NEXUS in Chicago – March/April 2000

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With the renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra

and conductor Christoph Eschenbach

Creates A Gentle Breeze in the Windy City

Five Sold-Out Concerts with the Chicago Symphony

“Work Wonders with Takemitsu”

NEXUS, the Toronto-based percussion group now in its 29th season of solo and symphony appearances, was the featured guest with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on the orchestra’s classical subscription series from March 30 through April 4, 2000. The concerts, conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, were highlighted with performances of “From me flows what you call Time” by Toru Takemitsu, a work that has become a signature piece in the NEXUS repertoire. The work was composed for NEXUS, Seiji Ozawa, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1990 and has since been performed by the group throughout North America, Europe, Scandinavia, and Asia, and recorded on the SONY Classical label (CD #SK63044), with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra conducted by Carl St. Clair.

The four performances in Chicago’s newly refurbished Symphony Hall and the concert at the University of Illinois in Champagne/Urbana were well received by enthusiastic listeners who responded with numerous curtain calls for NEXUS.

Writing for the Chicago Tribune (Saturday, April 1, 2000) John von Rhein said ” (the Takemitsu piece) is 31 minutes of the most exquisite meditative quiet you have ever heard in a concert hall. . . The NEXUS players simply were marvels, on their ownand as a group.”

Other related NEXUS events during the week included:

* pre-concert talks given by the members of NEXUS in which the C.S.O.

* subscribers were given a guided tour into the music, the performers and the many percussion instruments which filled the stage, surrounding the orchestra;

* masterclasses for members of the Chicago Civic Orchestra and for the Chicago Symphony’s Percussion Scholarship Group, comprised of talented grade-school students from Chicago city schools;

* a workshop on West African drumming for students at the University of Illinois in Champagne/Urbana.

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