Fredwig Von Rocktoven (aka Fred Brandstrader)
Oak Park 4th of July Parade, 2011
After a year and a half hiatus due to the pandemic, we at Church of Beethoven, Oak Park are very thrilled to be back and presenting live classical music! As the CDC restrictions ease, we are going to present SAFE concerts outdoors for the summer months in private locations in River Forest, IL.
We are very honored to ask back soprano Kimberly Jones, who performed with CoB back in 2018. She will present an afternoon of arias, music theater showtunes and other wonderful songs! Kim will be accompanied by pianist Paul Dykstra who debuted with CoB last year with violinist Cara Schlecker.
Tickets for this event are $15, and $10 for students / kids. Read about Kim and Paul below:
Soprano Kimberly Eileen Jones is an alum of the Ryan Opera Center with the prestigious Lyric Opera of Chicago. Her performances there include the slave girl, Margru, in the world premiere of Anthony Davis' Amistad, which was released nationally on the New World recording label. She also portrayed the feisty Olga in Fedora, Princess Xenia in Boris Godunov, and the spitfire Despina in Cosi Fan Tutte student matinee performances. With the Ryan Opera Center, she portrayed Laetitia in Menotti's Old Maid and the Thief. Additionally, she made her Grant Park Festival debut as Zerlina (Don Giovanni) and Adele (Die Fledermaus) the following season.
Kimberly performed in Houston Grand Opera's colorful production of the Magic Flute (Papagena), and reprised her role of Xenia in Boris Godunov. Also with Houston, she participated in their production of Porgy and Bess, as Clara. This tour graced the international stages of La Scala in Milan, the Bastille in Paris, and the Bunkamura in Tokyo, Japan. For her portrayal of Clara, she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress by the NAACP Awards.
She captivated audiences in her Alice Tully Hall debut with the Little Orchestra Society, in an evening of Vivaldi arias. She received rave reviews as the Composer in Mozart's Jewel Box with the Chicago Opera Theater, as well as Mahler's Second Symphony with the Madison Symphony. She has also appeared in concert with the Ravinia Festival (Bourgeois Gentilhomme), Richmond Symphony (Knoxville: Summer of 1915), and with Madison Symphony (Messiah and Christmas Pops) . Her first Carmina Burana and Haydn Creation were performed with the Rockford Symphony. She was showcased in an afternoon of arias and duets during the opening weekend of Jay Pritzker Pavilion of Millennium Park in Chicago.
She has received a George London grant, Sullivan grant, and a Licia Albanese Encouragement grant. She has been nominated for the Richard Tucker grant, received three grants from the MacAllister Awards competition, and was awarded the Richard Gold Career Grant from the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She is a Union League Civic and Arts Foundation (now Luminarts) prize winner . At the recommendation from Ardis Krainik, she was presented in Opera's Now magazine's "Who's Hot in Opera".
She has performed the Philip Glass Symphony #5 at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Germany, and with the Stuttgart and Danish Radio Symphonies in Germany and Copenhagen. She has performed four times at the Chicago Cultural Center in Preston Bradley Hall, including a WFMT radio broadcast of the Dame Myra Hess concert, and a Negro Spirituals concert with award winning actress, Irma P. Hall.
She was very excited to debut in Singapore with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra in an evening of Porgy and Bess excerpts and spirituals, and a video. She has recently joined with fellow sopranos Leila Bowie and Marisa Buchheit, forming the soprano trio group, called simply, "Tres Belle".
Recent engagements include Carmina Burana with the Chicago Sinfonietta, Beethoven Mass in C with the DePaul Community Chorus. She was showcased in Andrew Previn's masterpiece Honey and Rue at South Shore Opera. She was in the ensemble of Chicago Opera Theater's production of Coffin in Egypt, with legendary mezzo Frederique Von Stade.
Pianist Paul Dykstra supported choral and keyboard activities at Temple Sholom of Chicago for more than 25 years. As a collaborative pianist, he has dedicated his career to chamber music and to exposing the world to the music lost in the Nazi Holocaust of World War II. He has performed as a special guest of the Singer Festival in Warsaw, Poland, debuting the chamber music (piano trio) of Mieczyslaw Weinberg and other great Jewish composers.
As the Musical Director and Conductor of the Chicago-based Lira Singers and Founding Conductor of the Lira Symphony Orchestra, Dykstra spent more than 15 years bringing the opera and classical music of Poland to audiences throughout the United States. He conducted recordings and led performances with Lira at Chicago’s famed Symphony Center.
A summa cum laude graduate of the College of Fine Arts at the University of South Dakota, Dykstra has studied piano with Ani Gogova and Ludmilla Lazar of the Chicago College of Performing Arts, and with James Mathis of the Juilliard School; he studied conducting with Jan Meyerowitz of the Metropolitan Opera while studying Opera at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria.
One performance only - Sunday, August 15, 2021 at 3:00pm
Tickets are only $15 for general admission and $10 for students / kids
Premiere performance: July 17, 2011
The poet for our April 28th concert is Cameron Gearen. Cameron is a poet and memoirist, competent baker of scones, single mom of two daughters, and aspiring bluegrass guitarist. She grew up in Oak Park, lived away for more than two decades, and is glad to be back. Cameron is currently the Hemingway Writer-in-Residence at the Hemingway Foundation. Her book, Some Perfect Year, came out in 2017 from Shearsman Press. She's currently seeking a publisher for her memoir, Rotten.
Church of Beethoven is a non-profit 501(c) 3organization