The Avalon String Quartet returns for a fifth straight season to the Art Institute of Chicago with a four concert series in 2015-16. These concerts will feature the music of Mieczyslaw Weinberg, the 20th-Century Soviet composer whose music is now coming to the fore throughout the United States, including through the recent production of his opera The Passenger at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Weinberg’s music will be placed alongside repertoire of Beethoven, Shostakovich, Janacek and Britten to illuminate connections – biographical, historical, artistic and philosophical – with his contemporaries and predecessors. All concerts are Sundays at 2:00pm in historic Fullerton Hall, and open with ten-minute talks linking the afternoon’s program to artwork in the museum’s collection. These events are FREE with museum admission.

Polish-born and of Jewish descent, Mieczyslaw Weinberg (1919-1996) lived most of his adult life in the Soviet Union. His substantial compositional output was mostly ignored by Soviet authorities, but was championed by many preeminent Soviet musicians, including his close friend Dmitri Shostakovich. Weinberg’s music is now undergoing a revival in the West, in particular through productions of his opera The Passenger, a tale of life on a World War II submarine. Weinberg contributed significantly to the string quartet repertoire, with seventeen works spanning the range of his career.

On September 27, Weinberg’s Quartet #6 in E Minor will be presented alongside Shostakovich’s Quartet #4 in D Major, in a program exploring the Soviet Jewish experience. The November 22 program is a pairing of two inward-looking compositions: Weinberg’s Quartet # 14 and Beethoven’s Op. 130, including the monumental Grosse Fuge. The February 7 concert showcases works of great narrative intensity, with Janacek’s Quartet #2 “Intimate Letters” and Weinberg’s Quartet #7. The final program features two World War II compositions: Britten’s Quartet #2 and the Weinberg Piano Quintet, with pianist Winston Choi.

Other performances can be heard at Northern Illinois University and the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center in Rockford.


Art Institute of Chicago
Sundays at 2pm
I. Sept 27, 2015 Shostakovich Quartet No. 4 in D Major and Weinberg Quartet No. 6 in E Minor
II. Nov 22, 2015 Weinberg Quartet No. 14 and Beethoven Quartet Op. 130 in Bb
III. Feb 7, 2016 Weinberg Quartet No. 7 and Janacek Quartet No. 2 Intimate Letters
IV. April 24, 2016 Britten Quartet No. 2 in C Major and Weinberg Piano Quintet with Winston Choi, piano
Northern Illinois University, DeKalb
I. September 29, 2015
II. November 19, 2015
III. February 9, 2016
IV. April 21, 2015

Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, Rockford
I. October 4, 2015
II. November 15, 2015
III. February 28, 2016
IV. April 10, 2016


Art Institute of Chicago- Fullerton Hall
111 S. Michigan Ave Chicago, IL 60603
Tel: 312.443.3600
Free with admission to museum*Art tour following concert

Northern Illinois University
Boutell Memorial Concert Hall, Music Building
DeKalb, IL 60115
Tel: 815.753.1551
Live Webcasts 

Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center
415 North Church St
Rockford, IL 61103
Tel: : 815.964.9713

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