Vienna Waltz Ensemble To Perform

Vienna Waltz Ensemble To Perform
Posted on 02/25/2010

The Orland Park Cultural Center will be filled with the rare sound of Viennese dance music on Sunday, March 21 when the Orland Park Arts Commission presents the Vienna Waltz Ensemble.

The trio performs rare 19th Century music from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The traditional combination of two violins and bass was the "rock and roll" band of the 1800s.

"This is a beautiful event for a Sunday afternoon," said Village Trustee Kathy Fenton, who chairs the Special Events and Community Outreach Committee. "We're especially pleased that the village's Arts Commission is bringing such amazing talent to Orland Park," she added, noting that the commission will offer a second concert later in the year.

Arts Commissioner Gabrielle Wiede first saw the group perform at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, having met Carl Johnston at Carl Sandburg High School where they both teach.

"Vienna Waltz Ensemble offers a nice mix of period music and instructional comments that help the audience understand and appreciate what they're listening to," Wiede explained.

The trio includes Carl Johnston and Clara Lindner playing violin and Greg Sarchet playing double bass. The group first performed together at the Chicago Cultural Center in July, 1998.

Explaining the ensemble's history, Lindner said, "Greg Sarchet was on a tour of the Czech Republic when he discovered that the music played in many of the cafes and restaurants was played by two violins and a double bass."

Sarchet received two Chicago Artists International Program Awards that enabled him to conduct in-depth research in the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Great Britain.

Lindner added, "With the assistance of esteemed musicologists, Greg rescued rare musical manuscripts which became the repertoire of the Vienna Waltz Ensemble."

Sarchet explained, "We offer exquisite dances by composers such as Haydn, Rossini, Beethoven and Johann Strauss, both junior and senior. The music is charming and joyful and includes waltzes, polkas, minuets and German dances."

Vienna Waltz Ensemble will perform at the Orland Park Cultural Center, 14760 Park Lane, from 2:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. A reception with light refreshments will follow.

The group's performances are also educational as the three musicians research the historical background of the music, uncover anecdotes and share the entertaining commentary for which the trio is known.

Wiede added, "This event will bring classical music closer to those who might not have heard it before."

Individually, the musicians have performed with the Chicago Symphony, Lyric Opera Orchestra, Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Chicago Opera Theater, Grant Park Symphony, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Joffrey Ballet Orchestra, the Three Tenors, on "Oprah" and for commercial recordings and television specials.

Greg Sarchet, who plays double bass, is a member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He has served on the faculties at Northwestern University, Northeastern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University and Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts for more than fifteen years.

Violinist Carl Johnston has taught at DePaul University, American Conservatory and at the VanderCook College of Music, along with teaching at his private home studio. Violinist Clara Lindner has been on faculty at the University of Minnesota and Columbia College Chicago, as well as teaching at her private home studio.

Tickets are $20 per person and may be purchased at the cashier's office at the Frederick T. Owens Village Hall, 14700 South Ravinia Avenue. For more information, call 708/403-6140.