Our CLOSE ENCOUNTERS series features exclusive, intimate, unforgettable concert events connecting listeners with the music and its cultural moment through art, architecture, cuisine, and nature.
‘Close Encounters’ IN PICTURES
On March 23rd, 2019, we curated The Modern Salon: South Side Edition at the Stony Island Arts Bank. More importantly, we were just one element within of a night of inspiring and provocative art-making alongside creatives from across Chicago.
It was all just so damn REAL. The performers and the audience talked perception, and blind spots, and rigor, and race, and Chicago.
So, as it turns out, it’s WAY fun to have our audiences making art right alongside us! We hit the jackpot by partnering with the Chicago Mosaic School for our most recent Close Encounters event – titled Facets of Earth & Sound – and if the participant response was any indication, this was one of the most inspiring and entertaining Chicago-area classical music events of the year.
On November 3rd, we met over fifty music fans at 6:30am (!!!) at the Berger Park Cultural Center to usher in the sunrise together.
We lucked out with idyllic weather, and the crowd was open-eared and surprisingly bright-eyed given the hour. We began with a group vocal meditation, led by our friend Charmaine Lee, performed two movements of the Ravel quartet, and then shifted into an improvisation to greet the rising sun.
Our 2018/19 season launched with the world premiere of Tonia Ko’s Plain, Air, commissioned by Chamber Music America and presented in partnership with Chicago conservation organization Openlands…and it was easily one of the most enlivening events we’ve ever attempted.
What a way to close the 2017/18 season! We are still riding high from the vibe at our final Close Encounters event, Paint Your Feelings!, and are eager to fill you in soon on what we have in store for you next season. First and foremost, we were taken aback by how LOCKED IN you all were while painting. We'd finish a piece, and it would be silent...with you all feverishly brushing away at your creations. I guess we could have known that our audience is made up of a bunch of secretly-talented painters.
UPCOMING ‘CLOSE ENCOUNTERS’ EVENTS
PAST ‘CLOSE ENCOUNTERS’ EVENTS
Salons are stimulating affairs in which artists of diverse disciplines gather to showcase and expound on their work – and this season, the GRAMMY-nominated Spektral Quartet aims to catapult the best of what the salon has to offer into the 21st century.
In partnership with esteemed Chicago-based artist and organizer Theaster Gates, Spektral will spotlight some of the city’s most charismatic creatives in music, poetry, dance, and visual art in an environment that draws voices and traditions into dynamic conversation with one another.
Welcome to Spektral's neighborhood!
What if a concert was an opportunity to ignite the body as well as the mind – a chance to work with your hands rather than just folding them in your lap? For this interactive Close Encounters show, we'll provide the musical inspiration as you discover this ancient art form, with guidance provided by the Chicago Mosaic School's master teachers. Be creative alongside us – and exit with your own piece for future archaeologists to uncover.
Get back to nature with just a short drive up the Lake Michigan coast! Our first concert of the season takes place at one of the most verdant and stress-relieving landscapes in the Chicagoland area, the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve, where we’ll unveiling the world premiere of Tonia Ko’s Plain, Air.
This is your Bob Ross moment–we provide the canvases, and like all great painters of the era, you’ll unleash whatever is inside as we provide musical inspiration.
Arnold Schoenberg – String Quartet No. 4
Elliott Carter – Fragments 1 & 2 for String Quartet
David Fulmer – A new Spektral commission
A private tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s stunning Emil Bach house launches an intimate evening of Modernist design and music at the exclusive, Wright-inspired Lang House next door.
Arnold Schoenberg – String Quartet No. 3
Ruth Crawford Seeger – String Quartet
This is all we’ve ever wanted: a craft beer-maker to custom brew us our own pilsner, resurrected from a Schoenberg-era Viennese recipe, which you’ll be sipping as we perform–with of one of Chicago’s best views as our backdrop.
Arnold Schoenberg – String Quartet No. 2 (featuring world-class soprano Kiera Duffy)
Webern’s – Langsamer Satz
Béla Bartók – String Quartet No. 1