George Crumb Festival

Friday, January 31-Saturday, February 1, 2020
American Music Project


The Music Institute of Chicago features the work of Grammy and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer George Crumb, who recently celebrated his 90th birthday.  


The George Crumb Festival is made possible by a grant from the American Music Project.


Schedule of Events

All events take place at:
Nichols Concert Hall

1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston


Single Tickets: $50 VIP, $25 pre-sale, $30 at the door

Panel Discussion: Free Admission, no ticket required 

Festival Pass : $40 (includes both concerts and panel discussion)

Concert I:  Friday, January 31 at 7:30 pm
Featuring  Barbara Ann Martin, mezzo soprano; pianists Marie Alatalo, Louise Chan, Fiona Queen, and Susan Tang; and percussionists John Corkill and Joshua Graham.
Program details and tickets >>


Panel discussion:  February 1 at 5 pm
A panel discussion on Crumb’s life and work with composer William Neil, Barbara Ann Martin and others to be announced.

Panel discussion tickets >> 
(Panel discussion is free, no ticket required)


Concert II:  Saturday, February 1 at 7:30 pm

Featuring: Melissa Ngan, flute; Herine Coetzee Koschak, cello; Katherine Petersen, piano (all members of Fifth House Ensemble); Jeffrey Jacob, piano; Barbara Ann Martin, mezzo soprano; Caroline Pittman, flute;Paula Kosower, cello; Jesse Langen, banjo; Joshua Graham, percussion; and James Setapen, conductor.

Program details and tickets >>   


Exhibition: begins at 6 pm on January 31 and 4 pm on February 1

This multimedia exhibit includes Crumb’s artistic and meticulously notated and autographed scores,  a multimedia presentation including photos of the composer and video, and an instrument demo section featuring some of Crumb’s extended techniques. The exhibit will be on display in the Nichols Concert Hall lobby throughout the festival. Materials provided by Barbara Ann Martin, C.F. Peters, and Bridge Records, which is issuing an ongoing series of “Complete Crumb” recordings.


About George Crumb
Born in 1929, George Crumb is one of the most frequently performed composers in today’s musical world. He is the winner of Grammy and Pulitzer Prizes and continues to compose new scores that enrich the lives of all who come in contact with his profoundly humanistic art. Crumb’s music often juxtaposes contrasting musical styles, ranging from music of the western art-music tradition, to hymns and folk music, to non-Western music. Many of his works include programmatic, symbolic, mystical, and theatrical elements, which are often reflected in his beautiful and meticulously notated scores. Crumb retired from teaching at the University of Pennsylvania after more than 30 years of service. Honored by numerous institutions with honorary doctorates, and the recipient of dozens of awards and prizes, Crumb makes his home in Pennsylvania, in the same house where he and his wife of more than 60 years raised their three children. His music is published by C.F. Peters and an ongoing series of “Complete Crumb” recordings, supervised by the composer, is being issued on Bridge Records.

About Nichols Concert Hall
Noted architect Solon S. Beman designed the architecturally and acoustically magnificent First Church of Christ, Scientist, located at 1490 Chicago Avenue in Evanston, in 1912. In 2003, the building was sensitively restored to become Nichols Concert Hall, a state-of-the-art, 550-seat performance space and music education destination, easily accessible to numerous restaurants, on-street and metered parking, and the Davis Street CTA and Metra stations. The converted building, featuring a fully restored, 1914 E. M. Skinner pipe organ, received the Richard H. Driehaus Award for best adaptive use by the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois.  Each year Nichols Concert Hall reaches approximately 15,000 people and hosts a world-class chamber music series, workshops and master classes, student recitals, and special events.