January Brings Three Piano Quartets!

On Sunday, January 28, 2018 and Tuesday, January 30, 2018, The Chicago Ensemble will present three piano quartets for your listening pleasure. Piano quartets by Mozart, Martinů, and Dvořâk make up the program.

Mozart’s Eb Major Quartet, like the G Minor which preceded it, is a masterwork. The G Minor is more assertive, while the Eb is mellower and is the less often heard. Martinů and Dvořâk were both Czech composers. Martinů wrote a great deal of chamber music influenced by his native folk music and by neo-classicism, as exemplified by Stravinsky, whose music Martinů got to know during the years prior to World War II when they both lived in Paris. Dvořâk, one of many 19th century Romantic composers who turned to the folk music of their countries for inspiration, suggests Czech folk music in his D Major piano quartet, a charming work heard less often than his later Eb Major quartet.

Performers include pianist Gerald Rizzer, the Ensemble’s Artistic Director, with Mathias Tacke, violin; Karl Davies, viola; and Andrew Snow, cello. The Chicago Ensemble presents “Chicago’s most venerable and reportorially adventurous chamber music series,” according to Lawrence Johnson in Chicago Classical Review.

See below for an overview of future concerts during the 41st season.

Concerts are presented Sunday afternoons at 3:00 at International House on the University of Chicago campus and Tuesdays at 7:30 at Fourth Presbyterian Church, a block from the Water Tower on North Michigan Avenue. Concerts are preceded by a complimentary reception. Gerald Rizzer offers verbal commentary about each piece.

Tickets are $30 ($10 students). Subscriptions for the 4 remaining concerts are $100, a 20% saving over single tickets. For further information, contact The Chicago Ensemble at (773) 558-3448 or theceweb@thechicagoensemble.org.

Purchase tickets online at Brown Paper Tickets.


Sample our music.

Listen to our music: Faure: Piano Quartet in C Minor


The Chicago Ensemble’s All-day Workshop for Adult Amateur Chamber Players!

The Chicago Ensemble presents its second annual workshop for adult amateur chamber music players. The workshop is open to players with some experience playing chamber music. Come as a single participant and we will match you up with others, assigning you repertoire to prepare for the workshop. Or come as part of a pre-set group. Coaches include: Gerald Rizzer, piano; Mathias Tacke, violin; Andrew Snow, cello; Susan Levitin, flute; and Elizandro Garcia-Montoya, clarinet.

Open to violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, and piano players

When: Sunday, 18 March 2018, 10:00am to 5:00pm
Where: Pianoforte, 1335 S. Michigan Ave. (in Chicago's South Loop)
Cost: $130.00 (including buffet lunch)

For More Information call: 773-558-3448

Submit Application by 10 February 2018 to:
Gerald Rizzer/The Chicago Ensemble
PO Box 409048
Chicago , IL 60640
United States


Financial Contribution to Support the Chicago Ensemble

If you wish to make a contribution to The Chicago Ensemble, please contact us:

  • Phone: (773) 558-3448
  • Email:  theceweb@thechicagoensemble.org
  • Address: PO Box 409048, Chicago, IL 60640
  • PayPal:
    (The Chicago Ensemble will not have to pay a processing fee to PayPal if you indicate that you are making a gift. This is accomplished by unmarking the button on the Pay Pal form. Additionally, please note that while the recipient name should say The Chicago Ensemble, your receipt may come from the email of Bonniejean Alford, who is our website/social media manager.)


An Overview of the Rest of the Season

In March, trios for clarinet, viola and piano are heard – Mozart’s in Eb Major, K. 498, which is well-known, along with rarely heard pieces by British 20th century composer Gordon Jacob and 19th century German Romantic composer Carl Reinecke.

Rizzer plays harpsichord in April. During the first half Baroque Instrumental ensembles with flute, oboe, violin, and cello by Vivaldi and Fasch and vocal works by Alessandro Scarlatti and Handel. During the second half, 20th century works, featuring American composer Dominick Argento’s Six Elizabethan Songs with Ms. Areyzaga, soprano, and instrumental ensemble, as well as Martinů’s neo-classical Promenades for flute, cello and piano and tango composer Piazzola’s Café 1930 for oboe and cello.

The season concludes with piano trios – Beethoven’s op. 1 no. 1 in Eb Major, a masterwork which astonished the Viennese aristocrats who heard the composer’s debut concert, and Brahms’ Trio No. 2 in C Major, op. 87, a work of intense passion.

This season there will be a concert of winning pieces from the 9th round of The Chicago Ensemble’s “Discover America” competition for new chamber works. The pieces, selected from over 400 submissions, and the date of the program will be announced.

The season also includes an all-day workshop for adult amateur chamber music players March 18.

For recent media coverage on The Chicago Ensembe, view this article: http://chicagoclassicalreview.com/2017/04/the-chicago-ensemble-marks-40-years-of-adventurous-chamber-music/

Ticket Information for Performances

For tickets or to receive a brochure:
Phone: (773) 558-3448
Email: theceweb@thechicagoensemble.org
Online: Click the event date on our season details page to buy tickets, or visit our Brown Paper Tickets overview page. Season tickets are also available.
Or see our order form to print out and mail your order.

Single Tickets: $30 general, $10 students, $100 remaining-season subscription
Ticket includes free reception beginning 30 minutes before each concert.

Each program in The Chicago Ensemble's concert subscription series is presented at Fourth Presbyterian Church, a block from the Water Tower, and at International House, on the University of Chicago campus.

A complimentary reception precedes each program. The artistic director, Gerald Rizzer, introduces the works on the program with informative comments.

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