Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival: Series 4
Jun
24
7:30 pm19:30

Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival: Series 4

  • Gesa Powerhouse Theatre

Assuming the good people of Walla Walla haven't gotten wind of our Feldman workout video by this point (and sent us packing), we'll be appearing a third time this week for a ruckus of a show! We'll be teaming up with festival VIPs (Timothy Christie, Norbert Lewandowski, Philip Payton, and Maria Sampen) for Shostakovich's mighty Two Pieces Op. 11 for String Octet. We're delighted to also be remounting a Walla Walla Festival commission, Robert Hutchinson's Pas De Quatre.

Maverick Concerts: New Foundations IV
Jul
8
8:00 pm20:00

Maverick Concerts: New Foundations IV

  • Maverick Concert Hall

Maverick Concerts is a storied summer festival, and we are bringing a particularly Spektral vibe (new/old/in-between) to Woodstock, NY for our debut there. Augusta Read Thomas's ebullient new piece for us, CHI, receives its New York premiere, we give the world premiere of Gerard McBurney's String Quartet No. 1 "Hildegard Quartet," and we round out the program with Philip Glass's brooding Quartet No. 2 "Company" and Ravel's masterful String Quartet in F minor.

PROGRAM
Augusta Read Thomas – CHI (2017) (New York premiere)
Gerard McBurney – String Quartet No. 1 "Hildegard Quartet" (1996) (world premiere)
Philip Glass – String Quartet No. 2 "Company" (1983)
Maurice Ravel – String Quartet in F minor (1903)

Rush Hour Concerts
Jul
11
5:45 pm17:45

Rush Hour Concerts

  • St. James Cathedral

Summer is upon us, which means that one of Chicago's most-beloved concert series is here, too! Rush Hour Concerts has been a friend of Spektral since the beginning, and we've brought everything from Verdi to Reminick to this antidote to freeway gridlock. This year we arrive with the Chicago premiere of Gerard McBurney's String Quartet No. 1 "Hildegard Quartet," which features us playing three settings of antiphons by one of history's greatest persist-ors, Hildegard von Bingen. For it, we are also required to play wind chimes, tuned water glasses, and...wait for it...three "very sharp knives."

Might want to sit somewhere other than the first row for this one.

More info at Rush Hour Concerts

Chamber Music Intensive 2017: The Romantics
Jul
13
Jul 16

Chamber Music Intensive 2017: The Romantics

Now in its fourth year, Spektral Quartet and the University of Chicago Department of Music present the Chamber Music Intensive on July 13-16, in partnership with the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts. Titled THE ROMANTICS, the 2017 session probes the music of the late Romantic period, inviting participants to more closely examine the inspirations behind some of the pinnacles of the chamber music repertoire. We will consider music on an international stage, with Brahms at his most contemplative, Dvorak after his sojourn to America, Russians Borodin and Tchaikovsky flourishing, and the French school of Fauré and Debussy in full flower. Central to the discussion at this year’s CMI will be questions these composers wrestled with in their writing, such as what role national identity plays in composition–and how one might depart from the legacy of Beethoven.

The Chamber Music Intensive is an annual festival for committed amateurs and professional-track, college-age students looking for an immersive chamber music experience in a both inviting and rigorous environment. Coached daily by members of the Spektral Quartet and UChicago chamber music director Daniel Pesca (piano), participants assemble and polish one movement of a major work over the course of four full days, culminating in a performance at the CMI’s conclusion. Effective and efficient rehearsal techniques are taught with a hands-on approach by the faculty, and participants have masterclass opportunities with guest artists which in previous years included international recording and performing artist Kim Kashkashian, and former Vermeer Quartet violinist Shmuel Ashkenasi. The CMI faculty is pleased to welcome one of the eminent chamber musicians in the world, Guarneri Quartet violinist Arnold Steinhardt as the guest artist for 2017.

