Event—Public Programming

Faces of Love: A Musical Exploration of Love in Its Various Forms

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Created by Donald Knight, this year's Faces of Love concert will feature music by Brahms, Verdi, Ned Rorem, and Stephen Sondheim, beautifully performed by Erich Buchholz (tenor), Alex Honzen (baritone), Kimberly McCord (soprano), and special assisting artist, Marcie Tilkin (soprano). The concert will honor the legacy of Norman Pellegrini, an icon of Chicago’s classical music scene. Norman Pellegrini was one of the founders of Chicago’s classical radio station, WFMT. He was WFMT’s program director for 43 years, and an insistent voice for presenting a wide range of classical music and Chicago musicians whenever possible.

About the Artists

Erich Buchholz, tenor, is well known to Chicago audiences and beyond in a wide variety of musical and theatrical styles. Most recently, he performed Kurt Weill's The Seven Deadly Sins with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He has starred in many productions with Chicago Folks Operetta. He has also performed with Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Lyric Opera Chorus, and the Chicago Symphony Chorus. Mr. Buchholz has toured extensively in the United States and Japan.

Alex Honzen, baritone, was recently presented in concert at the Garfield Park Conservatory's Music Under Glass holiday concert. He has notably performed as Tevye in Chicago Light Opera Works’ production of Fiddler on the Roof, to much critical acclaim. Showbiz Chicago stated that “when Tevye (the phenomenal Alex Honzen in a role he was born to play) steps out in the opening number Tradition, he has you in the palm of his hand." Mr. Honzen has also performed with DuPage Opera Theatre, Chamber Opera Chicago, and da Corneto Opera, among others, and has appeared as a soloist with orchestras in the United States and abroad.

Donald Knight, music director and pianist, has been heard on WFMT radio as a tenor and as a pianist. He has been soloist with the Metropolitan Opera Studio, New York Community Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and the American Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Knight has served as faculty on Northeastern Illinois University’s Department of Music; and has frequently collaborated with singers in Chicago, New York, and elsewhere.

Kimberly McCord, soprano, was most recently presented in Haydn's L’isola disabitata as Costanza. She earned critical acclaim in Chicago with Chicago Folks Operetta, Haymarket Opera, the Handel Week Festival, and Music of the Baroque. Ms. McCord has appeared at the Peninsula Music Festival under Maestro Yampolsky’s baton in Verdi’s Requiem, Barber’s Knoxville, and as Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. She recently appeared in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Bel Canto, as the German diplomat. Ms. McCord has recorded Bach’s Magnificat and Easter Oratorio with the Gabrieli Consort, with Paul McCreesh conducting.

Marcie Tilkin, soprano, was considered a dear friend and an admired artist for three decades by Norman Pellegrini. Just five weeks after his diagnosis with stage four pancreatic cancer, Mr. Pellegrini heard Ms. Tilkin sing I Know My Redeemer Liveth. The combination of Handel's music and Tilkin's beautiful singing moved him greatly. She sang at Mr. Pellegrini's memorial service on July 18, 2009. Earlier, Pellegrini had been transported by Tilkin's soprano in the solo quartet in Rossini's Stabat Mater. He described her singing that day as both majestic and galvanic.

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