Duke It Out! Nutcracker – Coming Soon

Duke It Out Nutcracker, Photo:Erin Fusco
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The Music Institute of Chicago presents its annual performance Duke It Out! Nutcracker, featuring the classical (Tchaikovsky) and jazz (Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn) versions of the holiday favorite in a music and dance performance Saturday, December 9 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue in downtown Evanston.


The Music Institute’s Ensemble-in-Residence Quintet Attacca and guests Braeburn Brassteam up with Dance Chicago in a family-friendly, one-hour version of The Nutcracker that alternates between Tchaikovsky’s original score and the jazz version by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. An interactive musical instrument petting zoo for children takes place between the two performances.
“This is a Nutcracker like no other. The program features a unique combination of the classical and jazz scores for this holiday classic, and in between, families can have fun trying out different instruments and explore options for music instruction with our respected faculty,” said Music Institute President and CEO Mark George.

Dress Rehearsal, Duke It Out Nutcracker

Nichols Concert Hall Presents 2023–24 season continues
December 16: Tammy McCann: A Jazz Christmas with Fareed Haque and more
January 14: 21st Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Concert—FREE EVENT
February 24: Imani Winds “Black and Brown, a celebration of composers of color”
March 6: Curtis on Tour with Music Institute alumnus violinist Benjamin Beilman and more
March 23: Titus Underwood “Lift Every Voice and Sing”
April 27: Time for Three

Duke It Out Nutcracker

.For more information, visit nicholsconcerthall.org. 
 Duke It Out! Nutcracker takes place Saturday, December 9
at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall, 
1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston.
Tickets are $15, available at nicholsconcerthall.org
or by phone at 847.448.8326.
Livestream viewing is available at $49 for the season,
$15 per event at 
All programming is subject to change.  
Nichols Concert Hall

Noted architect Solon S. Beman designed the architecturally and acoustically magnificent First Church of Christ, Scientist, located at 1490 Chicago Avenue in Evanston, in 1912. In 2003, the building was sensitively restored to become Nichols Concert Hall, a state-of-the-art, 550-seat performance space and music education destination, easily accessible to numerous restaurants, on-street and metered parking, and the Davis Street CTA and Metra stations. The converted building, featuring a fully restored, 1914 E. M. Skinner pipe organ, received the Richard H. Driehaus Award for best adaptive use by the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois. Each year Nichols Concert Hall reaches approximately 15,000 people and hosts a world-class chamber music series, workshops and master classes, student recitals, and special events.

Quintet Attacca courtesy of Quintet Attacca

Music Institute of Chicago
The Music Institute of Chicago leads people toward a lifelong engagement with music through unparalleled teaching, exceptional performances, and valuable service initiatives that educate, inspire, and build strong, healthy communities. Since its founding in 1931, the Music Institute’s commitment to innovation, access, and excellence has served as an important community resource and helps to ensure music is available to everyone. Each year, the Music Institute provides personalized music instruction to more than 1,500 students, regardless of age, level of experience, or financial means, across eight Community Music School locations in Chicago, Downers Grove, Evanston, Lake Forest, Lincolnshire, and Winnetka, as well as online. In addition, the Music Institute brings music education, arts curriculum integration, professional development, and music performance and engagement opportunities to thousands in the Chicago area; offers scholarship opportunities to students in its Community School and its Academy, a nationally recognized training center for highly gifted pre-college pianists and string players; and welcomes more than 15,000 visitors annually for performances, master classes, and special events at Nichols Concert Hall.  

Duke It Out Nutcracker-ArabianDance,Photo:Thomas Bock

The Music Institute of Chicago is grateful to all its supporters and partners. Special thanks to these annual institutional funders: Thomas W. Dower Foundation, Paul Galvin Memorial Foundation, John R. Halligan Charitable Fund, The Irving Harris Foundation, ITW, The Neguanee Foundation, John D. & Alexandra C. Nichols Family Foundation, Northern Trust, Sargent Family Foundation, and many others. We acknowledge the generous support of the Illinois Arts Council Agency as well as the support of the Highland Park Community Foundation and the Evanston Arts Council, a city agency supported by the City of Evanston; the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
All programming is subject to change. For information, visit musicinst.org.   ###  
 Photos are courtesy of Duke It Out Nutcracker


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