to Meg and Savanna. My friend Michael, a University of Chicago graduate, had clued me in ahead of time to some additional highlights – the best bookstores, for example, and the café in the basement of the Divinity School. Also, he strongly advised the Rockefeller Chapel tour, and we took him up on his recommendation.

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Review: Summer music at Hyde Park landmarks

The Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Carillon in Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago is the world’s second largest musical instrument. The largest is its sister carillon (also named for Laura Spelman Rockefeller) at the Riverside Church in New York City.

This year, the University of Chicago marks half a century of carillon festivals. The 50th annual festival, titled “The Bells of Summer,” runs through August 23. Every Sunday beginning at 5 pm, there is a free, one-hour performance open to the public. Most folks sit on the spacious lawn of Rockefeller Chapel, 5850 S. Woodlawn Ave., while some sit inside the chapel to enjoy the music and the interior architecture at the same time. There is also a large screen television that offers a view of the carillonneur, who performs from the bell tower, 271 steps high into the chapel.

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Rockefeller Chapel’s Bells of Summer concert series celebrates 50th anniversary

This summer, the Rockefeller Chapel carillon will ring out in celebration of the 50th anniversary of a beloved tradition: the annual carillon concert series Bells of Summer.

Since 1965, visitors have come to Rockefeller Chapel with blankets and picnic baskets in hand to spend a summer afternoon listening to the music of the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Carillon, the world’s second-heaviest musical instrument. The event features weekly performances from June to August by guest artists from around the world.

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Stylish, intimate Bach worked like a charm

Johann Sebastian Bach's music is ever with us and, indeed, was much in evidence over the weekend in Chicago, what with Bach Week Festival performances at North Park University and at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, all of them involving ensembles of modern instruments.

But the relatively rare chance to hear Bach's Mass in B minor done with a chamber orchestra of period instruments and correspondingly reduced choral forces lured me to Rockefeller Memorial Chapel at the University of Chicago on Saturday night to catch this monument of Western sacred music as performed by the Rockefeller Chapel Choir and Orchestra under James Kallembach's direction. It turned out to be a pilgrimage well worth undertaking.

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Organist Nathan Laube pulls out all the stops

“Intimate” is an unlikely word to describe a space as large and austere as Rockefeller Chapel, and an even unlikelier one to extend to its historic, 8,565-pipe E.M. Skinner organ. Fortunately for us, the Brian Gerrish Organ Performance Series is committed to reclaiming the intimacy of the organ, demystifying the instrument and introducing its magic to a new generation.

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Blue Heron takes flight at Rockefeller Chapel

By Lawrence A. Johnson at Chicago Classical Review

There are many excellent early music ensembles in Chicago, but it’s always a welcome occasion to hear top visiting groups as well.

The Boston-based choir Blue Heron performed Friday night at Rockefeller Chapel in the University of Chicago Presents series. The brief yet rewarding program was titled, “A Mass for St. Augustine.”

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