2015-16 Chicago concerts
Find a full listing of concerts here.
Confront your sense of place through the spellbinding music of three exceptional composers.
We feature scores by three of our favorite composers for this enticing episode of our UChicago residency. Shulamit Ran’s virtuosic String Quartet No. 2, “Vistas,” Kotoka Suzuki’s Minyo, and the concert version of Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s Enigma provide the sonic escapades for this excursion into landscapes both real and imagined.
This concert is FREE and open to the public
We are certainly not alone in our affection and admiration for composer Shulamit Ran, whose illustrious career includes a kind of unofficial deanship of the Chicago new-music community. Despite a Pulitzer Prize win and a list of commissions that reads like a who’s-who of the world’s top orchestras, Shulamit’s generosity as a collaborator – regardless of an ensemble’s age or station – is peerless. Every time we have the good fortune to work with her, we’re reminded of just how effortlessly she walks the line between rigor and encouragement.
This project has us venturing into uncharted territory: a space in which not only our sound, but our bodies and voices interact. One in which we’re not confined by chairs or stands, and the edges of the stage are permeable. Moments of tenderness, solitude, conflict, virtuosity, and discovery abound in this theatrical work – and born from these physical gestures, the sonic landscape spans from the crunch of pure noise to the rapture of ethereal beauty.
This program will be repeated on January 18th. See our calendar for details.
We’re obsessed with dissolving barriers to entry for new listeners – barriers which seem to cling to classical music like magnets in a super-glue fight – and perhaps no Spektral collaborator embodies that spirit more unflinchingly, or more entertainingly, than Alex Temple. This is a composer unimpressed by accepted musical hierarchies, and one as likely to be riffing on David Lynch as Brahms. We are lucky enough to have come up around the same time as Alex, and when she approached us about writing a piece for us and singer-songwriter Julia Holter, we knew this was going to be a stand-out project.
An essential element in developing an infatuation for an unfamiliar work is to peek behind the curtain, so to speak. Behind the Wallpaper is an alluring musical suite, composer Alex Temple is an irresistible musical creator and thinker, and vocalist Julia Holter is one of the most enchanting singers we’ve come across. Why not get everyone in the same room together to explore just how this wide-ranging piece morphed from an idea to a composition, and what ingredients are synthesized to create such a convincing musical narrative?
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.
Each of us in Spektral followed a different path into this improbable life as chamber musicians, but one thing we all share is the support from – and unshakable love of – our families. So, as we approach Spektral’s first decade as an ensemble, we figured it was high time you met our nearest and dearest. Clara comes from a musical family and for this show, you’re in for the double-whammy treat of both her mom and dad, violinist James Lyon and cellist Carol Lyon. Maeve’s dad, Alan Feinberg, is noted for giving over 300 premieres by the likes of John Adams, Milton Babbitt, and Steve Reich (you know, no big whoop), so obviously we’re flying him in for this one. Doyle is one of three viola-playing siblings, so strap in for (or at least don’t be scared off by) some viola magic with Rose Armbrust Griffin. And Russ’s mom, piano pedagogue Jill Johnson is at least partially, well maybe mostly, to blame for his deep love of music. Logically she’ll be on hand to duo with him, and to remind him that he doesn’t call often enough.
This concert is FREE and open to the public
It might be said that we enter the planetarium for the same reason we enter the concert hall: to be brought in touch with the sublime and the unknown. In both places we make contact with tangible reality and imagined panoramas, and in both places our sense of perspective is expanded exponentially. Expect ENIGMA to do exactly that, and strap in for the marquee event of our 2019/20 season at Chicago’s stunning Adler Planetarium.
This program will be repeated on Friday, June 12. See our calendar for details.