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Jupiter Quartet to debut at U. of I. at Allerton Music Barn Festival

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Jupiter String Quartet

Jupiter String Quartet will be featured performers at the Allerton Music Barn Festival on Labor Day weekend.

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7/5/2012 | Dusty Rhodes, Arts and Humanities Editor | 217-333-0568;

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The sixth annual Allerton Music Barn Festival will feature the Jupiter String Quartet making its performance debut as University of Illinois faculty members. Also during the festival, the jazz faculty will pay tribute to “The Blues and the Abstract Truth,” several faculty members of the School of Music will perform “Pirates of Penzance,” and at each performance there will be some welcome but non-musical guests – air-cooling units.

“These won’t drop the temperature and humidity to typical indoor levels, but they will certainly take the edge off the heat in the barn and make concert-goers much more comfortable,” says Ruth Stoltzfus, program coordinator for the music school.

The Labor Day weekend festival takes place in a beautifully restored 19th-century Dutch barn in Allerton Park, about 25 miles southwest of the university in Monticello, Ill. Each year since its inception, the festival has sold out of tickets.

“We're really excited about this year’s festival, and not just because it’s going to be another vivid glimpse of the vast musical range of our faculty and students,” said Jeffrey Magee, interim director of the music school. “The Jupiter Quartet concert is going to be an electric experience, and I’m sure there will be a full house of people eager to hear them and welcome them to Illinois.

“But that’s just the start: I love it that we’ve also got a full Gilbert and Sullivan performance, a tribute to a landmark modern jazz album, a Bach cantata, plus a grand finale on Labor Day featuring the music of Sousa, who had special ties to the university.

“And if that’s not enough,” Magee said, “there’s also ice cream at the end.”

The festival will open on Aug. 30 (Thursday) with the string quartet performing Ravel’s Quartet in F major; Anton Webern’s “Langsamer Satz,” one of his few tonal works; and Schubert’s Cello Quintet, with Illinois cello professor Dmitry Kouzov. The quartet begins its residency at the U. of I. on Aug. 16.

On Friday night (Aug. 31), members of the voice faculty will perform a concert version of the comic opera “Pirates of Penzance,” which includes the famous patter song, “I am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General.” Ian Hobson, pianist and music director of Sinfonia da Camera, will conduct.

On Saturday night (Sept. 1), members of the jazz studies faculty will pay tribute to saxophonist Oliver Nelson’s 1961 album “The Blues and the Abstract Truth,” best known for “Stolen Moments,” now considered a jazz standard. Nelson also was a composer and arranger, credited with creating the music for the television shows “Ironside,” “Night Gallery,” “Columbo” and “The Six Million Dollar Man.” Nelson’s son Oliver Nelson Jr., a graduate student in the School of Music, will be on stage to introduce the tunes and talk about his father’s work.

The Allerton Bach Choir and Orchestra will perform Cantata No. 21 on Sunday (Sept. 2), at 10 a.m., under the baton of Fred Stolzfus. The Allerton Winds, under the baton of Robert Rumbelow, conclude the festival on Monday (Sept. 3) with a Labor Day concert featuring an Armed Forces medley; “Summertime,” from Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess”; Sousa’s “Washington Post”; “Easter Monday on the White House Lawn”; and “Stars and Stripes Forever,” also by Sousa. The ticket price includes a post-concert ice cream social.

The first three concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. The Sunday and Monday concerts start at 10 a.m. Tickets are $26 per concert for adults, $20 for students and senior citizens, and are available through the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts box office. For more information, visit

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