Season Finale Offers Two Piano Trio Masterworks!

For its 41st season finale, The Chicago Ensemble departs from its trademark off-the-beaten-track programming, offering instead two towering masterworks of the piano trio literature: Beethoven’s Trio No. 1 in Eb Major, op. 1 no. 1 and Brahms’ Trio No. 2 in C Major, op. 87. The concerts are Tuesday, May 29 and Sunday, June 3.

Those unfamiliar with the Beethoven trio may be inclined to dismiss it since it is his first published work; those who have heard it realize that it is a masterpiece. Beethoven played all three of his op. 1 trios in a salon concert hosted by Prince Lichnowsky, who was one of the music-loving Viennese aristocrats whose patronage aided Beethoven throughout his career. Beethoven’s teacher, Haydn, was present for this occasion. The wit, charm, energy and flawless construction of the teacher’s music is all in evidence in the 23 year old student’s work.

Brahms’ op. 86 trio is of a grandeur akin to his monumental op. 83 piano concerto no. 2. In particular, the intense, chromatic first movement has a near-symphonic breadth. The scherzo movements of both pieces belie the meaning of the word “scherzo” (“joke”); they are restless, dark, far from light-hearted although sharing the general form of the playful scherzo movements of Haydn and Beethoven. In the variations of the slow movement, Brahms displays his quite contrasting fondness for Hungarian folk music.

Featured performers are Gerald Rizzer, the group’s Artistic Director and Pianist; Andrew Snow, Cellist; and Alan Snow, Violinist. The Chicago Ensemble presents “Chicago’s most venerable and reportorially adventurous chamber music series,” according to Lawrence Johnson in Chicago Classical Review.

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). For further information, contact The Chicago Ensemble at (773) 558-3448 or

Purchase tickets online at Brown Paper Tickets.


Sample our music.

Listen to our music: Beethoven Trio in G Major, op. 1 no. 2 - 1st movement.


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Coming Next 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 over 400 submissions.

For recent media coverage on The Chicago Ensembe, view this article:

Ticket Information for Performances

For tickets or to receive a brochure:
Phone: (773) 558-3448
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.

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.