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 fourth program of chamber music concerts takes place Tuesday, April 12, 7:30 pm, at the new chapel of Fourth Presbyterian Church, on the "magnificent mile", a block from Chicago's Water Tower. The program is repeated at the University of Chicago's International House Sunday, April 17, 3:00 pm.

Listen to our music: Faure Piano Quartet

Continuing this season's exploration of French music from the golden age of French culture before and after World War I, the April program features Fauré's sensuous Quartet No. 2 in G Minor for piano and strings. Fauré, whose use of modes other than major and minor marked the dawn of the modern era, made his greatest contributions in chamber music-- exemplified by this quartet-- and in art songs, which The Chicago Ensemble brought to the public's attention earlier this season in a performance of his song cycle, "La Bonne Chanson." Fauré's Quartet No. 2 is heard much less often than his first quartet but deserves more frequent hearing. Other French works offered this season are by Franck, Ravel, Pierné and Poulenc.

Over more than twenty years, The Chicago Ensemble has held its "Discover America" competitions for new American chamber works. Two of the winning pieces from the recent eighth round of the competition are being played on the April concert. Roger Zare's Irlandzki Polonez (2012), is – as the title implies – a fusion of Irish and Polish elements in a short, highly energetic work for oboe, violin, cello and piano. This is the second winning work by Mr. Zare, who recently earned a PhD from the University of Michigan. His 2008 Sonata for violin and piano, utilizing the hymn Beautiful Savior, was given its world premiere by The Chicago Ensemble after being chosen in the seventh round of the competition. The opening movement of Jonathan Russell's Trio for violin, cello and piano (2012) is the second winning work on the Ensemble's April program. Its calm, hypnotic character contrasts markedly with Zare's piece. Russell, who also has established a reputation as a bass-clarinetist, is pursuing a PhD at Princeton.

The remainder of The Chicago Ensemble's April program holds Contrapunctus I from Bach's Art of the Fugue, written at the end of the composer's life, and Benjamin Britten's Phantasy Quartet, op. 2 (1932). Responding to the requirements of the patron who funded its composition, Britten has cast his remarkably mature and compelling early work with contrasting sections that are all contained in one continuous movement. A similar procedure was followed by Britten's teacher, Frank Bridge, and other British composers of the time.

Members of The Chicago Ensemble appearing in the April program are oboist Ricardo Castañeda, violinist Mathias Tacke, cellist Andrew Snow, and the group's artistic director, pianist Gerald Rizzer.

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.