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 presents the second concert of the chamber group’s 39th season on Tuesday, February 2 at Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut, and on February 7 at International House. 1414 E. 59th Street. This program offers quintets for piano and string quartet.

To listen to The Chicago Ensemble perform music similar to this program, listen to Phydile, by Duparc, from our album.

M. L. Rantala wrote in the Hyde Park Herald November 11: “(Artistic director) Gerald Rizzer has a knack for finding music with appeal and merit that most people haven’t heard before” and Lawrence Johnson wrote in Chicago Classical Review October 29: “No chamber series in town roves as widely nor as adventurously.”

Rarely heard, the piano quintet by the late Romantic German composer Ludwig Thuille reveals a composer who writes music that is passionate and extremely well-crafted. As is typically the case with The Chicago Ensemble’s concerts, audiences will be pleasantly surprised to discover this fine work.

Bohuslav Martinů was a Czech composer of the first half of the 20th century. He wrote a great deal of chamber music and The Chicago Ensemble has presented pieces by him a number of times. This, however, will be the group’s first performance of the Second Piano Quintet, written in 1944 while the composer was living in America as a refugee escaping the Nazis. It shows two features of the composer’s style: melodies with lilting rhythms reflecting his Czech background and motoric, neo-classical music reflecting his years spent in Paris where Stravinsky was the primary influence.

Gabriel Fauré’s song cycle La Bonne Chanson, set to love poems by Paul Verlaine, is one of the most beautiful of song cycles and one of the most sympathetic weddings of music and verse. More often performed for just voice and piano, The Chicago Ensemble is here presenting Faure’s rescoring with the addition of a string quartet.

Ryan Cox is the baritone featured in the Fauré song cycle. The string quartet is comprised of Stephen Boe and Renée-Paule Gauthier, violins; Paul Vanderwerf, viola; and Andrew Snow, cello. The group’s artistic director Gerald Rizzer is the pianist.

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 Martinů, 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.