Weekend concerts celebrate Stanlis' life

Reprinted from Feb. 21-27, 2001, issue

Striking a new note in music appreciation will be two special concerts this weekend in honor of Eleanor Stanlis.

The first concert is at 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 24, at the Rockford College Maddox Theater.

Showcasing The Rockford College Music Academy, featured selections will be The Four Seasons by Vivaldi, The Saint Paul Suite by Holst and C Minor Sinfoniesatz by Mendelssohn. Special performances will be given by Eleanor Stanlis’ daughter, Margaret Batjer; her sons, Devon and Kiley Batjer; Valeria Blair; Tatiana Keriz; Jonathan Rozman, and past alumni, faculty and enrolled students of the Rockford College Music Academy. The feature performance will present Tatyana Stepanova on piano, Batjer and Joseph Genualdi playing Bach’s Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins, Largo. Call 226-4168 for information.

The second concert is presented by the Mendelssohn Club Chamber Orchestra at 3 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 25, at St. Mark Lutheran Church, 675 N. Mulford Rd.

Under the direction of Joseph Genualdi, violin soloist and conductor, the Mendelssohn Club Chamber Orchestra will perform selections by Bach, Brahms, Dvorak, Mozart, Schumann, Vaughn-Williams, Vivaldi and Wieniawski. The Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra was founded by Eleanor Stanlis more than 20 years ago. Genualdi is currently chairman of the String Department of the DePaul University School of Music, artistic co-director of the Chicago Chamber Musicians and first violinist of the Chicago String Quartet. An alumnus of Yale University, the Curtis Institute of Music and North Carolina School of the Arts, he has performed extensively throughout North America and Europe annually for the past 20 seasons.

Marti Frantz, who was personally chosen by Stanlis to succeed her at the Rockford College Music Academy, said, “You can’t miss these concerts!”

Of the upcoming tribute to Stanlis, she observed, “This concert is a big deal. That was always one of Eleanor’s goals—that the kids had exposure and experience with first-rate artists.

“Margaret and Joe went to Curtis together and have never played together in Rockford; at the Saturday concert at Maddox, they will. For the Sunday concert at St. Mark’s, Eleanor had contacted Joe, upon Margaret’s recommendation. Many of Eleanor’s contracts were through Margaret’s contacts, bringing artists to the Mendelssohn Club. Eleanor made the initial arrangements before her death.

“Eleanor initiated the Chamber Orchestra series at the Mendelssohn Club. If I’m not mistaken, the Rockford Symphony had a Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Don Zimmerman. When the Symphony discontinued that offering, Eleanor moved it to the Mendelssohn Club. She usually featured a guest conductor and guest artist. In this case, Joseph Genualdi is going to do both things,” Frantz said.

Call 964-9713 for information.

(Note: the event was held in February 2001.)

From the Aug. 31-Sept. 6, 2005, issue

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