Spektral at Bargemusic (NYC)
Jun
3
2:00 PM14:00

Spektral at Bargemusic (NYC)

We are very happy to be headed back under the Brooklyn Bridge for a real meat-and-potatoes show at Bargemusic. Having completed our survey of the complete string quartets of Arnold Schoenberg this season, we arrive with two of the choicest selections from those epic programs.

“What interested me in Schoenberg, especially in the earlier works, in Erwartung and others was the idea [that] you could make music that had the rhythm of prose.”
-Elliott Carter

That Schoenberg is still considered “contemporary music” in many classical music circles is a testament to the enormity of his break with tradition. Despite the fact that over 80 years separate us from the composer’s final string quartet, the scope of his influence is felt in no small measure to this day. More importantly, this synthesis of classical gestures with emancipated harmonies continues to sound fresh even to this day. A provocative and bracing piece, the fourth quartet continues to astound and delight listeners, as well as those playing it.

In terms of influences, one can't mention this notorious breaker of tonality without name-checking perhaps his most cherished compositional hero, Johannes Brahms. Back when Brahms was too progressive for the traditionalists, and too traditional for the progressives, Schoenberg held him up as the pinnacle of harmony, more revolutionary than even Wagner. Brahms's stormy–and widely adored–first string quartet closes our time out on the water in Brooklyn.

 

PROGRAM
Arnold Schoenberg: String Quartet No. 4, Op. 37
Johannes Brahms: String Quartet No. 1 in C-minor Op. 51 No. 1

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Spektral at Miller Theatre (NYC)
Jun
5
6:00 PM18:00

Spektral at Miller Theatre (NYC)

We are delighted to making our Miller Theatre debut this season with three works that are especially personal to us. We commissioned George Lewis's String Quartet No. 1.5: "Experiments in Living" for the monumental Ear Taxi Festival in Chicago in 2016, and audiences have been gasping for breath while listening to it ever since. Like a microscope constantly refocusing its lenses on a Romantic-era chord progression, Eliza Brown's String Quartet No. 1 appears on our first album, Chambers. Rounding out the program is a riveting new Spektral commission from composer David Fulmer.

 

PROGRAM
George Lewis: String Quartet No. 1.5: "Experiments in Living" (2016)
Eliza Brown: String Quartet No.1 (2011/2013)  (NY premiere)
David Fulmer: new work for string quartet (2018) (NYC premiere)

This concert is FREE and open to the public

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In Search of Futures Past: Schoenberg the Visionary
May
20
2:00 PM14:00

In Search of Futures Past: Schoenberg the Visionary

  • Art Institute of Chicago - Fullerton Hall (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Schoenberg’s imprint on classical music continues to ripple outward to this day, so we’ve got a new work coming from composer David Fulmer and we’ll be climbing out on a branch of the musical family tree with Elliott Carter as we swoop into Schoenberg’s final quartet.

PROGRAM
David Fulmer – New Commission
Elliott Carter – Fragments 1 & 2
Arnold Schoenberg – String Quartet No. 4

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Close Encounters: Paint Your Feelings
May
18
7:00 PM19:00

Close Encounters: Paint Your Feelings

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.

PROGRAM
-selections from-
Arnold Schoenberg – String Quartet No. 4
Elliott Carter – Fragments 1 & 2 for String Quartet
David Fulmer – A new Spektral commission

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An Open Rehearsal: David Fulmer's new Spektral commission
Apr
26
7:30 PM19:30

An Open Rehearsal: David Fulmer's new Spektral commission

The first three chapters in Spektral's Schoenberg cycle focused on contextualizing this patch-carving composer through his heroes, contemporaries, and acolytes. For the final event, the quartet commissioned Guggenheim fellow David Fulmer for a new work that both celebrates Schoenberg's legacy, and looks to a future that was made possible by it. Spektral approaches the upcoming Open Rehearsal very early in the process – offering listeners a unique opportunity to see just how a hyper-complex piece of music is decoded and assembled.

***Reception to follow***

This event is FREE and open to the public

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In Search of Futures Past: Schoenberg the Architect
Apr
14
7:30 PM19:30

In Search of Futures Past: Schoenberg the Architect

Rules were meant to be broken–and like his contemporary Frank Lloyd Wright, Schoenberg replaced the rules he shattered with new ones. (And unlike Falling Water, the composer’s third quartet was never in danger of collapsing during a dinner party.)

PROGRAM
Ruth Crawford Seeger – String Quartet (1931)
Arnold Schoenberg – String Quartet No. 3

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This concert is FREE and open to the public.  

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Close Encounters: Sipping a Glass of 1908 Vienna
Feb
17
4:00 PM16:00

Close Encounters: Sipping a Glass of 1908 Vienna

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.

PROGRAM
-selections from-
Arnold Schoenberg – String Quartet No. 2 (featuring world-class soprano Kiera Duffy)
Webern’s – Langsamer Satz
Béla Bartók – String Quartet No. 1

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In Search of Futures Past: Schoenberg the Emancipator
Feb
10
7:30 PM19:30

In Search of Futures Past: Schoenberg the Emancipator

Rite of Spring may get all the street cred, but the premiere of Schoenberg’s second quartet actually caused a riot, and here we raise a glass to the liberation of dissonance with world-renowned soprano Kiera Duffy.

