Blair Thomas & Company: The Living Room Tour

September 23rd, 2012 by helen No comments »
October 23, 2012
6:30 pm
October 24, 2012
6:30 pm
October 30, 2012
4:15 pm
6:30 pm

Chicago’s distinguished puppet theater company, Blair Thomas & Company announces an exclusive preview of their new Halloween performance, The Tell-Tale Heart. This incomparable interpretation of one of Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous short stories, a psychological portrait of a mad murderer who is tormented by the sound of his victim’s relentless heartbeat, will be performed in various private locations within Chicago in October, 2012. The performance includes original music by Mark Messing and Bunraku puppets by Shoshanna Utchenik.

Each night, an intimate party and performance will support the remarkable contemporary puppet theater work of Blair Thomas & Company. Hosted in three distinctive locations, these unique events include dinner, drinks and Blair’s latest creation.

6:30pm – Dinner and Drinks; 7:30pm – Performance of The Tell-Tale Heart. Tickets ($80 each) for adults and kids age 8 and up are available through Brown Paper Tickets links below.

Tuesday, October 23 at Coyle & Herr, 1200 W. 35th St.: Explore and enjoy Coyle & Herr, Chicago’s inspiring home furnishings consignment warehouse. Discover why Rick Kogan of the Chicago Tribune calls it “‘the world’s biggest living room.'” Purchase tickets here.

Wednesday, October 24, at the home of De and Paul Gray: Visit the home of gallery owners and art collectors De and Paul Gray, and experience their spectacular skyline view and world-class art collection, including a privately commissioned work by Jaume Plensa. Purchase tickets here.

Tuesday, October 30, start at the home of Claire Geall Sutton and Mark Sutton, continue at the home of Karen Carter Lynch and Brad Lynch: Start this progressive evening in the cozy confines of the Sutton home surrounded by their eclectic art collection. Then stroll next door to a modern architectural masterpiece designed by owner Brad Lynch. Purchase tickets here.

And for the little ones… In addition to the evening event on October 30 at 4:15pm, there will be a separate 15 minute long family-friendly performance of “Halloween Tales” (for kids ages 3-8). Tickets can be purchased here and are $10.

Blair Thomas & Company is a national and international touring puppet theater company that was founded in 2002 by puppeteer and director/designer Blair Thomas. They have made over a dozen original puppet theater pieces including: Cabaret of Desire, a staging of short works by Federico Garcia Lorca; The Ox-herder’s Tale an interpretive staging of the Buddhist parable of 10 painting of enlightenment; A Kite’s Tale a collection of piano pieces staged with silent narratives including Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and Chopin’s Scherzo in b minor. They have also toured with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. They have made collaboration productions with other companies such as Pierrot Lunaire a staging of Arnold Schoenberg’s song cycle with the chamber music ensemble eighth blackbird; an original adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant and an adaptation of Brian Selznick’s The Houdini Box both with the Chicago Children’s Theatre. Twice Blair Thomas & Company has received the international UNIMA awards for excellence in the art of puppetry. Twice the company has performed at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, once during when Blair was the first artist chosen to fill the Jim Henson Artist-in-Residence position at the University of Maryland.

Jenny Q Chai at Le Poisson Rouge

September 21st, 2012 by helen No comments »
November 4, 2012
7:30 pm

Following her recent, critically acclaimed New York Carnegie Hall debut, pianist Jenny Q Chai has been selected to appear at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge. The concert will take place on Sunday, November 4 at 7:30pm (doors at 6:30pm). Ms. Chai will perform works by Satie, Schoenberg, Stockhausen, Scarlatti, Stroppa, and more. Le Poisson Rouge is located at 158 Bleecker Street in New York City. For more information or tickets ($15/$20).

For her debut at Zankel Hall, pianist Jenny Q Chai was praised by the New York Times’ Anthony Tommasini for her “resourceful technique and sensitivity” as well as playing that is “admirable for its refinement and directness.” Of her performance at the Keys to the Future Festival, Zachary Woolfe wrote, also in the New York Times: “Jenny Q Chai opened the concert playing two of Ligeti’s Études with rich tone and rhythmic clarity; especially strong was her “Cordes à vide.” Chai is an active pianist specializing in contemporary music, and in addition to Carnegie Hall, Jenny has played at New York venues such as Roulette, Symphony Space, the Stone and recently made her Chicago debut playing Schumann’s Kreisleriana at the Dame Myra Hess Series. Recipient of the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust’s 2011 Pianist/Composer Commissioning Project, first prize winner of the Keys to the Future Contemporary Solo Piano Festival, and recipient of the DAAD Arts and Performance award in 2010, Chai has premiered, most notably, Life Sketches and Five Pieces (for Jenny Q Chai) by Nils Vigeland, Intimate Rejection by Ashley Fu-Tsun Wang, Messiaen’s Canteyodjaya (China premiere) and Marco Stroppa’s Innige Cavatina (US premiere). Chai has also premiered “Marriage (Mile 58) Section F” from The Road by Frederick Rzewski in Ghent, Belgium, where she was given the Logos Award for the best performance of 2008. Chai played the first contemporary solo piano concert in China this June at the National Performing Arts Center in Beijing; and she recently had the privilege of introducing the concept of prepared piano to a Chinese audience, with the world premiere of Mallet Dance by John Slover, in Shanghai Concert Hall.