In addition to expanding musicians’ skill and agency, the CMI aims to engender a love for chamber music. Guest lectures circling the festival’s theme, social events like sight-reading parties, and group outings like picnics at Grant Park Orchestra concerts are essential elements of the festival experience.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: May 1

More info here

Chamber Music Intensive 2017: Gerard McBurney and Spektral Quartet in conversation
Jul
13
7:00 pm19:00

Chamber Music Intensive 2017: Gerard McBurney and Spektral Quartet in conversation

  • Logan Center for the Arts: 9th Floor Penthouse

Composer, broadcaster, and documentarian Gerard McBurney, whom Chicago Symphony patrons will remember as the creative director of the popular Beyond the Score series, delves deep into the Chamber Music Intensive’s theme of Romantic-era music in an engaging lecture/discussion. With us on hand to perform excerpts from Ravel’s iconic string quartet as a point of departure, McBurney offers a colorful contextualization of this essential period in music history.

FREE and open to the public

Chamber Music Intensive 2017: Arnold Steinhardt Masterclass
Jul
15
3:00 pm15:00

Chamber Music Intensive 2017: Arnold Steinhardt Masterclass

  • Logan Center for the Arts: 9th Floor Penthouse

Guarneri Quartet 1st violinist Arnold Steinhardt is our special guest artist at this year's Chamber Music Intensive! Our ensembles have the privilege of performing for this world musician on the third day of the CMI, gaining access to some of the choicest knowledge in the chamber music world.

FREE and open to the public

Chamber Music Intensive 2017: Arnold Steinhardt – A Life of Chamber Music
Jul
15
5:00 pm17:00

Chamber Music Intensive 2017: Arnold Steinhardt – A Life of Chamber Music

  • Logan Center for the Arts: 9th Floor Penthouse

There is perhaps no more revered American string quartet than the Guarneri, and we are delighted to welcome first violinist Arnold Steinhardt as the special guest artist for the 2017 CMI. For this unique discussion, Steinhardt opens up about the inner workings of his famed ensemble, touching on rehearsal techniques, touring, conflict resolution, and the curious life of a chamber musician.

FREE and open to the public

Chamber Music Intensive 2017: Final Concert
Jul
16
2:00 pm14:00

Chamber Music Intensive 2017: Final Concert

  • Logan Center for the Arts: 9th Floor Penthouse

The culmination of four days of intensive rehearsal, coaching, and masterclasses, the final performance of the 2017 CMI is a celebration of dedicated work on pieces from the Romantic period. Offering pieces by Brahms, Dvorak, Borodin, Schumann, and Debussy, this concert will also feature CMI coaches the Spektral Quartet and pianist Daniel Pesca performing a movement from Brahms’s Piano Quintet Op. 34.

FREE and open to the public


Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival
Jun
22
7:00 pm19:00

Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival

  • Rasa Vineyards

Our second performance at the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival is a healthy dose of Chicago, because we love repping our home city while on the road. We'll be delivering the Washington premiere of Augusta Read Thomas's chakra-opening CHI, the deep grooves of Tomeka Reid's Prospective Dwellers, and balancing the new with one of our favorite oldies, Ravel's incomparable String Quartet.

PROGRAM
Augusta Read Thomas – CHI (2017)
Tomeka Reid – Prospective Dwellers (2016)
Maurice Ravel – String Quartet in F minor (1903)

Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival: Spektral Quartet Deconstructed
Jun
20
6:00 pm18:00

Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival: Spektral Quartet Deconstructed

  • Whitehouse-Crawford Restaurant

We are making our debut at the esteemed Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival this summer, spending a week in wine country, and we thought we'd introduce ourselves...by playing solos? Oh yeah! Clara and Maeve are tackling Tartini and Bach, Doyle is getting going full-scale-harmonics with Mario Lavista, and Russ is looking to add a few dozen practice hours with a solo cello number by David Reminick. We promise to keep the wine tasting till after the show...

Icicle Creek Center for the Arts
Jun
18
7:00 pm19:00

Icicle Creek Center for the Arts

  • Icicle Creek Center for the Arts

We're descending on Russ's hometown of Wenatchee, WA on our way to Walla Walla Chamber Festival, performing at the nearby Icicle Creek Center for the Arts. While our primary objective is to share the music of two brilliant Chicago composers, Augusta Read Thomas and Tomeka Reid, alongside Ravel's monumental String Quartet in F minor, the secondary objective is to collect compromising stories from Russ's childhood. 

