Chicago Public Schools Residency
Feb
22
to Feb 26

Chicago Public Schools Residency

As part of our season-long In Spektral’s Neighborhood series – in which we offer free concerts in our home base of Edgewater to create a deeper sense of community – we are headed to three public schools over three days to pique the curiosity and creativity of young minds. We can’t wait to interact with the students of George B Swift Elementary, Stephen K Hayt Elementary, and Nicholas Senn High School…because post-performance reactions from these age groups is unfiltered and REAL.

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Open Rehearsal: An expanded new work by Samuel Adams
Mar
7
7:30 PM19:30

Open Rehearsal: An expanded new work by Samuel Adams

Quartet Movement by composer Samuel Adams is a commission that we’ve had up on stage quite a bit in recent years…and now this alluring, episodic piece is growing! We can’t get enough of Sam the person or Sam the composer, so we’re eager to share the newly-written portion of this expanded work with you.

Our open rehearsals intentionally bring you, the listener, into our early process with a piece both to pull the curtain back on how we assemble a challenging new score – but also to get your input into the musical decisions that await us. The only prerequisite for these informal, entertaining events is curiosity.

Refreshments will be served following the event.

This event is FREE and open to the public

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THE MODERN SALON: SOUTH SIDE EDITION (Close Encounters Series)
Mar
23
7:00 PM19:00

THE MODERN SALON: SOUTH SIDE EDITION (Close Encounters Series)

Salons are stimulating affairs in which artists of diverse disciplines gather to showcase and expound on their work – and this season, the GRAMMY-nominated Spektral Quartet aims to catapult the best of what the salon has to offer into the 21st century.

In partnership with esteemed Chicago-based artist and organizer Theaster Gates, Spektral will spotlight some of the city’s most charismatic creatives in music, poetry, dance, and visual art in an environment that draws voices and traditions into dynamic conversation with one another.

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Educational Residency at Augsburg University & MacPhail Center for Music
Apr
11
to Apr 12

Educational Residency at Augsburg University & MacPhail Center for Music

One of the singular benefits of bouncing around the country as a string quartet is encountering performance and composition students at local universities, and we’re eager to meet the young creatives at Augsburg University and the MacPhail Center for Music during our time in Minnesota. We’ll be coaching chamber music, offering masterclasses, and reading new works by student composers – the kinds of things that light us up!

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Seven Last Words at Augsburg University
Apr
11
7:30 PM19:30

Seven Last Words at Augsburg University

We’re delighted to rekindle our annual tradition of performing Josef Haydn’s sublime Seven Last Words of Christ this April with our first appearance at Augsburg University. This is a piece that, no matter one’s spiritual proclivities, offers an opportunity for contemplation and reflection – something we find to be in short supply these days.

PROGRAM
The Seven Last Words of Christ (Josef Haydn)

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Seven Last Words at Immanuel Lutheran Chicago
Apr
14
3:00 PM15:00

Seven Last Words at Immanuel Lutheran Chicago

We are very happy to be sharing a perennial Spektral favorite – Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ – with our friends and neighbors in Edgewater this April. This is a piece that, no matter one’s spiritual proclivities, offers an opportunity for contemplation and reflection – something we find to be in short supply these days.

This concert is FREE and open to the public

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An Open Rehearsal: Schubert's "Rosamunde" Quartet
Apr
25
7:30 PM19:30

An Open Rehearsal: Schubert's "Rosamunde" Quartet

Franz Schubert’s “Rosamunde” Quartet is one of those masterworks we’ve been itching to perform for the first time in Spektral. A question put to us frequently is, “How do you go about finding your own musical voice with a piece that’s been performed and recorded thousands of times?” Well, friend, you’re about to find out…

Our open rehearsals intentionally bring you, the listener, into our early process with a piece both to pull the curtain back on how we assemble a challenging new score – but also to get your input into the musical decisions that await us. The only prerequisite for these informal, entertaining events is curiosity.

Refreshments will be served following the event.

This event is FREE and open to the public

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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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THE LURE OF THE PAST // THE THRILL OF THE NOW
Feb
17
3:00 PM15:00

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

We are dumbfounded to announce that we will be performing on a Giovanni Granchino violin (1693), a Giorgio Serafin violin (1750), a Matteo Goffriller viola (1727), and a Giuseppe Guarneri cello (1715) for this concert – thanks to the generosity of Bein & Fushi. Our board member, Joe Bein, will open the show with a brief introduction to these superb instruments, and you can read more about this extraordinary loan over on our Blog.

