Smile Politely

Looking ahead at music in December at Krannert Center

December 1 begins the parade of seasonal programs at Urbana’s Krannert Center with a performance of the UI Philharmonic. Conductor Anthony Messina will offer a Schubert overture and the suite from Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake”. For a full dose of Tchaikovsky, The Champaign-Urbana Ballet will perform “The Nutcracker” to recorded music from December 3-5 in the Tryon Festival Theatre.

The Sinfonia da Camera will return to Smith Hall on December 4 for an all Saint-Saens’ concert. Among the gems on this bill of fare is the 1949 Ogden Nash narration of “Carnival of the Animals”. Using the superb acoustics and pipe organ at Smith Hall,
Maestro Ian Hobson will conduct Saint-Saens’ “Symphony #3 for Organ and Orchestra,” with Dana Robinson as soloist.

William Eddins brings the UI Symphony and Oratorio Society together for a December 7 concert that brings some familiar music along with a bit of musical education. Maestro Eddins has programmed two works by Nadia Boulanger. Her life (1887-1979) included one of the great careers as a musical mentor to some of the 20th century’s great composers, Aaron Copland, Walter Piston, Elliott Carter,  Roy Harris, Easley Blackwood, Lennox Berkeley to name a few of her stellar pupils. She was the first woman to conduct an entire program of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestras and the New York Philharmonic, and was a composer early in her career.

In addition to these rarely performed Boulanger works, Professor Eddins will conduct Poulenc’s “Gloria” and Sibelius’ “Symphony #2.” The University of Illinois Oratorio Society will add the vocal elements.

Photo from the C-U Symphony Orchestra’s Facebook page. 

December 9 brings the Champaign-Urbana Symphony back to Krannert after more than a year and half’s absence. And, what could be a better homecoming than their annual holiday celebration. Maestro Stephen Altop and the Central Illinois Youth Chorus will once again pull out all the stops to remind you that Stephen Altop does not program ordinary holiday concerts. This varied program infused with Maestro Altop’s enthusiasm, will give you a seasonal high you will not soon forget.

Please note that Krannert has revised its Covid protocols. As of November 16, all who attend events at Krannert must provide proof of full vaccination status or a recent negative Covid test for admission to events. The Sinfonia concert at Smith Memorial Hall will require masks, but not vaccine certificates or test results.

All non dance programs at Krannert will be performed in the Foellinger Great Hall at 7:30 pm.  Krannert tickets must be purchased online at Tickets for the Sinfonia da Camera can be purchased at  Intermezzo Cafe is still only open on weekdays until 3pm.

Top photo from Sinfonia da Camera’s Facebook page. 

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