PROGRAM
Augusta Read Thomas – CHI (2017)
Tomeka Reid – Prospective Dwellers (2016)
Maurice Ravel – String Quartet in F minor (1903)

Spektral Quartet in Rome – Isolario: Book of Known Islands
Jun
6
6:30 pm18:30

Spektral Quartet in Rome – Isolario: Book of Known Islands

  • American Academy Rome

We're thrilled to be heading to Italy this summer at the invitation of the American Academy in Rome! We'll be playing some hyper-virtuosic pieces by composers Christopher Trapani and Jonathan Berger...and eating our weight in Pecorino Romano.

Field trip?

A Triptych: Earth, Moon, Peace – Works of Augusta Read Thomas
Apr
29
7:30 pm19:30

A Triptych: Earth, Moon, Peace – Works of Augusta Read Thomas

  • Rockefeller Chapel

It would appear that Augusta Read Thomas didn't slow down her writing process one bit during the three years she spent spearheading the Ear Taxi Festival, and that's great news for us because she's written us a marvelous new quartet, titled CHI. That's "chi" as in "vital life force," so this show is going to go a lot deeper than just your ears...
(Read more)

PROGRAM
Augusta Read Thomas – CHI (commissioned by Spektral Quartet)
Augusta Read Thomas – Selene (with Third Coast Percussion)
Augusta Read Thomas – Resounding Earth (commissioned by Third Coast Percussion)

BUY TICKETS

'Playing Out' at National Sawdust
Apr
21
7:00 pm19:00

'Playing Out' at National Sawdust

  • National Sawdust

Playing Out is a showcase of liberated creativity, defying definition and building new musical lexicons through the intersection of experimental jazz, improvisation, and electroacoustic music. The program features the New York premiere of an ecstatic new quartet by George Lewis (Fromm Foundation commission), as well as mesmeric numbers by Katherine Young and Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Mead Composer-in-Residence Samuel Adams. For its National Sawdust debut, Spektral Quartet is joined by flute maven Claire Chase for Anthony Cheung’s jazz-infiltrated “Real Book of Fake Tunes” (also commissioned by Fromm). Playing Out offers the prodigious possibilities that form when artistic streams of free improvisation and classical composition merge.

PROGRAM
George Lewis – String Quartet 1.5 "Experiments in Living" (2016)
Arthur Russell arr. Katherine Young – I'm Hiding Your Present From You (2013)
Samuel Adams – Quartet Movement (2016)
Anthony Cheung – The Real Book of Fake Tunes (2014)
 

Claire Chase Recital - NU Institute for New Music
Apr
13
7:30 pm19:30

Claire Chase Recital - NU Institute for New Music

  • Northwestern University - Galvin Recital Hall

Strap in for the Chicago premiere of Anthony Cheung's "The Real Book of Fake Tunes," a nasty bout of the flu pushed our premiere from last season to this one (let's all be thankful that we didn't try and push through that show). This performance is one entry on Claire's Northwestern University Institute for New Music recital on which she'll be playing the most recent installment from her acclaimed Density 2036 project.

Morton Feldman Quartet No. 2 at Toledo Museum of Art
Mar
25
5:00 pm17:00

Morton Feldman Quartet No. 2 at Toledo Museum of Art

  • Toledo Art Museum

At between 5-6 hours of uninterrupted playing, the Quartet No. 2 (1983) is primarily a work intended to dislodge the listener’s concept of time–but it is also a significant feat of both mental and physical stamina on the part of the performers. Attendees are encouraged to stay for much or all of the concert, to fully experience Feldman’s beautifully disorienting score. We in Spektral Quartet are not aware of any quartet in the repertoire longer in duration, and the journey across such an expanse of time promises to be as transformative for us as it is for concertgoers.

Feldman’s epic scope creates a musical wormhole: even the most attentive listener or avid Feldman fan will find their attention wandering at some point in the span of six hours, an occurrence that is encouraged by the music and the composer. On one hand, the Second Quartet is through-composed, precisely notated in nature: a formidable and detailed blueprint that begets a sense of motion and activity. On the other hand, each listener’s journey through its carefully constructed pathways will be different. Akin to admiring the irregular symmetry of the Afghan carpets that Feldman so loved, a listener can become lost in fascination, attempting to follow a line or pattern to its end.

