Bienen kicks off ninth-annual broadcast series

The Bienen School of Music aired the first portion of its four-part “Music from Northwestern” series last night as part of a weekly Sunday evening show to be broadcast throughout January.

The program, broadcasting for the ninth consecutive year, is airing on WFMT 98.7 FM and features performances from Bienen students, faculty members and guest artists, according to a University news release. The music, which can also be streamed from the Pick-Staiger Concert Hall website, includes chamber and orchestral pieces, the release said.

Richard van Kleeck, director of concert activities for Bienen and director of Pick-Staiger, said the purpose of the series is to share Bienen’s music with the Chicago community.

“It’s a way to make people aware not only of the quantity but the quality of the music here,” he said.

Van Kleeck, who serves as co-producer of the program with WFMT producer Jesse McQuarters, said the idea to start the series stemmed from a desire to publicize the talent of Bienen’s students and faculty members.

“In the very beginning it was just an idea that a number of the people within Bienen had when thinking of ways to get the word out about the school, faculty, students (and) concerts going on here,” he said.

Last night’s hour-long broadcast featured performances of various pieces, including two works by Aaron Copland. Mallory Thompson, Northwestern’s director of bands, conducted one of the pieces, entitled “Ceremonial Fanfare.” Music Prof. and flautist John Thorne and music lecturer and pianist Elizabeth Buccheri performed Copland’s Duo for Flute and Piano, Movement I, “Flowing.” According to the Pick-Staiger website, another featured piece included JacobTV’s “The Garden of Love” for soprano saxophone and pre-recorded electronics, performed by Bienen Prof. Timothy McAllister.

Thorne said the broadcast series serves as an effective way to distribute Bienen’s music to listeners who may not otherwise get to hear it.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for those in the Chicagoland area … especially if they’re not able to get out to the concert hall,” Thorne said.

Van Kleeck said the stream goes beyond Chicagoland, as WFMT broadcasts around the world through the Internet.

“You can go to the Internet site and hear this no matter where you are, which is a wonderful thing,” he said.

Van Kleeck said the next broadcast, which starts Sunday at 5 p.m., will begin with baroque music and end with jazz.

Lauren Caruba contributed reporting.