YO SOY LA TRADICIÓN: A BENEFIT FOR PUERTO RICO
Sep
21
7:00 PM19:00

YO SOY LA TRADICIÓN: A BENEFIT FOR PUERTO RICO

  • Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

During the recording sessions for our new album, Yo Soy La Tradición, our collaborator and composer Miguel Zenón would dart out on breaks to call family and friends in Puerto Rico, which had been devastated by Hurricane Maria just days earlier. So rather than simply host a record release concert this season, we want to send this dynamic new album out into the world, and aid our fellow citizens in need!

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EARTHBOUND, LOOKING SKYWARD
Oct
5
7:30 PM19:30

EARTHBOUND, LOOKING SKYWARD

The world around us is a poetic swirl of the tangible and the intangible, and for Earthbound, Looking Skyward, we bring you sonic encounters with both ends of this spectrum. Have you been to the University of Chicago’s Rockefeller Chapel? It is really one of the most breathtaking architectural gems in the city, and regardless of one’s spiritual leanings, it inspires both introspection and awe.

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THIS CONCERT IS FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

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Sunrise Together
Nov
3
6:30 AM06:30

Sunrise Together

How would your day be enhanced if it began with sublime music, surrounded by a community of fellow arts lovers? Join us for an inspiring musical experience and revel in sunrise with a concert that inspires meditation, inquiry, and a deeper sense of togetherness, with stunning Lake Michigan as your backdrop. We’ll provide the top-shelf coffee and pastries, and after immersing ourselves in sumptuous morning music, we’ll walk out onto the shoreline together to greet the sun.

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Spektral Quartet + Miguel Zenón: Yo Soy La Tradición (Kennedy Center)
Nov
16
7:00 PM19:00

Spektral Quartet + Miguel Zenón: Yo Soy La Tradición (Kennedy Center)

Spektral Quartet and Miguel Zenón perform Yo Soy La Tradición at the Kennedy Center. 

This collaboration with Spektral Quartet combines Miguel Zenón's desire to honor the culture of his native Puerto Rico while exploring the strengths of jazz, classical, and folk music to create this eight-part tour of a unique cultural landscape.

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Spektral Quartet + Miguel Zenón: Yo Soy La Tradición (Kennedy Center)
Nov
16
9:00 PM21:00

Spektral Quartet + Miguel Zenón: Yo Soy La Tradición (Kennedy Center)

  • Kennedy Center - Terrace Gallery (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Spektral Quartet and Miguel Zenón perform Yo Soy La Tradición at the Kennedy Center. 

This collaboration with Spektral Quartet combines Miguel Zenón's desire to honor the culture of his native Puerto Rico while exploring the strengths of jazz, classical, and folk music to create this eight-part tour of a unique cultural landscape.

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SPEKTRAL +1, PLUS ONE
Jan
13
8:30 PM20:30

SPEKTRAL +1, PLUS ONE

Chicago is an unparalleled domain for composers honing their voice, and our ongoing residency at the University of Chicago continues to foster friendships and incubate partnerships that thrive to this day, drawing together the mutually essential communities of composers, performers, and collaborators. For this stylistically diverse concert, each combination of Spektral +1 (composer), Plus One (collaborator) creates a potent new cocktail of energetic and sonic possibilities.

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FACETS OF EARTH & SOUND (Close Encounters Series)
Feb
2
7:00 PM19:00

FACETS OF EARTH & SOUND (Close Encounters Series)

Welcome to Spektral's neighborhood!

What if a concert was an opportunity to ignite the body as well as the mind – a chance to work with your hands rather than just folding them in your lap? For this interactive Close Encounters show, we'll provide the musical inspiration as you discover this ancient art form, with guidance provided by the Chicago Mosaic School's master teachers. Be creative alongside us – and exit with your own piece for future archaeologists to uncover.

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THE LURE OF THE PAST // THE THRILL OF THE NOW
Feb
10
2:00 PM14:00

THE LURE OF THE PAST // THE THRILL OF THE NOW

In indie rock and metal, there is an old trope amongst uppity fans that goes something like, “I prefer their earlier work,” but when it comes to Beethoven, devotees largely seem to sway toward the late quartets. The good news is that no one has to choose, but for 2018/19, we’re making our first foray into Ludwig van’s final composition, the enigmatic String Quartet Op. 135.

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ENCHANTED ISLANDS: A TRAVELOGUE
May
4
7:30 PM19:30

ENCHANTED ISLANDS: A TRAVELOGUE

In the summer of 2017, we landed a plum residency at the American Academy in Rome, Italy. “Plum,” in the sense of phenomenal cuisine and ancient sites. We were so lit up by composer Christopher Trapani’s music that we’ve been scheming for a way to play it ever since. We are all smiles to report that we’re bringing him to Chicago this spring to introduce him to you, and to present you with the world premiere of his Isolario: Book 2. The second chapter in a series, so to speak, Isolario captures the essence of his travels to far-flung islands by way of electronics, the composer’s own field recordings, and prepared instruments (think aluminum foil tucked around our strings, for instance).

