Academy Orchestra Concert

December 4, 2021 - 7:30pm
Nichols Concert Hall | 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston
Box Office: 847.448.8326

Free public concert.  Attend in person or watch the livestream (below)



Nichols Concert Hall is currently operating at full capacity, subject to future changes mandated by the State of Illinois, CDC, or other applicable local authorities. To ensure the safety of all persons on site, the Music Institute of Chicago requires that, upon entry to an event, all visitors over the age of 11 show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination status OR a negative COVID PCR test processed within 48 hours prior to the day of the event. For MIC student recitals and other student related activities, proof of vaccination is NOT required. Masks are still mandatory. Visitors who have recently traveled internationally are not permitted in Nichols Concert Hall unless they show proof of a negative COVID PCR test taken 3-5 days after returning to the United States.


The Music Institute of Chicago additionally requires all audience members ages 2 and up to wear a mask over their nose and mouth for the duration of the event. Masks will be provided to those who do not have them. If you are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 the day of the performance, including fever, shortness of breath or coughing, do not attend the event. Please note: All artists and staff on site are fully vaccinated. Vaccinated performers and presenters are not required to wear masks while on stage.


The Academy Chamber Orchestra returns to Nichols Concert Hall for an evening of music led by Academy Director James Setapen and featuring pianist Winston Choi performing Dmitri Shostakovich's First Piano Concerto. The concerto also features trumpeter Matt Baker.  Other works on the program include pieces by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari,  Johannes Brahms, and William Grant Still.

International performing artist and champion of modern music, Choi is Associate Professor of Piano and the Head of the Piano Program at Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts. He also teaches at the Music Institute of Chicago. The Academy Chamber Orchestra is comprised of advanced high school violin, viola, cello and bass students who perform in competitions, festivals and summer programs across the globe.



Dances of Panama....William Grant Still (1895 – 1978)
African-American composer William Grant Still has taken several folk songs and dance tunes from Panama and arranged them into a charming and foot-tapping suite of four movements.
Serenade for String Orchestra....Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari (1876 – 1948)
This 22-minute work for string orchestra is the work of a 17-year-old composer prodigy. Most famous for his operas, this piece shows off the lyrical and virtuoso skills of the orchestra in this brilliant and engaging work from 1893.
Two Piano Intermezzos....Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897), orchestrated by Cliff Colnot (premiere)
Academy Director Jim Setapen asked conductor/composer Cliff Colnot to arrange a work by a major composer who had not written anything for string orchestra. The result: a beautiful and sensitively wrought orchestration of two late Brahms piano pieces.
Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor, Op. 35....Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)
This high-spirited and virtuosic concerto, which Shostakovich composed for himself, features the extraordinary head of the piano department at Roosevelt University, and a member of the MIC piano facultly, Winston Choi. In addition, the piece features Matt Baker, trumpeter and Civic Orchestra Fellow.