The scheduled performance of Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder (On the Death of Children) will be performed in dedication both to the memory of those precious lives recently lost to senseless violence and to the memory of Maestro Heatherington’s own daughter, Rebecca. The original Kindertotenlieder were a group of poems written by Rückert in 1833–34 in reaction to the illness (scarlet fever) and death of his children. The poignancy of the cycle is increased by the fact that four years after he wrote it, Mahler lost his daughter, Maria, aged four, to scarlet fever. "I placed myself in the situation that a child of mine had died. When I really lost my daughter, I could not have written these songs anymore."
Mahler’s profoundly moving setting of Ruckert’s texts will be sung by acclaimed baritone Gerard Sundberg. Gerard Sundberg, soloist in Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder, is a distinguished bass-baritone whose performances have taken him throughout the world under such conductors as Helmut Rilling and Robert Shaw. He is a professor of music and pedagogy at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music and is a regular soloist with the Chicago Master Singers under Maestro Heatherington.
Rounding out the program will be the serene Blumine movement extracted from Mahler’s first symphony, Vaughan Williams’ vividly picturesque overture to The Wasps, and Beethoven’s Symphony no. 1.
Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1995, Ars Viva is a professional orchestra distinguished by performances of the highest quality. Led by Music Director Alan Heatherington, Ars Viva is composed of many of the finest players in the Chicago metropolitan area, including members of the world-renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra. For the past five years, Ars Viva also has run an innovative program called Music for Life which takes place at each of their five subscription concerts. The program concept is simple: parents (or grandparents) bring their children to Ars Viva’s Sunday afternoon concerts. They sit together in the audience to hear the orchestra. After the first piece on the program, the children ages 4 to 7 leave the auditorium with the professional educators from the Music Institute of Chicago to go to their classroom right in the building. At intermission, the older children (8 to 11) go to their classroom. The children learn more about the music they have heard, the composer or the historical and cultural setting. Instructors use visual arts, drama, storytelling, and movement to stimulate the children’s own imagination and creativity. Adult companions enjoy the entire concert and pick the children up when it is over. With an adult ticket, the children are admitted to the concert and Music for Life FREE OF CHARGE.
Tickets to the January 13th 3:00 pm performance are $36–70 with discounts for seniors and youth. Ample free parking is available and the building is handicap accessible. Call the box office at 847 673 6300 or purchase tickets at www.arsviva.org.