North Central College - Naperville, IL

Harlem Quartet joins Chicago Sinfonietta for June 16 performance at North Central College

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The Harlem Quartet joins the Chicago Sinfonietta for a June 16 performance at North Central College.

The performance, “Passion. Tragedy. Love,” begins at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 16, in the College’s Wentz Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville. Tickets are $45 and $35; call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit

In the Chicago Sinfonietta’s final concert of its 2011-2012 season, Music Director Mei-Ann Chen continues to offer diversity in both musicians and musical styles with contemporary works, unique guest performers and a brand new orchestral arrangement of Leonard Bernstein’s iconic musical “West Side Story.” 

The concert opens with excerpts of Felix Mendelssohn’s romantic “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” inspired by Shakespeare’s famous comedy and incorporating elements of the original text. Naperville Mayor A. George Pradel joins the orchestra as the narrator for this piece. 

Praised for their dynamic performances that infuse classical music with a fresh, youthful energy, the esteemed musicians of the Harlem Quartet—Ilmar Gavilan and Melissa White on violin, Juan-Miguel Hernandez on viola and Paul Wiancko on cello—rejoin the Sinfonietta for Michael Abels’ “Delights and Dances.” Commissioned by the Sphinx Organization and premiered by the Harlem Quartet in 2007, it celebrates African-American and Latino culture. The Quartet continues with the orchestra for Benjamin Lees’ “Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra,” which uniquely combines the orchestral concerto with the string quartet medium.

The concert, and the season, conclude with a world premiere arrangement for string quartet and orchestra by Randall Fleischer of Bernstein’s “West Side Story,” which Fleischer says is “an utter masterpiece and, for me, the crowning achievement in American musical theater. Lush and romantic in the love duets, edgy, vigorous, even violent in the gang scenes, this brilliant show encompasses almost the entire range of the human experience within one evening.”  

A second performance of the program will take place June 18 at The Chicago Symphony Center. Visit for more information.

USG Corporation and Navistar, Inc. are underwriting sponsors of North Central College’s 2011-2012 Sesquicentennial Fine & Performing Arts Season. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. This performance is one of many ongoing programs at North Central College to enrich and broaden the cultural and academic outlook for the College and community. North Central offers a variety of venues accommodating a rich range of local and world-class events, performances and space needs for the public. For a comprehensive schedule of musical performances, theatrical and dance productions, art exhibits and lectures, visit or call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469)

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