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ONCE MORE, WITH FEELING! – MIGUEL ZENÓN
Sep
20
8:30 PM20:30

ONCE MORE, WITH FEELING! – MIGUEL ZENÓN

We’re always out to make the unfamiliar more familiar, so we are pleased to invite saxophonist and composer Miguel Zenón to our Once More, With Feeling! series at Constellation. We’ll be performing selected movements from Yo Soy La Tradición, which Miguel wrote for the five of us and premiered at the Hyde Park Jazz festival (the review was VERY favorable, and garnered a "Best of 2016" nod from the Chicago Tribune). Celebrating and reshaping the folk traditions of his native Puerto Rico, this piece is a captivating collection of heart-tugging melodies, spirited dances, deep grooves, and devilish virtuosity.

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NATURAL INFLECTIONS: MUSIC ON THE LAKEFRONT (Close Encounters Series)
Sep
15
4:00 PM16:00

NATURAL INFLECTIONS: MUSIC ON THE LAKEFRONT (Close Encounters Series)

Get back to nature with just a short drive up the Lake Michigan coast! Our first concert of the season takes place at one of the most verdant and stress-relieving landscapes in the Chicagoland area, the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve, where we’ll unveiling the world premiere of Tonia Ko’s Plain, Air.

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Spektral at Kneisel Hall Festival (redux)
Aug
19
4:00 PM16:00

Spektral at Kneisel Hall Festival (redux)

Clara and Maeve are proud Kneisel Hall alumnae (they literally talk about it all the time), so we are enthused to be making our debut in Blue Hill, Maine this summer!

We're arriving with lobster bibs...and packing Arnold Schoenberg's mind-expanding String Quartet No. 3, Brahms's stormy String Quartet No. 1, and Eliza Brown's mesmerizing String Quartet No. 1.

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Spektral at Kneisel Hall Festival
Aug
17
7:30 PM19:30

Spektral at Kneisel Hall Festival

Clara and Maeve are proud Kneisel Hall alumnae (they literally talk about it all the time), so we are enthused to be making our debut in Blue Hill, Maine this summer!

We're arriving with lobster bibs...and packing Arnold Schoenberg's mind-expanding String Quartet No. 3, Brahms's stormy String Quartet No. 1, and Eliza Brown's mesmerizing String Quartet No. 1.

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CMI 2018: Music Made Visible – Final Concert
Jul
15
2:00 PM14:00

CMI 2018: Music Made Visible – Final Concert

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

The culmination of four days of rigorous and nearly round-the-clock coachings, rehearsals, and masterclasses, the MUSIC MADE VISIBLE FINAL CONCERT features each of the CMI ensembles brandishing their musical achievements. Performances of movements by Mozart, Beethoven, Dvořák, Brahms, and Piazzolla orbit the festival’s kinetic theme of dance in classical music.

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CMI 2018: No Bystanders, Let's Dance!
Jul
14
5:00 PM17:00

CMI 2018: No Bystanders, Let's Dance!

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

Noted for her vibrant and holistic approach to teaching, violinist Lucy Chapman leads a movement class in which all attendees will be up out of their chairs. With performances by Spektral Quartet and pianist Daniel Pesca as the launch point for this interactive presentation, Ms. Chapman illuminates the indelible connection between movement and music. Music by Bach, Chopin, Brahms, and Schoenberg.

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CMI 2018: Lucy Chapman Masterclass
Jul
14
3:00 PM15:00

CMI 2018: Lucy Chapman Masterclass

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

Chamber music maven Lucy Chapman opens her residency as the 2018 CMI special guest artist with a lively, public masterclass featuring select CMI ensembles. As the chair of New England Conservatory’s chamber music faculty, former first violinist of the Muir Quartet, and a senior participant at the elite Marlboro Festival, Ms. Chapman brings a superlative knowledge of the chamber repertoire – and a uniquely animated approach to her pedagogy.

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Spektral at Green Lake Festival
Jun
24
3:15 PM15:15

Spektral at Green Lake Festival

We're looking forward to heading north for the Green Lake Festival (and the inevitable pit stop at the Mars Cheese Castle), and our first collaboration with composer/pianist Ola Gjeilo. We'll be pairing up with the Green Lake Festival choir for Gjeilo's "Dark Night of the Soul," "Reflections," "Song," "The Crossing," and "The Ground."

This concert is FREE and open to the public

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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, verse verses.

 

PROGRAM
George Lewis: String Quartet No. 1.5: "Experiments in Living" (2016)
Eliza Brown: String Quartet No.1 (2011/2013)  (NY premiere)
David Fulmer: verse, verses (2018) (NYC premiere)

This concert is FREE and open to the public

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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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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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