Music Institute of Chicago showcases Quintet Attacca

September 10, 2010 (CHICAGO) Quintet Attacca takes its name from the Italian word for "connected," reflecting the value they place on nurturing connections to each other, the music they perform, and the audiences they entertain. The five performers, all close friends, live in Chicago, Skokie, and Wheeling. They are a family-friendly ensemble. Two are married to each other and have two young children. Another member of the group has three young children.

You'll have the chance to introduce your family to Quintet Attacca on Sunday, September 12 in Evanston, when they launch the Music Institute of Chicago's 80th Anniversary Concert Series. The ensemble will perform the lively and colorful "Aires Tropicales" by Cuban-born composer Paquito d'Rivera; the scenic "Roaring Fork Quintet" about a Colorado river, by American composer Eric Ewazen; and Mozart's Piano Quintet in E-flat, with award-winning pianist Mark George.

Founded in 1999, Quintet Attacca was Grand Prize winner of the prestigious 2002 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. It is one of only two wind quintets to have received the coveted Grand Prize in the 35-year history of that awards program. A decade earlier, George was Grand Prize winner of the 1992 Fischoff competition as pianist with the North Coast Trio.

George, who was appointed president and CEO of the Music Institute in February, will be making his debut as pianist in the organization's concert series. This is the first time George and the quintet have performed together. It's also the first time the quintet, founded in 1999, has been chosen to open a venue's concert season.

As pianist, music programmer, and administrator, George led the resurgence of the 2006 Grammy Award-wining Cleveland Chamber Symphony, a contemporary music ensemble. George earned a doctorate in musical arts from the Cleveland Institute of Music and master's in music from Indiana University. He has served as director of the community division of the Hartt School, the University of Hartford's performing arts conservatory.

The concert program will also include the world premiere of "Fanfare" by Chicago composer Mischa Zupko, written to celebrate the Music Institute's 80th anniversary. Scored for wind quintet and piano, it's Zupko's arrangement of his orchestral "Fanfare 80," which has not yet been premiered. Zupko has received commissions from the Minnesota Orchestra and Pacific Symphony Orchestra, among other organizations. His honors include three ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards and first place in the Pacific Symphony's American Composer's Competition. He holds a bachelor's in piano performance from Northwestern University and a master's and doctorate in composition from Indiana University. He has studied composition with Augusta Read-Thomas and Eugene O'Brien.

You can hear Quintet Attacca and pianist Mark George 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 12 at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston. Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $10 for students, available at or (847) 905-1500, ext. 108.

For more information, visit and

3 p.m. on Sunday
Music Institute of Chicago
Nichols Concert Hall
1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston
(847) 905-1500, ext. 108.


The Music Institute of Chicago, established in 1931, is the only independent community music school in Illinois, and one of just ten in the country to be accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. The institute serves more than 5,000 music students and arts-therapy clients ages four months to 91 years. The Music Institute of Chicago believes that enjoying and understanding music and developing the skills to create and perform music enhance the quality of life, nourish the human spirit, and is therefore committed to providing the foundation for a life-long enjoyment of music.

The Music Institute of Chicago's mission is to:

  • Provide the highest quality music education for all ages and all levels of ability
  • Reach selected individuals with music education where such opportunities are limited
  • Support the growth of therapy through music and the arts as a community service for individuals with special needs
  • Strengthen the emphasis on lifelong music learning

    Music instruction provided by over 120 distinguished faculty. Performances by faculty, students, visiting artists, in-residence ensembles, and local arts organizations are presented at Nichols Concert Hall, a critically acclaimed concert venue in Evanston. Expressive arts therapy provides multiple paths to emotional and physical healing through drama, music, art, and movement Outreach partnerships with schools and churches bring the joy of music to more than 4,700 economically and culturally disadvantaged youth.

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