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Carillon Concerts

Enjoy an enchanting one-hour musical performance of carillon bells on a warm summer evening and watch lights illuminate Evening Island.

Through a regularly scheduled series of concerts each summer, carillonneurs from around the world delight Garden visitors with the captivating music of the 48-bell Theodore C. Butz Memorial Carillon. Meet the performers and enjoy a free carillon tour and demonstration before the concert—you can even try your hand at ringing the bells.

Since 1986, the carillon has remained both a noted landmark and a source of remarkable music at the Garden. Crafted in Holland, the tower's bronze bells and playing device with a range of four octaves constitutes one of the few hand-played carillons in the nation.

Preconcert carillon tours and demonstrations are from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. (every 15 minutes), and concerts are from 7 to 8 p.m.

Mon
20
Aug
PHOTO: Wylie Crawford

Wylie Crawford has been the resident carillonneur at the Chicago Botanic Garden since 1986, when he played for its carillon’s dedication. The senior university carillonneur at the University of Chicago, Crawford served 32 years as the university carillonneur, and was the first city carillonneur for the Millennium Carillon in Naperville, Illinois. He has also toured as the Spirit of the Bells with the Cast in Bronze program. He is president of the World Carillon Federation (www.carillon.org), a federation of international associations that organizes conferences in countries with a carillon culture. Crawford served as its treasurer from 1990 until 2006, when he became the second North American ever to be elected president. He has been the membership chair for the Guild of Carillonneurs (GCNA) for more than 30 years and has served as the GCNA’s vice president. He has recently taken up a more portable instrument—the ukulele! Download Program

Mon
27
Aug
Joey Brink

Joey Brink is the sixth university carillonneur at the University of Chicago, where he performs on the 72-bell Rockefeller Memorial Carillon and directs a carillon studio of 20 students. He serves on the board of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America and co-chairs the Johan Franco composition committee to promote new works for carillon. Brink began his carillon studies at Yale University with Ellen Dickinson in 2007; graduated with greatest distinction from the Royal Carillon School in Mechelen, Belgium, in 2012; and studied further with Geert D’hollander at Bok Tower Gardens in 2015. He received first prize at the International Queen Fabiola Carillon Competition in Mechelen, and has toured North America and Europe extensively as a performer. Brink is regularly a recitalist at congresses of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America and the World Carillon Federation, most recently as a soloist with the Barcelona Municipal Symphonic Band. He performed the 50th anniversary recital at University of California, Riverside, and the inaugural recital at Salisbury University. He released his first album, Letters from the Sky, alongside his performance at Chicago’s Ear Taxi Festival, in 2016. He is additionally interested in the design of practice carillons, and has published and presented on his work to improve the functionality and affordability of practice instruments. He and his wife, Vera Wünsche Brink, perform duet carillon recitals, and are avid outdoor enthusiasts, spending much of their free time camping, hiking, and canyoneering on the Colorado Plateau. Download Program

Mon
3
Sep
Jim Fackenthal

Jim Fackenthal has worked for many years at the University of Chicago as a cancer researcher and served as associate university carillonneur. Fackenthal began carillon studies with David Caldwell at the University of Rochester in 1984, and two years later became a Carillonneur Member of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA).  Since then he has played numerous carillon recitals throughout North America.  He is currently an active member of the piano program and the Early Music Ensemble at the University of Chicago, where he plays various string and wind instruments.  He holds a bachelor's degree in biology/geology from the University of Rochester and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from Indiana University. Fackenthal is a former member of the GCNA board of directors, has served as a juror on the GCNA Examination Committee and is the former co-editor of the GCNA publication Carillon News. Download Program