There is something inspiring about the brilliant music from the classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whose exceptional ability with music enabled him to compose over 600 works spread out across his lifetime of 35 years, starting at the young age of 5 when he first composed a minuet. Naperville residents will get the chance to embrace his musical genius with an upcoming performance to celebrate Mozart’s compositions this Saturday, in a concert by the Naperville Chamber Players, entitled “Mozart: The Middle Years,” held at the DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church, in Naperville on Saturday, October 22nd.
The Naperville Chamber Players is a newly formed string quartet whose pianist and narrator for the concert is Anita Whalen, newly retired artistic and general director with the Woodstock Mozart Festival. From 2007-2009 at the Woodstock Mozart Festival, she became known for her concert based on episodes of the composer’s life. Whalen was then invited to play that concert for a Naperville church. With the help of a trio of musicians she had contacted, they performed “The First Ten Years of Mozart’s Life,” made complete by Whalen’s narrations and display of projected images throughout. The concert was met with such enthusiasm that the group was asked back to perform the next segment in the concert series of “The Middle Years.”
In addition to Whalen, the Naperville Chamber Players includes the talents of violaist Rose Armbrust Griffin, cellist Nazar Dzhuryn, and violinists Renee-Paule Gauthier and Sang Mee Lee.
Griffin, who had once taught at Nequa Valley High School, knew first-hand how high school orchestra students were taking an interest in chamber music, and so she had made the suggestion to Whalen for a chamber music concert series. In addition to her time there, Griffin also has played as soloist with several orchestras, including the Ball State University Orchestra, in which she performed “Viola Concerto” by Jonathan Graybill. Currently, she serves as chamber music coordinator at Wheaton College, teaching the Introduction to Music History course, and is also the school’s viola instructor. She holds a bachelor of music degree from Juilliard School, artist diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music, and master of music from Indiana University.
Dzhuryn hails from Lviv, Ukraine, where he served as an assistant professor of cello at the Lviv Music School and Moscow Conservatory, and received his degrees. Also a soloist having performed with orchestras in Croatia, the Ukraine, and Russia before moving to Chicago in 1998, Dzhuryn is currently the assistant principal cellist with the Elgin Symphony. He was also the principal cellist in the Woodstock Mozart Festival orchestra for 12 years, and was part of the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra in Wisconsin, and the Grand Forks Symphony in North Dakota.
Mozart: The Middle Years Performance
The concert will begin with the Allegro movement: Divertimento in B-flat, after which there will be String Quartet No. 14 set to narrative and visuals depicting the middle years of Mozart’s life through actual paintings and lithographs of him.
General admission tickets for the event are $25, student tickets for ages 10-18 are $10, and tickets for seniors 60 and up are $20, and can be purchased in advance here. The DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church is located at 1828 Old Naperville Road, in Naperville, IL.
“Mozart: The Middle Years” is a concert that you won’t want to miss! The Naperville Chamber Players hope to provide one last performance next spring to complete the series highlighting the final years of Mozart’s life.