 

"I am not a clockmaker. I am interested in getting to time in its unstructured existence. That is, I am interested in how this wild beast lives in the jungle - not in the zoo."

–Morton Feldman

Morton Feldman Quartet No. 2 (Chicago Premiere) at MCA
Mar
11
6:00 pm18:00

Morton Feldman Quartet No. 2 (Chicago Premiere) at MCA

  • Museum of Contemporary Art

Welcome to our marquee event of the 2016/17 season this March: the Chicago premiere of Morton Feldman’s iconic Quartet No. 2.

At between 5-6 hours of uninterrupted playing, the Quartet No. 2 (1983) is primarily a work intended to dislodge the listener’s concept of time–but it is also a significant feat of both mental and physical stamina on the part of the performers. Attendees are encouraged to stay for much or all of the concert, to fully experience Feldman’s beautifully disorienting score, and the 4th floor galleries of the MCA will remain open for quiet perusal. We in Spektral Quartet are not aware of any quartet in the repertoire longer in duration, and the journey across such an expanse of time promises to be as transformative for us as it is for concertgoers.
(Read more)

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Feldman No. 2: Open Rehearsal #3
Mar
7
1:00 pm13:00

Feldman No. 2: Open Rehearsal #3

  • Museum of Contemporary Art - 4th Floor Galleries

Curious about what this 6-hour, Morton Feldman Quartet No. 2 business is all about? We're hosting open rehearsals at the Museum of Contemporary Art to give you a taste–and for us to get a sense of the space. We'll be introducing passersby to swaths of the piece, and then answering your questions. It's a fantastic way to get familiar with this iconic work, and also to get a chance to peruse the Merce Cunningham: Common Time exhibit of which our concert is an element.

FREE with museum admission

Feldman No. 2: Open Rehearsal #2
Mar
4
1:00 pm13:00

Feldman No. 2: Open Rehearsal #2

  • Museum of Contemporary Art - 4th Floor Galleries

Curious about what this 6-hour, Morton Feldman Quartet No. 2 business is all about? We're hosting open rehearsals at the Museum of Contemporary Art to give you a taste–and for us to get a sense of the space. We'll be introducing passersby to swaths of the piece, and then answering your questions. It's a fantastic way to get familiar with this iconic work, and also to get a chance to peruse the Merce Cunningham: Common Time exhibit of which our concert is an element.

FREE with museum admission

'You & Me' with Michael Patrick Thornton (Second City)
Mar
3
9:00 pm21:00

'You & Me' with Michael Patrick Thornton (Second City)

  • The Second City

We are stoked to be sharing a stage once again with Chicago-based actor Michael Patrick Thornton (The Gift Theatre, Steppenwolf), and this time it's at Second City! 'You & Me' is Mike's completely improvised, two-person show, during which we'll be providing audio prompts to send this extemporaneous conversation in new directions. We've never done anything like it before...
(Read more)

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Feldman No. 2: Open Rehearsal #1
Feb
28
1:00 pm13:00

Feldman No. 2: Open Rehearsal #1

  • Museum of Contemporary Art - 4th Floor Galleries

Curious about what this 6-hour, Morton Feldman Quartet No. 2 business is all about? We're hosting open rehearsals at the Museum of Contemporary Art to give you a taste–and for us to get a sense of the space. We'll be introducing passersby to swaths of the piece, and then answering your questions. It's a fantastic way to get familiar with this iconic work, and also to get a chance to peruse the Merce Cunningham: Common Time exhibit of which our concert is an element.

FREE with museum admission

Finger on the Pulse (Fermilab)
Jan
29
2:30 pm14:30

Finger on the Pulse (Fermilab)

  • Fermilab - 2nd Floor Art Gallery

Even though they didn’t let us attempt to create a black hole the last time we played there, we can’t wait to return to that awe-inspiring temple of science: Fermilab. We laid some fairly weird music on our previous appearance, but the technicians, scientists, and civilians in the crowd are an aurally adventurous bunch that were with us the whole way.
(Read more)

PROGRAM
Ravel - String Quartet in F major
Beethoven - String Quartet No. 10, Op. 74 "Harp"
Dai Fujikura - String Quartet No. 1 "Another Place"