PROGRAM
Anton Webern – Langsamer Satz
Béla Bartók – String Quartet No. 1
Arnold Schoenberg – String Quartet No. 2 featuring Kiera Duffy, soprano

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'You & Me' with Michael Patrick Thornton and David Pasquesi
Feb
8
8:00 PM20:00

'You & Me' with Michael Patrick Thornton and David Pasquesi

We are AMPED to be heading back into the world of improv with the amazing Michael Patrick Thornton for his 'You & Me' project at Steppenwolf Theatre! This pairing of a seasoned improviser with a traditional actor had us guffawing on stage last season, and the special guest this evening is David Pasquesi (of Groundhog Day and VEEP fame).

Here's Michael on the inspiration for the series: "I kept hearing from my actor friends how fearful and alien improv feels to them and vice-versa with my improv pals regarding theater. This is an unfortunate and unnecessary perceptual divide. Whether dialogue is written or invented, great scenes are about people needing each other and listening to each other, and so that's why I created this show. YOU & ME hopes to playfully re-patch this schism, refresh our faith in collective imagination, and reinforce the liberating truism that for this particular theatrical event, all we'll ever need and ever have is simply You & Me.” 

We'll be providing live audio to help guide the scenes...so let's see what happens when King of Comedy Arnold Schoenberg drops into pay a visit. Trust us, this is going to be the most fun you've had in a while!

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An Open Rehearsal
Feb
1
7:30 PM19:30

An Open Rehearsal

Peek behind the curtain on our rehearsal process as we dig into and polish the first two movements of Arnold Schoenberg's pivotal String Quartet No. 2. This is really one of the most stunning pieces of music we've ever tackled, and for this Open Rehearsal, your questions and insights are at the heart of the event.

Never found your foothold into Schoenberg's music? Eager to learn more about this paradigm-shifting music? This is your event.

FREE and open to the public

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An Open Rehearsal: featuring composer Eliza Brown
Nov
30
7:30 PM19:30

An Open Rehearsal: featuring composer Eliza Brown

We are about to launch a brand-new series titled Once More, With Feeling! and we want to give you a first look at our open rehearsal on Thursday, Nov 30 (7:30pm in Fulton Hall). We'll provide the pizza and drinks, and you'll get up close and personal with one of our favorite composers, Eliza Brown.

The reason we know this will be particularly illuminating and entertaining for you is that the format focuses in on getting inside the mind of the composer–something we can't do with Brahms or Shostakovich. We'll be playing Eliza's hypnotic String Quartet No. 1, and uncovering the backstory of her writing of it, giving you tools with which to understand the way it's so expertly put together, and asking for your input as we put the finishing touches on this presentation.

This concert is FREE and open to the public

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UChicago New Music Ensemble: Chicago Introductions
Nov
5
3:00 PM15:00

UChicago New Music Ensemble: Chicago Introductions

We're looking forward to meeting the new batch of composers at UChicago this year, and we're diving right in with (post-Doc fellow) Aaron Helgeson's Brief Regards for Sometimes and Maria Kaoutzani's jaune doré. 

This event is free and open to the public

*From the UChicago Music Dept. website:
The New Music Ensemble’s autumn concert celebrates the talented composers who have just joined our Department of Music: Postdoctoral Fellow Aaron Helgeson and graduate student composers Alison Yun-Fei Jiang, Maria Kaoutzani, Kevin Kay, and Ted Moore. Ensemble-in-Residence Spektral Quartet performs Helgeson’s 2006 string quartet Brief regards for sometimes and Artist-in-Residence Daniel Pesca presents his 2012 piano solo, Through glimpses of unknowing. Other NME musicians perform recent solo and chamber works by Jiang, Kaoutzani, Kay, and Moore.

A reception will follow.

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Lincoln Friends of Chamber Music: Spektral at VEGA
Sep
7
7:00 PM19:00

Lincoln Friends of Chamber Music: Spektral at VEGA

The Lincoln Friends of Chamber Music host a hip classical series at rock club Vega, and we are coming in hot with one of our signature Sampler Pack-style setlists. Our Nebraska debut features single movements from composers like Ravel/Brahms/Mendelssohn, and full-length burners from Chicago heavyweights like Augusta Read Thomas, Sam Pluta, Tomeka Reid, and Katherine Young. Also, some young upstart named Philip Glass.

Doors are at 6pm, so you can grab a drink from Vega's swingin' bar before staking out a seat. This program will have you bounding around the centuries–an intoxicating mix of diverse sonic flavors you are unlikely to hear on the same bill anywhere else.

See you soon, Lincoln.

TICKETS: $15 gen admission
All Ages

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THE DOVETAIL SERIES: Spektral + Maggie Brown
Jul
22
7:00 PM19:00

THE DOVETAIL SERIES: Spektral + Maggie Brown

In partnership with the Rebuild Foundation, we present the inaugural performance of our DOVETAIL SERIES with a concert featuring vocalist/spoken-word artist Maggie Brown at the dashing Stony Island Arts Bank. Conceived as an incubator for collaboration and exchange across Chicago’s geographic and cultural borders, the DOVETAIL SERIES pairs us with Rebuild-affiliated artist/musicians, each playing a solo set and then meeting in the middle for a devised or improvised middle set. 

Admission is FREE with an RSVP

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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 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

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

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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 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

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

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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 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

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

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Chamber Music Intensive 2017: Gerard McBurney – ‘The Individual, The Natural, The Spontaneous’
Jul
13
7:00 PM19:00

Chamber Music Intensive 2017: Gerard McBurney – ‘The Individual, The Natural, The Spontaneous’

  • Logan Center for the Arts: 9th Floor Penthouse (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

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

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