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.

This concert is FREE and open to the public

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Miguel Zenón: At the Max
Feb
6
7:00 PM19:00

Miguel Zenón: At the Max

  • Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Spektral Quartet partners with MacArthur and Guggenheim fellow Miguel Zenón for “Yo Soy la Tradición,” an immersive, concert-length work inspired by the culture of Zenón’s native Puerto Rico. Recently nominated for a Grammy Award, the work pairs lush, melodic string writing with complex rhythmic interactions, blurring the lines between jazz, classical, and folk music.

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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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In Spektral's Neighborhood: Edgewater Public Library
Jan
26
10:00 AM10:00

In Spektral's Neighborhood: Edgewater Public Library

  • Chicago Public Library: Edgewater Branch (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The Spektral Quartet, twice Grammy-nominated musicians, present an interactive program of classical music for children and their families. Come hear the wonderful musical sounds of Beethoven through the classical music of today as performed by the Chicago Tribune’s 2017 Chicagoans of the Year. 

Ages 0-10 with their families. Registration is required. Space is limited. 

Ask your librarian
or visit chipublib.org
for more information.

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New World Symphony Residency
Jan
18
to Jan 19

New World Symphony Residency

We’re thrilled to be returning to the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, FL for a two-day residency this January! In addition to coaching chamber ensembles, we’ll be presenting Programming 101: a guide to community- and inclusivity-minded programming, with a decidedly Spektral bent.

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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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Spektral Quartet at Grand Rapids Art Museum
Dec
9
2:00 PM14:00

Spektral Quartet at Grand Rapids Art Museum

Our concerts at Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) have become an annual event that we look forward to each season! This year, we present two of our favorite numbers – both of which appear on our forthcoming album – amidst the inspiring collections in this fetching Midwestern destination.

– PROGRAM –
Ruth Crawford Seeger
String Quartet 1931

Arnold Schoenberg
String Quartet No 3, Op 30

TICKETS
This concert is FREE with museum admission

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Notre Dame Fall ChamberFest
Dec
4
7:00 PM19:00

Notre Dame Fall ChamberFest

  • LaBar Recital Hall (O'Neill Hall of Music) (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The last time we performed at Notre Dame, we we’re backing up Grammy-winning jazz pianist Billy Childs, but for this appearance at the University’s Fall ChamberFest, we’re packing a three-fer of classical heavyweights: Brahms, Schoenberg, and Seeger.

– PROGRAM –
Johannes Brahms
String Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 51

Ruth Crawford Seeger
String Quartet 1931

Arnold Schoenberg
String Quartet No 3, Op 30

TICKETS
This concert is FREE and open to the public


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People's Music School Residency
Nov
28
to Dec 14

People's Music School Residency

We’re energized to be working with Rush Hour Concerts once again for a community-centric project – this time featuring the wonderful young musicians of People’s Music School in Albany Park! We’ll be workshopping extended techniques and approaches to improvisation over the course of two weeks, all while developing a brand-new work together. This intensive pedagogy and collaboration culminates in a side-by-side concert and performance of the group’s new piece…and we can’t wait to see what these emerging talents create together!

FINAL CONCERT

December 14th
6–8pm
Hibbard Elementary

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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 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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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.

PROGRAM
Vocal meditation (led by the composer) Charmaine Lee
Selections from String Quartet in F major Maurice Ravel
Sunrise improvisation Spektral Quartet


SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR EVENT SPONSORS!

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In Spektral's Neighborhood: Spektral Plays Ellipsis Coffeehouse
Oct
17
1:00 PM13:00

In Spektral's Neighborhood: Spektral Plays Ellipsis Coffeehouse

We’re popping up for free shows around Edgewater throughout the 2018/19 season, and for our first, we’ll be performing Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 3 at Ellipsis Coffeehouse (1259 W Devon Ave)

*Spektral Quartet is not liable for any extraordinary emails, inspired film scripts, or general flourishes of creativity during this hour.

This event is FREE and open to the public

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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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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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TICKETS

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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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