Finger on the Pulse (UChicago)
Jan
27
7:30 pm19:30

Finger on the Pulse (UChicago)

  • Goodspeed Hall - Fulton Recital Hall

Pizzicato, both elegant and brutal, is at the center of this one. It highlights mood and rhythm, expands available colors in an artist’s palette, and is capable of bringing both dance-like lightness and explosive power to a composition. 
(Read more)
 

PROGRAM
Ravel - String Quartet in F major
Beethoven - String Quartet No. 10, Op. 74 "Harp"
Dai Fujikura - String Quartet No. 1 "Another Place"

Grand Rapids Art Museum: Sunday Classical Concert Series
Jan
22
2:00 pm14:00

Grand Rapids Art Museum: Sunday Classical Concert Series

  • Grand Rapids Art Museum

The Grand Rapids Art Museum has become an annual pilgrimage for us over the years, and remains one of our favorite tour stops in the country! The Sunday Classical Concert Series draws a savvy and open-eared crowd that has made for a zesty afternoon on each of our previous visits.

We'll be bringing excerpts from our Finger on the Pulse program, and as a bonus, listeners have the opportunity to explore the incredible collections at GRAM before and after our set.

This concert is FREE with museum admission

PROGRAM
Ravel - String Quartet in F major
Beethoven - String Quartet No. 10, Op. 74 "Harp"

 

Chamber Music America Conference Showcase
Jan
14
1:30 pm13:30

Chamber Music America Conference Showcase

  • Westin New York at Times Square

We're heading back to the Chamber Music America (CMA) Conference this year, but this time as showcase...ers! We'll be dishing the attendees a very Spektral program, with Ravel and Mendelssohn brought into focus in the context of Simon Steen-Andersen's transfixing bit of arm choreography and Katherine Young's fetching arrangement of Arthur Russell's "I'm Hiding Your Present From You."

This event is open to CMA 39th Annual Conference attendees only

PROGRAM
Simon Steen-Andersen – Study for String Instrument #1
Felix Mendelssohn – String Quartet No. 1 in E-flat major, Op. 12 (Andante espressivo)
Katherine Young/Arthur Russell – I'm Hiding Your Present From You
Maurice Ravel – String Quartet in F major (Vif et agité)

 

Mozart+Adams+Cheung with special guest Winston Choi (piano)
Nov
10
7:30 pm19:30

Mozart+Adams+Cheung with special guest Winston Choi (piano)

  • Fulton Recital Hall

Mozart offers us such a specific flavor of joy, even ecstasy, and so it is at least a little bit odd that one of his sunniest quartets gets shortchanged on stage time. By now you know that Mozart died a poor and unhappy man, or at least that F Murray Abraham was constantly cramping his style.
(Read more)

THIS EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC


PROGRAM
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – String Quartet in D major, K499 "Hoffmeister"
Samuel Adams – Quartet Movement
Anthony Cheung – Bagatelles

Northwestern University Institute for New Music Residency
Nov
9
7:30 pm19:30

Northwestern University Institute for New Music Residency

  • Northwestern University - Galvin Hall

So this is the concert for you folks who missed our Ear Taxi show and have been weeping in a darkened bedroom ever since. If you haven’t had a chance to see a show at Northwestern University’s Galvin Hall, you are in for some serious acoustic gratification. It may very well be the best-sounding chamber music hall in the city, and the back of the stage is literally a window to the Chicago skyline. 
(Read more)

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

PROGRAM
Tomeka Reid - Prospective Dwellers
Samuel Adams - Quartet Movement
George Lewis - String Quartet 1.5: Experiments in Living
Mikel Kuehn - String Quartet No. 1 "If on a winter's night..."

