January 24, 2014

Loops and Variations Brings Contemporary Classical Music and Electronica to the Chicago Cultural Center on Select Sundays this Winter and Spring

Series also includes special evening concert by R WE WHO R WE on Thursday, April 24

Mary May    312.744.0576 mmay@cityofchicago.org

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is pleased to announce the winter and spring schedule of the popular FREE contemporary classical music series, Loops and Variations, at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.) with performances on select Sundays at 3pm in Preston Bradley Hall and a special evening concert in the Claudia Cassidy Theater on Thursday, April 24 at 6:30pm.

As part of the ongoing Sunday Salon series, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) will perform two Loops and Variations concerts at the Chicago Cultural Center. On the Saturday prior, performances will be held at the Chicago Public Library Edgewater Branch (1210 W. Elmdale Ave.). These concerts are part of the ensemble’s OpenICE initiative.

OpenICE is presented as part of an ongoing collaboration between the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the Chicago Public Library and the International Contemporary Ensemble to provide access to new music performances. Arts programming in neighborhoods advances the goals of the Chicago Cultural Plan. Grant support for OpenICE is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

With Games of Extremes on February 9, OpenICE will present an audacious performance from clarinetist Joshua Rubin, pianist Jacob Greenberg and percussionist Ross Karre with a program featuring pieces that represent the extremes of musical emotions. Using Hungarian composer György Kurtág's richly varied music as a baseline, this concert bounds from Mozart's warmth of expression, to the cool and collected music of Klaus Lang.

On February 16, the Illinois Modern Ensemble of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will serenade Preston Bradley Hall with its contemporary and experimental repertoire. The ensemble is comprised mostly of students, which serves as an excited learning tool.

Limitless imagination and an insatiable desire to bring chamber music to audiences of all types is the easiest way to define the Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble. With two chances to see this ensemble on February 23 and again on May 11, audiences will get a double-dose of the versatile and dynamic group praised by the New York Times for its “conviction, authority, and finesse.”

On March 2, Loops and Variations continues with an OpenICE performance, Early Jazz to White Noise, featuring star improvisers Peter Evans and Cory Smythe as they share the stage to weave a musical picture of jazz and improvised music from the past, present and future. Using the works of Louis Armstrong and Earl Hines as points of inspiration, Evans and Smythe are mesmerizing collaborators with full command of an enormous variety of musical styles at their fingertips.

Described as one of North America’s most prominent new music groups, Ensemble Dal Niente has graced the stage in many venues across the country and will be performing in Preston Bradley Hall on March 9, presenting Hans Abrahmsen’s “Schnee.” Known for presenting new music, Ensemble Dal Niente is wholeheartedly dedicated to captivating audience members by creating an engaging, inspiring and immersive experience.

The acclaimed Third Coast Percussion will perform their sonic percussion repertoire in Preston Bradley Hall on April 13. Praised for their exhilarating performances, Third Coast Percussion has taken it one step further with the development of their personalized free iPhone and iPad apps that allow audience members to create their own performances to enhance the audience experience.

Loops and Variations fans will receive a special treat on the evening of Thursday, April 24 at 6:30pm when R WE WHO R WE, featuring composer-performers Ted Hearne (voice, vocal processing) and Philip white (mixer feedback, electronics), takes the stage of the Claudia Cassidy Theater. Sampling the mash-up style of music from Girl Talk and the experimental methods of Merzbow, the artists provide tribute and commentary to both classical and ephemeral artists of pop landscape.

Award-winning Brazilian composer, Marcos Balter will be celebrated in a 40th Birthday Portrait Concert on May 4. The concert will include a new quartet featuring performers Ryan Muncy, Claire Chase, Nadia Sirota and Rebekah Heller.

The Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington Street) offers free entertainment and cultural experiences for visitors year-round. For more information on arts programming at the Chicago Cultural Center presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, visit chicagoculturalcenter.org or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, @ChiCulturCenter and @ChicagoDCASE.

** Loops and Variations returns to the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park this summer on Thursdays, May 29 – July 3. For details, visit millenniumpark.org. **

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.



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