Zara Lawler Leads Flutists in US Premiere at the Guggenheim

October 26th, 2012 by helen No comments »
November 20, 2012
8:00 pm

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum presents the U.S. premiere of leading Italian avant-garde composer Salvatore Sciarrino’s soundscape Il cerchio tagliato dei suoni (Cutting the Circle of Sounds) (1997), in a site-specific performance of this immersive and challenging work for four flute soloists and one hundred migranti, or migrating flutists, in the museum’s rotunda on Tuesday, November 20, at 8 pm. Drawing inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic spiraling architecture, Sciarrino has developed a specialized plan for the Guggenheim performance, which features the four soloists forming a circle around the seated audience and creating an accelerating swirl of sound, only to be interrupted by the one hundred migrating performers, who walk in procession through the space, introducing a forward flow of sound and movement while “cutting the circle of sounds.”

The four soloists are the esteemed flutists Claire Chase, a 2012 MacArthur Fellow and member of the International Contemporary Ensemble; Kelli Kathman, a regular performer with Alarm Will Sound, Signal, and Sospiro Winds; Eric Lamb, member of the International Contemporary Ensemble; and Jayn Rosenfeld, executive director of the New York New Music Ensemble. The one hundred migrating performers range from seasoned professionals to students of all ages and represent the full scope of the New York flute community. Noted flutist and movement specialist Zara Lawler will stage and coordinate the performance.

Il cerchio tagliato dei suoni is a 70-minute performance without intermission that will take place at 8pm in the rotunda. Tickets are $50, $45 for members, $30 standing room. For tickets click HERE. For general information call 212 423 3500 or visit the museum online at

Considered to be at the forefront of European contemporary music, composer Salvatore Sciarrino began as a visual artist and is largely self-taught as a musician. He is known for using isolated harmonics and unusual methods of tone production within his work, which is characterized by the frequent use of silence as a part of the compositional structure. Musicologist Laurent Feneyrou has characterized Sciarrino’s music as evolving toward the borderland of sound, suggesting “vast uninhabited spaces, especially the ocean wastes, the confines of dream….” The Los Angeles Times describes Sciarrino as “a sensualist and a lyricist,” who “plays with sound at its edges, enjoying the extraneous noises a flutist might make—breathing or striking the keys—as much as the production of beautiful tone,” while the New York Times calls his work “boldly modernist yet beautifully soft-spoken and fresh.” Sciarrino has composed music for La Scala, the Venice Biennale, the Stuttgart Opera Theatre, and the London Symphony Orchestra, among others, and has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Prince Pierre of Monaco Prize in Musical Composition (2003), the Feltrinelli International Award (2003), and the Salzburg Music Prize (2006).


PR Workshop for Chicago Performing Artists

October 22nd, 2012 by helen No comments »
November 3, 2012
12:30 pm

Peter McDowell will present his free workshop, SELF-PROMOTION FOR PERFORMING ARTISTS, on November 3rd, 2012 at 12:30pm as part of the fourth annual Chicago Clarinet Collaborations at the Salme Steinberg Recital Hall, Northeastern Illinois University (5500 N. St Louis). Click here to learn more about workshops and services available through Peter McDowell arts consulting.

Also, throughout the day, students will compete in solo recitals for a cash prize and to be featured in the evening concert. The 7:30 pm joint performance will feature ensembles from participating universities as well as a performance by the Chicago Clarinet Ensemble.

Tickets are available at the door and $10 admission includes the masterclass and the concert.  Attendance is free for students and faculty of participating universities. Call Rose Sperrazza at (773) 442-5902 to reserve space.

Invited universities include Northeastern Illinois University, Northwestern University, Northern Illinois University, DePaul University, Roosevelt University, North Central University, Vandercook College, North Park University, Southern Illinois University, Illinois Wesleyan University, Xavier University and Wheaton Conservatory of Music.

Tributaries: Songs From Another Stream

October 5th, 2012 by helen No comments »
October 13, 2012
1:30 pm

Recording artist Patrice Michaels presents a concert of songs for voice and piano on Saturday, October 13 from 1:30-2:15pm.  The performance, at the Logan Center for the Arts (915 E. 60th St), University of Chicago, will feature familiar and newly-composed blues, ragtime, ballads and art songs — a glorious musical conversation linking jazz and classical music. She will be joined by pianist Kuang-Hao Huang.

