June 10, 2010

Music Festival events planned for Cairo

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois Music Festival returns to Cairo with free performances, both for young listeners and for older music lovers.

The festival, now in its sixth season, is a project born in the School of Music at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Edward Benyas, professor, festival founder and artistic director, also conducts the festival symphony orchestra.

Here’s what’s coming to Cairo:

Klassics for Kids, 4 p.m. on June 23 at the Cairo Public Library. This interactive program, designed with the very youngest of children in mind as an introduction to classical music, is a music festival tradition. This year’s program features a brass quintet.

Chamber Music Concert, 7:30 p.m., also on June 23 in the Cairo Public Library. This free concert, featuring piano, includes Beethoven and Reinecke, as well as two works by Jewish-American composer Julius Chajes, in honor of his centenary. Chajes came to the United States in 1938, fleeing the reach of the Third Reich. His compositions include chamber music, symphonic music and concert choral music. The chamber music concert also includes an original piece, “Poem for Violin and Piano,” by SIUC pianist and composer David Lyons.

For a full schedule of events, visit www.sifest.com.