The University of Chicago can boast of many accomplishments, including its five unique concert series – Classic Concert, the Howard Mayer Brown International Early Music, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Contempo series and the Artists-in-Residence Series. Each has its own distinct personality, and each series has the same high standard of excellence.
The venue for most of the concert series is the historic and lovely Mandell Hall, which is home of the University Symphony Orchestra. It is located at 1135 East 57th Street on the University of Chicago's campus. Occasionally, concerts are held at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 5850 South Woodlawn on Campus. And, once in a great while, events are held downtown. When a concert is not going to be held at Mandell Hall, the departure from the norm is announced in advance and well publicized.
Formerly known as the Chamber Music Series, this Classic Concert series has been bringing world-famous artists into its venue with the goal of drawing appreciative audiences from Chicago and surrounding areas since 1943. And, the Classic Concert Series has accomplished that goal by featuring performers such as: Igor Stravinsky, Artur Schnabel, Isaac Stern, Arnold Schoenberg and the Budapest Quartet to name a few.
In the 1960s, the Chamber Music Series became part of the Department of Music where it still remains. Since then, the Chamber Music Concert Series has proudly played host to the Windy City debuts of Ian Bostridge, Cecilia Bartoli, David Daniels, Hillary Hahn, the Brentano String Quartet and the celebrated collaboration of Emerson and St. Lawrence String quartets. Today, the Classic Concert Series features a plethora of ensembles and composers performing numbers representative of the Classical period through the end of the 20th century. And, whenever it's possible, the series features artists who hail from Chicago.
Founded in 1981 by Renaissance scholar Howard Mayer Brown, the Howard Mayer Brown International Early Music Series (EMS) brings education to its audiences through internationally known ensembles that might otherwise never have the opportunity to perform to the Chicago audiences. The EMS is committed to its educational roots and so it strives to perform one medieval, one Renaissance and one Baroque performance each concert season.
The Artist-in-Residence Series, which was added in 2003-2004, has had much success since its beginnings. In fact, this series began featuring The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra during the 2005-2006 season for a three-year residency, which has recently been renewed through 2011. Also, the Pacifica Quartet, which was named Musical America's 2009 Ensemble of the Year among other prestigious titles, is part of the musical mix of the Artist-in-Residence Series.
If you like to be in-the-know when it comes to the latest music, you'll definitely want to check out the Contempo Concert Series. Founded in 1964 by Ralph Shapey and presently directed by Shulamit Ran, this five-concert series is sure to please the younger crowds with its contemporary classical music. You'll love its core member, Eighth Blackbird – a 2008 Grammy award-winner.
Last but certainly not least, the Regents Park Discovery Concert Series is the University's way of thanking its loyal and enthusiastic subscribers by offering quality free concerts. In addition, this series creates an opportunity for new artists to debut their material at local schools.