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Early music concert celebrates local master

David Schrader | Paul James Bergstrom~For The BeacNews

David Schrader | Paul James Bergstrom~For The Beacon News

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Ars Antigua with David Schrader

Byron Colby Barn, 1561 Jones Point Road, Prairie Crossing, Grayslake

4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11

$18, available at door, cash or check. Children under 16 are free. Parking is free.

For information and directions, visit

David Schrader is the master of keyboards.

That’s right, he’s an expert on several of them, including the organ, the harpsichord, the Forte Piano and, of course, the modern piano.

Schrader’s specialty is Early and Baroque music, and he’s been soloist on organ and harpsichord with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the batons of Sir Georg Solti, Daniel Barenboim and Pierre Boulez.

Plus he’s been featured artist with orchestras and festivals throughout the United States and Europe.

So it should be no surprise that his 60th birthday will be celebrated during the first concert of the 11th annual Early Music series in the Byron Colby Barn on Nov. 11. He will play the harpsichord and the program will feature some of his favorite pieces from the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical periods of music.

Ars Antigua, an ensemble that presents concerts on period instruments, is directed by Jerry Fuller, who explained that Schrader hand-picked the musicians playing with him on Nov. 11.

They are Anita Miller Rieder, flute; Marty David and Jeri-Lou Zike, violin; David Moss, viola; Craig Trompeter, cello, and Fuller, who will play the Baroque violone, a style of instrument dating from the turn of the 17th century, one of several precursors to the modern double bass.

“Ars Antigua has been part of the Early Music series at the barn from the very first year,” said Fuller, obviously pleased. “And this concert will be a reunion of sorts for me, David Schrader, Jeri-Lou and Anita, who is coming in from the Twin Cities in Minnesota. That’s two-thirds of us, so we are really looking forward to working with each other again.”

The afternoon concert features works by J. S. Bach and two of his sons. The performance is being recorded by WFMT (98.7FM) for broadcast Dec. 17.

Ars Antigua prides itself on doing historically informed performances and Fuller takes the task very seriously. “I look for scholarship that has been done, and there is a lot on the Internet,” he explained. “Plus we use instruments that have been constructed in the Baroque style.

“Modern orchestras spend a lot of time trying to balance their sound,” he continued, “but because of the way Baroque instruments were made, the balance occurs naturally. The sound is quite different from modern instruments. That was revelatory for me when I discovered it.”

The Byron Colby Barn dates from 1910 and, to everyone’s initial surprise, has excellent acoustics.

“Even though it is a barn, it is a very intimate performance space,” declared Erin Cummisford of the Liberty Prairie Foundation, located in Prairie Crossing, a conservation community in Grayslake. “During intermission, the players come out and chat with the audience.”

Attendees are invited to bring their own liquid refreshments, but, Cummisford cautioned, “BYOB includes bringing your own glasses too.”

Birthday cake will be served.

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