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Recent News & Reviews

October 9, 2016

Colors of Love featured Coloratura Soprano Jennifer Marie Franco with supporting Chamber Ensemble artists Daniel Williams, clarinetist, Jay Pike, violinist, all accompanied by the Ensemble’s keyboardist Tomoko Shibuya on both piano and harpsichord. The diverse program features songs and arias by G.F. Handel, and William Purcell, the spectacular aria from the Rake’s Progress, No Word from Tom by Igor Stravinsky.

The program also delved into diverse song styles ranging from the late 16 hundreds to the French Cabaret of the early twentieth century, American Appellation singing expression, and songs with hints of jazz thrown in; all performed in the appropriate styles not often explored by platform artists today.

Chamber ensemble performs Baroque concert

Danielle Gensburg, Staff Writer

Winter 2015

Elegant, classical music filled the sanctuary of North Shore United Methodist Church the evening of Dec. 6, as the North Shore Chamber Arts Ensemble, the only professional chamber orchestra on the North Shore, performed works that were played in Venice, Italy; Leipzig, Germany; and London over 200 years ago in celebration of the holiday season. 

North Shore Chamber Arts Ensemble to play Mahler's Symphony No. 4


Alan P. Henry, Staff Writer (Glencoe Anchor)

April 28 2015


A singular cultural event will occur in Glencoe, when the North Shore Chamber Arts Ensemble performs the 1921 Arnold Schoenberg, Erwin Stein edition of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 in G Major for chamber ensemble and soprano soloist.


Glencoe resident leads the way for North Shore Chamber Arts Ensemble


Alan P. Henry, Staff Writer (Glencoe Anchor)

December 10, 2014


When the North Shore Chamber Arts Ensemble enthralled its audience at the North Shore United Methodist Church Sunday, Dec. 7, with a performance of Handel’s “Messiah, Part 1,” it also contributed yet one more bit of evidence that Glencoe is slowly but perceptibly becoming a welcoming, year-round artistic destination.


“That is the dream,” said David Rubens, artistic director and principal conductor of the ensemble.

Bach Boys Swing Again

Summer 2012


The North Shore Chamber Arts ensemble is certainly the newest star to appear in Glencoe, which along with Writer’s Theater, make this Chicagoland suburb a cultural Haven that should be cherished and nurtured to strong growth.

July 2015

Review by Michael Smith, theatre critic for The Village Voice, 1957-74; music critic for The (New London) Day, 1980-85 and The Santa Barbara News-Press, 1999-2003.


It is hard to imagine a chamber orchestra playing Mahler's Fourth Symphony until you actually hear it. Writing at the turn of the 20th Century, Gustav Mahler cultivated a plush sound distinctive for its gorgeous, often exotic sonorities. Ordinarily this requires an orchestra of upwards of 60 musicians. The North Shore Chamber Arts Ensemble did it with 13 in their concert at Glencoe's North Shore United Methodist Church on May 17, plus a soprano soloist added for the last movement. On the evidence of a live recording of the performance, it was all there, an expressive, fully rewarding rendition of a marvelous score.

This unusual programming was the brain-child of the plucky ensemble's music director, David Rubens, who on this occasion yielded the podium to principal guest conductor Franz Anton Krager. Normally, orchestral strings come in groups—eight or ten first violins, the same number of second violins, and so on with violas, cellos, and basses. Here it was one to a part. In place of woodwind and brass sections, there were three wind players (switching off to play eight instruments). Two percussionists and three keyboard players completed the orchestra. The arrangement has solid historic credibility, having been done by Erwin Stein in 1921 for Arnold Schoenberg's Society for Private Musical Performance in Vienna, where public performances of the best new music were regularly disrupted by catcalls. Besides being more practical, the smaller orchestra produced an unusually transparent sound, revealing many hidden details of Mahler's extraordinary inventiveness.

The flute and woodwinds benefit particularly in this version. Their lyrical harmonic phrases, liberated from the massed strings, emerged clearly. All the musicians had extra opportunity to play as soloists as well as fitting their parts into the larger whole. Not every one of Mahler's sound effects was possible—no harp, no trumpets—but their absence was effectively covered by the duo-pianists. Maestro Krager welded the musicians into a coherent whole, taking the four movements at natural tempi, with a nice balance of excitement and natural sweetness. Guest concertmaster Andrzej Grabiec led the strings effectively, and rose to the occasion with his scordatura solo in the second movement (the violin tuned a step higher than usual). Soprano Nancy Wiebe Mazurowski brought a silvery beauty of tone to the intricately fitted solo in the final movement. All of them deserve warm applause for their exceptional skill and sensibility in delivering this delightful performance.


June 2014

Review by Chimes Carlos Figueredo


A program entitled, “The Music for a Spring Evening”. While every piece in the program was executed with great romanticism, Maestro Rubens never lost sight of the integrity of the music.


April 28, 2013: Vivaldi Seasons

Review by Chimes Carlos Figueredo


In the concert this past month, Albert Wang, member of the Lyric Opera Orchestra played the solo concerto (in the Vivaldi’s Seasons) with ease and grace. Maestro Rubens supported him with stylist care…


2012: Messiah Part 1

Review by Chimes Carlos Figueredo


Conductor David Rubens, along with a group of outstanding vocalists and instrumentalists, gave the performance equal in quality to any heard in principal concert halls throughout the world.


2011: Animal Crackers

Review by Chimes Carlos Figueredo

Musicians, under the direction of Maestro Rubens, presented a program full of charm and finesse (the Ensemble’s first children’s concert). Maestro Rubens narration of the children’s story Ferdinand the Bull was delightful as was his narration of Faint-Saens The Carnival of Animals.

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