Admission is FREE. Click here for more information.

“Like the Romantic ideal of art, Patrice Michaels‘ voice is both natural and passionate” says Classical CD Digest. “A formidable interpretative talent” (The New Yorker), Ms. Michaels receives raves for her “poise, musicianship and impressive fioratura” (Los Angeles Times), “a voice that is light, rich and flexible” (Opera News), and “pinpoint-accurate…bravura” (Boston Globe). Recent seasons have included engagements with the Shanghai, Czech National, St. Louis, Omaha, Atlanta, Phoenix, Milwaukee, and Minnesota Orchestras, the Maryland Handel Festival, Dallas Bach Society and Charlotte, Kansas City and Virginia Symphonies, as well as New York’s Concert Royal and Chicago’s Music of the Baroque. Ms. Michaels has sung the Great Mass in C Minor with Skrowaczewski, Christmas Oratorio with Shaw, Mahler 4 with Zdenek Macal Mozart Arias with Andrew Parrott and Nicolas McGegan, Carmina Burana with Joanne Falletta and Beethoven 9 with Andreas Delfs and Victor Yampolsky.

Ms. Michaels includes in her operatic credits the Hal Prince production of Candide at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She made her debut in the 1990-91 season with the Cleveland Opera as Marzelline in Fidelio and has sung with Central City Opera, Tacoma Opera , The Banff Centre, Canada andChicago Opera Theater. Her recording as Monica in Menotti’s The Medium (Cedille Records) continues to receive international critical acclaim.

Recital appearances for Ms. Michaels include three consecutive seasons at the Festival of Contemporary Music in Havana, Cuba and tours of Mexico, Japan, Venezuela, Barbados and Belize. She performs frequently in the United States and Canada, including a recital with pianist John Browning forMusic at the Supreme Court, as guest artist with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, for the Schubert Club of St. Paul and for many academic institutions, including Harvard, Northwestern and as guest clinician at the University of Tel Aviv.

This season begins for Ms. Michaels with the release of her latest disc on the Cedille label (which is her twentieth commercial recording): American Songs. She will appear with several of the Ensembles of Lawrence University, record music of composer Laurie Altman in New York, sing inBeethoven’s Symphony #9 with the Fox Valley Symphony, and conclude her season with The Passion According to Saint John for Bach Week in Evanston.

Pianist Kuang-Hao Huang has performed throughout the United States as well as in Europe and Asia. Mr. Huang is most often heard as a collaborator, performing concerts and radio broadcasts with Chicago’s finest musicians, from instrumentalists of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to singers with the Lyric Opera. He has been a regular guest of the Chicago Chamber Musicians and has performed with the Vermeer and Chicago String Quartets. Mr. Huang can be heard in recordings on the Cedille and Naxos labels.

An advocate of new music, Mr. Huang gave the world premiere performances of solo works by Louis Andriessen and Chen Yi at Weill Hall as part of Carnegie Hall’s Millennium Piano Book Project. He has also premiered numerous ensemble works, including pieces by Jacob Bancks,Stacy Garrop, John Harbison, Daniel Kellogg, Rami Levin, James Matheson and Laura Schwendinger. Mr. Huang is a member of Fulcrum Point New Music Project. He has been involved with the Chicago Chamber Musicians Composer Perspectives series since its inception in 2001.

Also a dedicated teacher, Mr. Huang serves on the faculties of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, Concordia University-Chicago and the Merit School of Music. As a member of the International Music Foundation’s Bootinsky Piano Trio, he has presented educational outreach programs throughout the Chicago Public Schools. For a decade, he coordinated the piano program at Northwestern University’s National High School Music Institute. He has also served on the faculty of the Mimir Chamber Music Festival at TCU in Ft. Worth, Texas.

Mr. Huang has degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Indiana University and Northwestern University. His principal teachers include Leonard Hokanson, Joseph Kalichstein, Howard Karp, Rita Sloan and Sylvia Wang. During his graduate studies, Mr. Huang was a recipient of the U.S. Department of Education’s Jacob K. Javits Fellowship. He was also a member of the New World Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas’s orchestral academy. A native of Whitewater, Wisconsin, Mr. Huang currently resides in Oak Park, Illinois with his wonderful wife and kids.

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