Engaging new works in The Chicago Ensemble's “Discover America” program March 30!

The third program in The Chicago Ensemble’s adventurous series of new music concerts takes place Saturday, March 30, 2019 at 4:00pm at Pianoforte 1335 S. Michigan Ave.

Winning works in the Ensemble’s “Discover America” competition make up the program. Click here for the Discover America Program Book for the entire series with composer bios, photos, and description of their pieces.

Well-known to Chicago audiences, Michelle Areyzaga is featured in a haunting setting of Matthew Arnold’s poem Dover Beach with music composed by Hendrik Hofmeyr. A prominent South African composer, Hofmeyr won two important competitions: the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium and the Dimitri Mitropoulos. Ms. Areyzaga will also be heard in Parables, a song cycle on ten Japanese haiku poems with music by New York composer Robert Cohen. Cohen’s music has been performed in prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall.

Instrumentalists Shanna Gutierrez, Flute; Eleanor Bartsch, Violin; and Cellist Alexa Muhly join Artistic Director/Pianist Gerald Rizzer in Ushabti Avenue by Micah Clark, a young Chicagoan who attended Wheaton College; Left On-Board by the young Russian composer Anton Svetlichny; and Empire Builder by Matthew Peterson who grew up in North Dakota and now lives in Sweden. Clark’s piece begins simply with the instruments in unison but continues with contrapuntal sections. In Svetlichny’s piece the violin plays special effects over the piano’s Charleston rhythm, a surprising choice coming from a Russian composer. Peterson’s piece conjures up the sound of a train; his ancestors worked laying track for the Empire Builder, running from the Midwest to the west coast.

The Chicago Ensemble’s “Discover America” competition was launched in 1992, the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ “discovery” of America. The four programs of this year’s ambitious series introduce Chicago audiences to winning works selected from 430 submissions to the latest round of the competition.

The Chicago Ensemble is in its 42nd season. Often praised for its unusually diversified repertoire, The Chicago Ensemble has also had a long commitment to the discovery and encouragement of contemporary composers.

Individual tickets are $30. Each program has a different combination of piano, strings, woodwinds, and voice.

Dates of the remaining programs are:
Discover America: April 20
Eclectic: June 4/9

For full details, view the current season.

The group’s Artistic Director and Pianist is Gerald Rizzer. The Chicago Ensemble presents “Chicago’s most venerable and reportorially adventurous chamber music series,” according to Lawrence Johnson in Chicago Classical Review.

Programs I, II, III, and IV are presented Sunday afternoons at 3:00 at International House on the University of Chicago campus and Tuesday evenings at 7:30 at Fourth Presbyterian Church, a block from the Water Tower on North Michigan Avenue. Programs A, B, C, and D are presented Saturday afternoons at 4:00 (2:00pm April 20) at PianoForte in the south loop. Concerts are preceded by a complimentary reception. Gerald Rizzer offers verbal commentary about each piece.

Tickets are $30 ($10 students). 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: Alexandra Gardner: Red Earth from Crows (1998) Winner Discover America VII.


Workshop for Adult Amateur Chamber Music Players

Date: Sunday, May 12, 2019 10:00am to 5:00pm
Location: Pianoforte 1335 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago Illinois
Application Deadline: April 1, 2019

The workshop is open to piano, string, and woodwind players who have some proficiency at their instrument. Both seasoned chamber players and those who are new to playing chamber music will benefit from this workshop. We will match you up with others of comparable experience, or you may enroll with a group with whom you already play.

Coaches for the workshop are experienced, long-time members of The Chicago Ensemble, which performs its highly regarded chamber series at two Chicago locations. There will be a morning and an afternoon coaching session, with lunch provided.

Cost of the workshop is $120 for individuals whom we match up with other players.
Cost of the workshop is $100 per person for members of already constituted groups.

For full details and to apply, please download the application.
For further information, contact The Chicago Ensemble.


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


(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 marking the button on the PayPal form noting that it is being sent as a gift to a friend. 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.)


Social Media

Please follow the Chicago Ensemble on Social Media, on Facebook and Twitter. Let’s Trend this amazing 42nd season with the following hashtags: #TheChicagoEnsemble #42ndseason #MusicalAdventure #DiscoverAmerica #ChamberMUSICwithFRIENDS


An Overview of what's to come in the 42nd Season

Winning works from The Chicago Ensemble’s “Discover America IX” competition are to be featured in the programming of the group’s 2018-2019 season. The pieces were selected from 430 submissions.

For recent media coverage on The Chicago Ensemble, 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.
Or see our order form to print out and mail your order.

Single Tickets: $30 general, $10 students
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. "Discover America" concerts are presented Saturday afternoons at 4:00pm (2:00pm on April 20) at Pianoforte in the south loop.

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.