The Chicago Ensemble is in its 39th season of chamber concerts!

Yes, 39th. Find out why people return year after year.

"Lively, offbeat programming" — John Von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Ensemble's fifth and final program of its 39th season of chamber music concerts takes place Sunday May 22, 3:00 pm at the University of Chicago's International House, and is repeated Tuesday May 24, 7:30 pm at the new chapel of Fourth Presbyterian Church, on the "magnificent mile", a block from Chicago's Water Tower.

Listen to our music: Faure Piano Quartet

The program holds the mix of old and new, familiar and unfamiliar music which has earned The Chicago Ensemble the designation "virtuosos of variety" (Chicago Tribune). Opening the program is a trio in F Major for flute, cello and piano by Haydn, whose symphonies and string quartets are often performed while his outstanding trios with piano are neglected.

Two French pieces continue the Ensemble's exploration of this repertoire. Ravel's Chansons Madécasses from 1926 are songs for mezzo-soprano, flute, cello and piano, one of which is a vitriolic denunciation of French imperialism in Africa. These songs are musically much more sparse than his pre-war impressionistic works. Gabriel Pierné's graceful Sonata da Camera for flute, cello and piano, in neo-classical style, was also written in 1926.

The American composer Ned Rorem has built his reputation on excellent songs for voice and piano. However, it is an instrumental work which is heard on this program: his Trio for flute, cello and piano, a virtuosic work written in 1960.

Jesus Guridi's six Canciones Castellanos (1941) are beautifully arranged Spanish folk songs for mezzo-soprano and piano, on a par with the more often-performed settings by DeFalla.

The Chicago Ensemble has been presenting winning works selected from 350 submissions to its recent "Discover America" competition for new American chamber music. Patrick Castillo's Incident (2010) is an intense short piece for cello and piano. Mr. Castillo, active as a composer and lecturer and artistic advisor to the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, has just released a recording of his vocal chamber music.

Members of The Chicago Ensemble appearing in the May program are mezzo-soprano Stacy Eckert, flutist Susan Levitin, cellist Steven Sigurdson and the group's artistic director, pianist Gerald Rizzer.

Tickets are $25.

A complimentary reception precedes the concert. The artistic director offers informative comments before each piece.

Season Overview:

Fall Program:
Music for: clarinet, violin, cello, and piano.
Composers: Ingolf Dahl, Michael-Thomas Foumai, Giocomo Meyerbeer, Robert Muczynski, and Frank Bridge.
Buy Tickets: October 27 and November 1

Winter Program:
Music for: string quartet, baritone, and piano.
Composers: Bohuslav Martin?, Gabriel Fauré, and Ludwig Thuille.
Buy Tickets: February 2 and February 7

Early Spring Program:
Music for: violin, cello, and piano.
Composers: Francis Poulenc, César Franck, and Maurice Ravel.
Buy Tickets: March 1 and March 6

Mid Spring Program:
Music for: oboe, violin, viola, cello, and piano.
Composers: J. S. Bach, Benjamin Britten, Jonathan Russell, Roger Zare, and Gabriel Fauré
Buy Tickets: April 12 and April 17

Late Spring Program:
Music for: mezzo-soprano, flute, cello, and piano.
F. J. Haydn, Gabriel Pierné, Maurice Ravel, Patrick Castillo, Jesus Guridi, and Ned Rorem.
Buy Tickets: May 22 and May 24

Ticket Information

For tickets or to receive a brochure:
Phone: (773) 558-3448
Online: Click the event date above to buy tickets, or visit our season overview page on Brown Paper Tickets.
Or see our Order Form to print out and mail your order.

Single Tickets: $25 general, $10 students
Ticket includes free reception beginning 30 minutes before each concert.

Not sure of your schedule? Tickets are good for any concert, whenever and wherever you want to experience The Chicago Ensemble.