Satie Three Gymnopedies

Schoenberg Op.11 Drei Klavierstücke

Stockhausen Klavierstucke Nr.8

Scarlatti two sonatas

Stroppa Innige Cavatina

John Cage the Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs/nowth upon nacht

Nils Vigeland Barcarolle from Life Sketches

Bouchorechliev Orion III

Chopin Barcarolle


CUBE Celebrates 25 Years with Music by Jimmy López

September 14th, 2012 by helen No comments »
September 20, 2012
7:30 pm
7:30 pm

CUBE celebrates 25 years with a program of music by Jimmy Lopez on Thursday, September 20th at 7:30 pm. They will be joined by members of the New Millennium Orchestra and friends, and Philip Morehead will conduct. The program will include Lopez’ Fiesta and Avec Swing for chamber orchestra as well as Ojos Oscuros by Brandon Bruscata (Merit School of Music). The performance will take place at Grace Place, 637 S. Dearborn, Chicago and tickets are $25 ($15 students). Buy online at

Tickets are also available, at $17.50, for a lunch with Jimmy Lopez and critic Andrew Patner at The Arts Club of Chicago on September 19th. The 11:30 am luncheon will be followed by a discussion at 12:15 pm. For more information email:

Jimmy López was born in Lima, Peru in 1978. From 1998 until 2000 he studied with Enrique Iturriaga at the National Conservatory of Music in Lima. From 2000 till 2007 he studied with Veli-Matti Puumala and Eero Hämeenniemi at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, from where he obtained his Master of Music Degree in 2007. Mr. López completed his Ph.D. in Music at the University of California-Berkeley in May 2012, where he worked with Professor Edmund Campion. His works have been performed by ensembles such as Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Symphony Orchestra of Chile and the National Symphony Orchestra of Peru, among others; and in venues such as Aspen Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Festival, Darmstadt Music Festival, Donaueschingen Music Festival and the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.

He has been awarded numerous prizes: First Prize – 2012 Nicola de Lorenzo Music Composition Contest for “Synesthésie”; First Prize – 2011 Nicola de Lorenzo Music Composition Contest for “15 Études for String Octet”; 2009 Georges Ladd Prix de Paris (UC Berkeley), Kranichsteiner Musikpreis at the ‘2008 Darmstadt International Course for Contemporary Music’ (Germany); 2008 Morton Gould Young Composer Award (New York) for his concertino for piano, strings, brass and percussion titled “Epiphany”; Second Prize – 2008 Nicola de Lorenzo Music Composition Contest (UC Berkeley) for “Epiphany”; Orchestra Composition Award – SävellYS 2006 Composition Competition (Finland) for his orchestral work “The Plea”; Stipendienpreis at the International Course for Contemporary Music, Darmstadt 2006 (Germany) for his chamber work “Kraftmaschine”; Honorable Mention at the Irino Composition Prize for Chamber Music 2005 (Japan) for his string quartet “La Caresse du Couteau”; First Prize – ALEA III 2003 International Composition Competition (USA) for his piece “K’asa” for violin and piano; and the Orchestra Prize – CCA International Composition Competition 2002 (Taiwan) for his orchestral work “Carnynx”.

Inna Faliks at Beethoven Festival: Revolution 2012

August 30th, 2012 by helen No comments »
September 13, 2012
3:00 pm
3:00 pm

Pianist Inna Faliks performs at Beethoven Festival: Revolution 2012 on Thursday, September 13 at 3:00pm. The program includes the following works by Beethoven: Fantasy Opus 77, Eroica Variations Opus 35 and Sonata Opus 111. The performance will take place at the National Pastime Theater, 941 W. Lawrence Ave, Chicago, and passes for the day start at $25, click here to purchase or for more information.


 Called “adventurous” and “passionate” by The New Yorker and “poetic” by Time Out New York, Ukrainian-born, New York City based pianist Inna Faliks has established herself as one of the most passionately committed, exciting and poetic artists of her generation. After her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, she has performed on many of the world’s great stages, with numerous orchestras, in solo appearances, and with conductors such as Leonard Slatkin and Keith Lockhart. Critics praise her “courage to take risks, expressive intensity and technical perfection” (General Anzeiger, Bonn), “poetry and panoramic vision” (Washington Post), and “riveting passion, playfulness” (Baltimore Sun). Her acclaimed CD on MSR Classics, “Sound of Verse”, was released in 2009.

Ms. Faliks has performed numerous recitals and concerti in prestigious venues in the US and internationally. She has been featured on radio and international television broadcasts, and has performed in major venues such as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Concert Hall, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Paris’ Salle Cortot, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall and in numerous important festivals.

Committed to innovative programming, Faliks has premiered 13 Ways of Looking at the Goldberg, has performed and recorded the unknown piano works of Russian poet Boris Pasternak, and has premiered new works by Ilya Levinson and Lev ‘Ljova’ Zhurbin.

She was the winner of many prestigious competitions, including the International Pro Musicis Award 2005. Ms. Faliks is also the founder and curator of Music/Words.

Music/Words: Poetry off the Shelf with Inna Faliks

August 24th, 2012 by helen No comments »
October 22, 2012
7:00 pm

CHICAGO, IL – Pianist Inna Faliks, with poets Valzhyna Mort and Vera Pavlova, appear in Music/Words: Poetry off the Shelf, presented by the Poetry Foundation and the PianoForte Foundation, on Monday, October 22, 7 pm at Curtiss Hall in the Fine Arts Building, 410 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago IL. Admission is free. For more information, call (312) 787-7070.

Celebrated pianist Inna Faliks is the founder and curator of the award-winning interdisciplinary series Music/Words, which explores the connections between poetry and music. She is joined by Valzhyna Mort, winner of Poetry magazine’s Bess Hokin Prize and the author of Factory of Tears and Collected Body, as well as Vera Pavlova, whose first poetry collection in English, If There Is Something to Desire, was a bestselling title in 2010. Faliks will perform works by Gubaidulina, Tchaikovsky, Lera Auerbach, Shchedrin, and Schumann.

Co-sponsored by the PianoForte Foundation and the Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute.