Ensemble Dal Niente is thrilled to have been invited to perform works by Isabel Mundry, Kaija Saariaho, and Sofia Gubaidulina at the University of Chicago’s Contempo music series.
Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina’s compositions often incorporate folk and ritual instruments; for Songs of the Gallows, the ensemble will be joined by special guests Kayleigh Butcher, mezzo soprano, and Stas Venglevski on bayan—a Russian chromatic accordion, whose roots in folk music make its development in the twentieth century a strange fact of its history. German composer Isabel Mundry’s Sandschleifen (“Sand-grinding”), for string trio, piano, and percussion, strikes a more modernist tone, full of “frenetic energy and spiky language” (Allmusic.com). Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho’s eerie, ethereal Aer blends large ensemble and electronics; “the brilliance of [Saariaho’s] works that fuse electronics with instruments is the way they melt the divisions between both worlds” (The Guardian).
University of Chicago composition faculty member Marta Ptaszyńska, the Helen B. and Frank L. and Sulzberger Professor of Music, serves as the series’ Artistic Director and has programmed “five recent works by leading international women composers,” three of which will feature Ensemble Dal Niente.
Isabel Mundry - Sandschleifen (2003/06) for violin, viola, cello, piano, percussion
Kaija Saariaho - Aer (1991) for flute, harp, harpsichord, percussion, violin, viola, cello, electronics
Sofia Gubaidulina - Songs of the Gallows (1996) for mezzo-soprano, flute, bayan, bass, percussion