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The Bernard Rands Effect: Ten world premieres

  • Constellation 3111 North Western Avenue Chicago, IL, 60618 United States (map)
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Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Bernard Rands is one of Chicago’s preeminent composers, and we’re honoring him with the world premiere of a new string quartet…as well as nine world premieres by the members of the Chicago Composers’ Consortium – all inspired by his work.

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Chicago is lucky to call the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Bernard Rands one of its own, and we are tenacious in our admiration for his artistry and ingenuity. So when the Chicago Composers’ Consortium approached us about a celebration of – and tribute to – his music, we eagerly jumped on board. But the real coup is that the creatives behind C3 are writing us 9 brand-new works, all inspired by – or actively mining – elements of Bernard’s new quartet.

Bernard’s music is utterly gratifying on an experiential level. But like touring a Frank Lloyd Wright home, digging into the details and the craft only gets more delicious the deeper one goes. What is so intriguing about this particular event is that, with each premiere activated by Bernard’s unique voice, the listening experience will be something akin to viewing a Brancusi from nine different vantage points. What of Bernard’s creativity does Lawrence Axelrod, Beth Bradfish, Kyong Mee Choi, Timothy Dwight Edwards, Kathleen Cecilia Ginther, Martha C. Horst, Timothy Ernest Johnson, Laura Schwendinger, and Elizabeth Start consider the most inspiring? We’re as eager to find out as you

This commission of a new quartet by Bernard Rands is made possible through the generosity of Spektral friend, mentor, and all-around shining light of a human being, John Bierbusse.

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World Premiere – Bernard Rands
World Premiere – Lawrence Axelrod
World Premiere – Beth Bradfish
World Premiere – Kyong Mee Choi
World Premiere – Timothy Dwight Edwards
World Premiere – Kathleen Cecilia Ginther
World Premiere – Martha C. Horst
World Premiere – Timothy Ernest Johnson
World Premiere – Laura Schwendinger
World Premiere – Elizabeth Start

Spektral Quartet’s 2019-20 concert season is supported by the generosity of the following foundations. We are so grateful for this funding and the support of the many individuals who give to our organization. If you are interested in supporting our work, please visit to learn more.

Earlier Event: April 5
Cal Performances
Later Event: April 24
'Current' at Ringling Museum of Art