PianoFest with Winston Choi + Kuang-Hao Huang (pianos)
Nov
1
7:30 pm19:30

PianoFest with Winston Choi + Kuang-Hao Huang (pianos)

  • Roosevelt University - Ganz Hall

PianoFest is the long-running keyboard spectacular at Roosevelt University, and we’re teaming up with two of our favorite pianists in Chicago for a characteristically new-old Spektral program.
(Read more)


PROGRAM
Schumann - Piano Quintet in E-flat major, Op. 44
Anthony Cheung - Bagatelles

This concert is FREE and open to the public

BGSU New Music Festival
Oct
21
8:00 pm20:00

BGSU New Music Festival

  • Bowling Green State University - Kobacker Hall

We've developed a deep appreciation for the new-music advocacy happening at Bowling Green State University and are buzzing with anticipation at headlining the 2016 New Music Festival! We'll be taking Dai Fujikura's String Quartet No. 1 "Another Place" out for a spin (Dai will be at the show!) alongside commissions from CSO composer-in-residence Samuel Adams (Quartet Movement), George Lewis (String Quartet No. 1 "Experiments in Living"), and BGSU's own Mikel Kuehn (String Quartet No. 1 "If on a winter's night...").

This concert is FREE and open to the public

More info here

Ear Taxi Festival: Blowout Party!
Oct
9
8:30 pm20:30

Ear Taxi Festival: Blowout Party!

  • Constellation

PROGRAM
Marc Mellits: Gravity
Nicole Mitchell: Wild Card for Flute and Piano (Chicago Premiere)
Marta Ptaszynska: Elegia in Memoriam John Paul II
Christopher Wendell Jones: Plastic Moment (World Premiere)
Aaron Cassidy: I, purples, spat blood, laugh of beautiful lips (Chicago Premiere)
LJ White: Zin zin zin zin
(Read more)

 

Ear Taxi Festival: Third Coast Percussion & Spektral Quartet
Oct
8
7:30 pm19:30

Ear Taxi Festival: Third Coast Percussion & Spektral Quartet

  • Harris Theater

We are so restless to perform Augusta Read Thomas’s “Selene” for you with Third Coast Percussion at the inaugural Ear Taxi Festival! We did this one backwards, recording the piece first for Gusty’s latest portrait album, Of Being is a Birdbefore ever performing it live, and this show will be your opportunity to hear it live for the very first time. 
(Read more)


PROGRAM
Third Coast Percussion: Reaction Yield (World Premiere)
Augusta Read Thomas: Selene (Moon Chariot Rituals) (Chicago Premiere)

Ear Taxi Festival: George Lewis, Tomeka Reid, & Samuel Adams World Premieres
Oct
7
7:30 pm19:30

Ear Taxi Festival: George Lewis, Tomeka Reid, & Samuel Adams World Premieres

  • Harris Theater

There is no doubt that the inaugural Ear Taxi Festival is going to be the marquee new music event of 2016/17 in Chicago. 54 world premieres are slated across 6 days during this mammoth event, and our addition to this mountain of new work centers on three composers who we’ve been particularly keen on for years.
(Read more)

PROGRAM
Samuel Adams: Quartet Movement (World Premiere)
Tomeka Reid: Prospective Dwellers (World Premiere)
George Lewis: String Quartet 1.5: Experiments in Living (World Premiere)

 

 

Collaborative Works Festival 2016: Salon Concert II
Sep
10
1:00 pm13:00

Collaborative Works Festival 2016: Salon Concert II

  • Logan Center for the Arts - Performance Penthouse

The closing concert of the 2016 Collaborative Works Festival explores settings of Paul Verlaine and his Symbolist contemporaries, including Stéphane Mallarmé and Arthur Rimbaud by such composers as Gabriel Fauré, Claude Debussy, Ernest Chausson and popular french singer-songwriter, Léo Ferré.

PROGRAM
Ernest Chausson – Chanson perpétuelle
Gabriel Fauré – La bonne chanson
Claude Debussy – Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé
Léo Ferré – selected songs




 

CMI 2016: Final Concert!
Jul
17
2:00 pm14:00

CMI 2016: Final Concert!

  • Logan Center Performance Penthouse

Join us for the culminating event of our 2016 Chamber Music Intensive: a concert by our resident ensembles of works by Shostakovich, Brahms, Janáček, Cowell, and Haydn!

This event is FREE and open to the public

CMI 2016: Kim Kashkashian Performance and Conversation
Jul
15
5:00 pm17:00

CMI 2016: Kim Kashkashian Performance and Conversation

  • Logan Center: Performance Penthouse

Internationally-renowned soloist Kim Kashkashian performs the work of György Kurtág and then is interviewed by us in front of a live audience as part of our 2016 Chamber Music Intensive at UChicago.

This event is FREE and open to the public