Conductor and Music Director Kirk Muspratt and New Philharmonic Orchestra invite music lovers of all ages to the orchestra’s third annual “Viennese Pops with a Twist: A New Year’s Eve Concert” from 8:15 -10 pm Monday, Dec. 31, at the McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn,Ill.
A sell-out performance last year, Muspratt is making the concert even more exciting this year. The evening blends Viennese waltzes, polkas and American movie favorites with featured soloists and a special surprise for the audience.
“We can only give away that there will be dancers from the Chicago Festival Ballet, under the direction of Kenneth von Heidecke,” said Muspratt. “The surprise is when exactly they will join us, and to what music they will be dancing.”
Soloists include mezzo-soprano Viktoria Vizin and pianist Meng-Chieh Liu. Vizin, a native of Hungary, launched her career in 1996 when she won the International Singing Competition “Nicolae Bretan” in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. After years of performing in Europe, she moved to the United States and in 2006, made her Lyric Opera debut in “Carmen,” receiving extraordinary critical acclaim for her performance in the title role. This past year, she captivated audiences with her “Carmen” performances at London’s Covent Garden.
Liu first made headlines in 1993 as a 21-year-old music student when he substituted for André Watts at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia on just three hours notice. Watts had suddenly fallen ill, giving Liu the spotlight. The resulting concert earned Liu high acclaim from critics and audience members and launched him into the international scene. Since that fateful day, Liu has graced stages across the world, with performances in Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Bulgaria, Spain, Central America and various cities across the United States. In 2000, he performed with Mikhail Baryshnikov, who invited Liu to work with him on his White Oak Dance Project. In addition to performing, Liu teaches at his alma mater, The Curtis Institute of Music, as well as the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, Chicago.
“I am overjoyed that we have an opportunity to collaborate with two of my favorite artists in the whole world,” said Muspratt. “The audience will need to put their seats in turbo drive because Viktoria and Meng-Chieh are going to blow them away.”
Stephen Cummins, director of the McAninch Arts Center, said Muspratt makes the selection of guest performers a top priority.
“Maestro Muspratt always finds the most crowd-pleasing guest performers for his New Year’s Eve concert,” said Cummins. “He is an expert at making sure his audience is entertained throughout the entire evening.”
On New Year’s Eve last year, Muspratt was named a Chicagoan of the Year by the Chicago Tribune for his efforts at making classical music more accessible to wider audiences.
The concert will run without intermission so patrons can make it to midnight parties, dinners and countdowns following the performance.
Tickets to the event are $50 for adults, $48 for senior citizens and $40 for students and patrons under 17. Patrons are urged to reserve soon as tickets are selling quickly. For more information, call 630-942-4000
About New Philharmonic
New Philharmonic Orchestra is a fully-professional, 80-member orchestra that has inspired classical music enthusiasts in Chicago and the suburbs for three decades. Under the direction of Conductor and Music Director Kirk Muspratt, recently named a Chicagoan of the Year in the arts, the group gives innovative treatment to both classic compositions and modern works, and strives to make the music accessible to new audiences and youth through a variety of educational efforts. New Philharmonic is the resident orchestra of the McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn and performs a complete season annually.
About the McAninch Arts Center
The McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage (MAC) is a state-of-the-art facility bringing professional theater, music, dance, comedy, opera and visual art to the residents of Northern Illinois. Housing three distinctive performance spaces and an art gallery, the facility’s unique design allows patrons to experience all the arts under one roof.
Since its opening in 1986, more than one million people have attended performances, gallery exhibits or events at the facility. The MAC scheduled more than 250 performances during 2006-2007 alone, bringing in more than 65,000 patrons from the Chicago region and beyond.
In addition to presenting touring artists, the MAC houses five resident professional companies, including New Philharmonic Orchestra, DuPage Opera Theatre, Arts Center Jazz Ensemble, Buffalo Theatre Ensemble and New Classic Singers.
The MAC also maintains a robust community outreach program with initiatives such as its Schoolstage program, which connects performers and students for an interactive, educational arts experience.
Because of its efforts to increase community access to the arts, the MAC has earned the Illinois Arts Council’s Partners in Excellence designation, which recognizes 40 of the most significant cultural institutions throughout the state.
The MAC is conveniently situated 30 miles west of Chicago in central DuPage County, near I-88 and I-355, and offers free parking and discounted rates for groups and outings.