All of that volcanic ash has been wreaking havoc on the City of Chicago’s first-ever Early Music Festival, which unfortunately included a number of scheduled performances by old-school musicians who needed modern airplanes in order to get here from Europe.
But some cancellations, such as this originally announced appearance of Trio Mediaeval at University of Chicago Presents, came about months ago, in this case, due to the fact that one of the members became pregnant in stellar medieval fashion and, we are told, is expecting twins for a full and future Quintet Mediaeval. And thus, not only the group’s Chicago appearance but its entire American tour has been postponed.
A replacement was booked from Boston, luckily, where we know firsthand of an ash or two, but none of the volcanic variety. The Liber Ensemble is a quartet of early music vocalists who also specialize in medieval music. The ensemble will perform in this exploration of, we are told, “the elegant beauty and fiery emotions in the extraordinary repertoire of fourteenth-century Italy and France.” They will pay tribute to “the revered fathers of Humanism: Francesco Petrarch, Giovanni Boccaccio, Franco Sacchetti, and their French contemporaries through musical settings by Jacopo da Bologna, Niccolò da Perugia, Guillaume de Machaut, and the poet-composer Francesco Landini, who was honored by King Peter of Cyprus with a crown of laurels.” (Dennis Polkow)
April 23, 7:30pm, University of Chicago’s Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 5850 S. Woodlawn, (773)702-8068. $32.
Dennis Polkow is an award-winning veteran journalist, critic, author, broadcaster and educator. He made his stage debut at age five, was a child art prodigy and began playing keyboards in clubs at the age of fourteen. He holds degrees in music theory, composition, religious studies and philosophy from DePaul University in Chicago. Polkow spent his early years performing and recording in rock and jazz bands while concertizing as a classical pianist, organist and harpsichordist and composing, arranging and producing for other artists. As a scholar, Polkow has published and lectured extensively and taught at several colleges and universities in various departments. As an actor, narrator and consultant, Polkow has been involved with numerous films, plays, broadcasts and documentaries. As a journalist, Polkow helped co-create the experiential Chicago Musicale and Spotlight, the award-winning tabloid arts and entertainment section of the Press Publications chain of newspapers, which he later edited. He also created and ran the nationally recognized journalism program at Oakton College and was faculty advisor to its award-winning student newspaper; many former students went on to major media careers, including Channel Awesome’s the Nostalgia Critic. Polkow’s research, interviews, features, reviews and commentaries have appeared across national and international media and he has corresponded from the Middle East, Asia and Africa for the Chicago Tribune. Contact: email@example.com