Chicago Ensemble’s 2012-2013 Season Offers Enticing Mix of Chamber Music

The Chicago Ensemble has begun its 2012-2013 season. The group’s upcoming concerts offer an enticing mix of classic chamber music works, rarely-performed gems, and pieces by contemporary composers. The performances feature different ensembles including string trios, piano quintets, and wind quintets. Each concert includes a complimentary reception beginning 30 minutes before the performance. Performances are held at International House at University Of Chicago at 1414 E. 59th Street in Hyde Park and Fourth Presbyterian Church at Chestnut and Michigan. Tickets are reasonably priced – a season flex-ticket pass includes five tickets for $100, valid for any concert. Single tickets are $25 general admission, students $10. Tickets are available at, by calling 773-889-4206, or at the door.


3 pm, Sun., Nov. 4 (International House); 7:30 pm, Tues., Nov. 13 (Fourth Presbyterian Church):
An enchanting small-ensemble program featuring art songs by the masters, highlighted by Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, a setting of James Agee’s touching description of a child’s perceptions of life. Experience lovely Romantic songs by Ludwig Spohr, a masterful Francis Poulenc sonata, enchanting duets by Ralph Vaughan Williams and an atonal work by modernist Egon Wellesz in an afternoon or evening of relaxing chamber music.

Ludwig Spohr, Songs, op. 103; Francis Poulenc, Sonata (1962); Ralph Vaughan Williams, Three Vocalises (1958); Egon Wellesz, Two Pieces (1922); Samuel Barber, Knoxville: Summer of 1915 (1947). Michelle Areyzaga, soprano; Elizandro Garcia-Montoya, clarinet; and Gerald Rizzer, piano.

3 pm, Sun., Dec. 2 (International House); 7:30 pm, Tues., Dec. 11 (Fourth Presbyterian Church): Trios! Beethoven’s beloved “Ghost” Trio will be followed by three fascinating 20th-century trios that offer a wide range of styles and expressions. A high-intensity trio by Leon Kirchner, an engaging contemporary work by Ted Goldman and a folk music-inspired trio by the great Spanish composer Joaquin Turina will round out the program.

L. van Beethoven, Trio No.5 in D Major, op. 70 no. 2 (“Ghost”); Leon Kirchner, Trio (1954); Ted Goldman, Scrudge (2009); Joaquin Turina, Trio No. 1 in D Minor, op. 35 (1926). Mathias Tacke, violin; Andrew Snow, cello; Gerald Rizzer, piano.

3 pm, Sun., Feb. 24 (International House); 7:30 pm, Tues., Feb. 26 (Fourth Presbyterian Church): Explore songs for mezzo-soprano and works featuring flute, cello and piano, highlighted by Greg Kallor’s expressive Exhilaration, comprising nine Emily Dickinson poems transformed into song, exotic songs by Ravel and a lyrical instrumental work by Chausson, juxtaposed with a Handel sonata and an energetic trio by Martinů.

G. F. Handel, Sonata in C Major; Gregg Kallor, Exhilaration (2007), Bohuslav Martinu, Trio (1944); Ernest Chausson, Pièce, op. 39; Maurice Ravel, Chansons Madécasses (1926). Stacy Eckert, mezzo-soprano; Susan Levitin, flute; Steven Sigurdson, cello; Gerald Rizzer, piano.

3 pm, Sun., April 14 (International House); 7:30 pm, Tues., April 16 (Fourth Presbyterian Church):
Explore the art of the piano quartet with works by three very different composers from three different eras Europe, the United States and Russia. This program offers the rare opportunity to hear Mozart’s less-often-performed Quartet No. 2, along with a quartet that shows a surprising side of Aaron Copland and a grand Romantic work by Russian master Alexander Taneyev.

W. A. Mozart, Quartet No. 2 in Eb Major, K. 493; Aaron Copland, Quartet (1950); Alexander Taneyev, Quartet in E Minor, op. 20. Stephen Boe, violin; Paul Vanderwerf, viola; Andrew Snow, cello; Gerald Rizzer, piano.

7:30 pm, Tues., June 4 (Fourth Presbyterian Church); 3 pm, Sun., June 9 (International House):
Experience a Mozart masterpiece for winds and piano, alongside a Baroque trio-sonata by the considerably less well-known J.J. Quantz,and contemporary works by Clint Needham, an American composer, and the highly regarded British composer Gordon Jacob.

J. J. Quantz, Trio-sonata in C Major; W. A. Mozart, Quintet in Eb Major, K. 452; Clint Needham, Five Movements (2007); Gordon Jacob, Sextet in Bb Major (1962). Susan Levitin, flute; Ricardo Castaneda, oboe; Elizandro Garcia-Montoya, clarinet; John Gaudette, bassoon; Dan O’Connell, french horn; Gerald Rizzer, piano

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