Performance Info

8/8: Chicago Q Ensemble

Fri, Aug 8, 2014

12-1pm. One South Dearborn, 1 S Dearborn

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Are the characters playing music?  Are the musicians acting?  The answer to both seems to be “yes.” Chicago Q Ensemble has created a new concept of musical and dramatic narrative wherein one art form is transformed by the other, and the possibilities appear to be endless.


Praised by Chicago Classical Review for their “expressive, superbly communicative performances,” Chicago Q Ensemble is a string trio committed to challenging the traditional role of the performer, empowering the modern listener, and using the trio medium as a springboard towards infinite creativity.

In their 2013-14 season, the trio created and performed two evening-length performance pieces which represent a groundbreaking hybrid of chamber music and theater. THREE-SIDED, featuring music of Beethoven alongside young American composers Marcos Balter and Andrew Norman, uses silent choreography and movement — performed by the musicians — to explore questions of sacred space and spiritual journeys. No Exit places the ensemble in dual roles as actors and musicians, performing excerpts of Sartre’s classic existential play alongside music of Mozart and Scelsi. As part of the Chicago Home Theater Festival, the trio performed No Exit in the home of legendary Chicago activist Bill Ayers. They also presented a TED talk at Rush University, Classical music’s empowerment problem, which describes the importance of fully engaging performers in the creative process.

In 2014, the ensemble made their Millennium Park debut with German pianist Hauschka on the City of Chicago’s Loops and Variations series, and were selected for the inaugural Living Loop performance festival. They have been been presented in concert throughout Chicago, including recitals at the (Un)familiar Music Series, Chicago Cultural Center, Constellation, Poetry Foundation, Green Mill, Chopin Theater, Northwestern University, DePaul University, Ganz Hall, and the Music Institute of Chicago. They have premiered and advocated for the work countless Chicago composers, including in their two studio albums. The ensemble has an important collaborative relationship with actor and director Deirdre Harrison, and have collaborated with artists of all backgrounds, including composer and video artist Patrick Liddell and shadow puppet company Manual Cinema.

Chicago Q Ensemble has been featured at the Gesher Music Festival in St. Louis, MO and the Worcester Chamber Music Society in Worcester, MA. In 2014-15, the newly formed American Music Project will present them in an all-American program in Chicago, including the premiere of a new work by Amy Wurtz.


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