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Sinfonia da Camera kicks off 30th season with gala, performances

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Sinfonia da Camera

Sinfonia da Camera, led by Ian Hobson, celebrates its 30th season in 2013-14.

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9/4/2013 | Dusty Rhodes, Arts and Humanities Editor | 217-333-0568;

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Sinfonia da Camera, the professional chamber orchestra led by Ian Hobson, a professor emeritus of music at the University of Illinois, celebrates its 30th anniversary season with a gala at 6 p.m. on Sept. 15 (Sunday) in the lobby of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Cocktails, a formal dinner and dessert will be served while Hobson, guest soloists and Sinfonia musicians perform classical chamber music favorites and jazz standards. The evening will end with a live auction and dancing. Tickets are $150 per person (half of that amount is a tax-deductible gift) and are available through the Sinfonia da Camera office at 217-244-4350 or by email at

Barrington Coleman

Ricardo Herrera
Barrington Coleman, top, and Ricardo Herrera and the U. of I. men's and women's glee clubs will join Sinfonia da Camera on Nov. 21 to present Verdi's Messa da Requiem.

The first concert of the season, on Nov. 2 (Saturday), “Opening Night Romance,” will feature Brahms’ Serenade No. 2 in A major, Op. 16, which he dedicated to Clara Schumann, followed by Poulenc’s melancholy “Aubade,” depicting two lovers separating at dawn. The evening will end with Strauss’ “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme,” a lighthearted orchestral suite that captures the humor of Molière’s famous play.

On Nov. 21 (Thursday), Illinois voice professors Barrington Coleman (tenor) and Ricardo Herrera (bass-baritone) and the U. of I. men’s and women’s glee clubs will join Sinfonia to present Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, a Mass so dramatic that the German conductor Hans von Bülow famously described it as “Oper in Kirchengewande,” or “opera in ecclesiastical dress.” Coleman has performed and recorded as a tenor soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, the London Philharmonic and London Symphony orchestras, and on the EMI recording and film of “Porgy and Bess.” Herrera made his debut at Carnegie Hall in 2000 as the bass soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor, and his European operatic debut at the Oldenburgisches Staatstheater in Germany. Sinfonia audiences will remember him as Tiresias and Le Veilleur in the 2005 production of Enesco’s “Oedipe” and as Figaro in Sinfonia’s production of “Nozze di Figaro.”

During the holiday season, Sinfonia da Camera will collaborate with the Champaign Urbana Ballet to present six performances of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” Dec. 5-8 (Thursday through Sunday).

On Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14 (Friday), Sinfonia offers “From Russia With Love,” with Prokofiev’s “Classical” Symphony No. 1 in D major, Op. 25; Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite” (the 1919 version); and Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35, featuring violinist Andrés Cárdenes. The former concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Cárdenes has appeared as a soloist on four continents with more than 100 orchestras, including the Dallas Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Moscow Philharmonic and the Shanghai Symphony. He has made more than two dozen recordings on Arabesque, RCA, Sony, Telarc and other labels, and has been nominated for a Grammy Award.

On March 14 (Friday), soloists, including voice professors Herrera, Dawn Harris, Yvonne Redman and others, will join Sinfonia to present one of the most popular operettas of all time, Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Mikado.” Harris’ diverse performing background includes more than 50 “Mikado” performances as Yum-Yum. Before becoming a voice professor, Redman enjoyed a 15-year career as a main stage soprano at the Metropolitan Opera, including the roles of Zerlina in “Don Giovanni,” Giannetta in “L’Elisir d’Amore” opposite Luciano Pavarotti, and in “Parsifal” with Placido Domingo.

Sinfonia will end its 30th season on May 3 (Saturday) with “Three’s a Charm,” a trio of Beethoven number 3s – the “Leonore” Overture No. 3, Op. 72a; Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37, featuring Hobson at the keyboard; and the “Eroica” Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55.

All Sinfonia concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Foellinger Great Hall at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. “The Nutcracker” is in the center’s Tryon Festival Theatre, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5-6 and performances at 2 and 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 7 and at 2 and 6 p.m. on Dec. 8. Individual tickets range from $5 for children to $34-$38 for adults, and are available through the Krannert Center ticket office, 217-333-6280 or through the center’s website. Season tickets for all five Sinfonia concerts (excluding the gala and “The Nutcracker”) are available at Krannert Center for $165 ($160 for senior citizens, $54 for students).


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