10th Anniversary Season Preview

Ensemble Dal Niente proudly announces its 10th Anniversary Concert Season in 2015/2016. Over the past decade, Dal Niente has established itself as Chicago’s most prolific presenter of contemporary classical music by commissioning and premiering hundreds of new works and pursuing innovative collaborations. Throughout the 2015/2016 Season, Dal Niente will celebrate the repertoire, composers, and musicians that have contributed to the ensemble’s extraordinary array of accomplishments, while forging ahead into the next decade and beyond. Conductor and Artistic Coordinator Michael Lewanski says, "Dal Niente's 10th Anniversary Season invites listeners to engage with and interpret the huge variety of music being created in our enormous and contradictory world; and to discover how that music is a product of, a commentary on, and a necessity for our lives and our society."

The 10th Anniversary Season Opener takes place on September 20 at the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium of the Harold Washington Library with Canciones – the culmination of Dal Niente’s Latin American tour to Mexico, Colombia, and Panama in June 2015 made possible by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s International Connections Fund. Presented in partnership with the Latino Music Festival, this admission-free performance features the U.S. and Chicago premieres of six stylistically and thematically diverse pieces by some of Central and South America’s most compelling contemporary composers. Listeners are invited to learn more about the ensemble’s cultural exchange with Latin America’s new music communities through a multimedia presentation and panel discussion with musicians and composers from the tour.

Since its founding, Ensemble Dal Niente has regularly introduced Chicago audiences to the most thought-provoking work being written today by German composers. This tradition continues when Dal Niente kicks off its Neue Musik tour, made possible by the generous support of the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung, at Chicago’s Constellation on December 6 followed by repeat performances in Boston and New York City. This program explores German musical culture as it re-thinks, re-invents, and re-works itself and its relationship to today’s complex world.

The 2016 Frequency Festival will celebrate the invaluable contributions of Constellation to Chicago’s new music scene. As part of the Festival on February 28, Dal Niente will revive its much-loved Hard Music, Hard Liquor series, this time with a thrilling chaser of ensemble works by the iconic Chicago-born composer, George Lewis. A spectacular display of impossibly virtuosic, mind-bending solo works will push Dal Niente musicians to the very limits of their abilities, followed by two ensemble pieces – Hexis and Mnemosis, in which “it is the listener who improvises rather than the performers”  – by the inimitable Lewis, one of Dal Niente’s most treasured collaborators.

Party 2016 on April 30 will be an epic, not-to-be-missed affair - a fitting fête for Ensemble Dal Niente’s 10th Anniversary Season. In what has become Dal Niente’s signature event, The Party encourages listeners to sit, stand, lie down, drink, eat, and connect with fellow audience members while experiencing a marathon of riveting live performances. This year’s Party will be set against the cavernous backdrop of Mana Contemporary in Pilsen, with the collaboration of Chicago’s cassette-tape label and performance art collective Parlour Tapes+, who will compose a new work for the occasion. Stefan Prins’ Generation Kill, featuring live video, electronics, and video game controllers, is one of the most ambitious works that Dal Niente has ever tackled. The Chicago premiere of Deerhoof Chamber Variations by Greg Saunier will also mark the release of a new album on New Amsterdam Records featuring Dal Niente, indie-noise band Deerhoof and composer Marcos Balter.  A portrait album of Mikel Kuehn on New Focus Recordings will also be released, alongside the world premieres of works by Natacha Diels, and Dal Niente’s founding Executive Director Kirsten Broberg. Captivating performances, sumptuous snacks, delectable libations, and an eclectic audience will make for an evening not soon to be forgotten.

Over the course of the season, Ensemble Dal Niente will continue its popular Dal Niente Presents series, which showcases the extraordinary artistic strength of its ensemble members in self-curated solo and chamber music programs. A stirring performance and album release featuring Hasco Duo – Amanda DeBoer Bartlett (soprano) and Jesse Langen (guitar) – marks Dal Niente’s first-ever appearance at The Hideout on September 14. Hornist Matthew Oliphant will push the sonic possibilities of his instrument with a solo recital at Constellation on October 18. The virtuosic and versatile pianist Mabel Kwan will perform works from her new solo album at Constellation on January 3. Harpist Ben Melsky and guitarist Jesse Langen will offer an exciting program of all-new works for this largely unexplored instrumental combination at Elastic Arts in Logan Square on January 23. Finally, Dal Niente highlights two of its newest ensemble members at Constellation – flutist Emma Hospelhorn and clarinetist Katie Schoepflin – showing off the adventurous sides of their instruments on March 6.

Increasingly in demand across the country for its bold performances and in-depth residency work, Ensemble Dal Niente will visit the International Computer Music Conference at the University of North Texas (Denton, TX), the School of Music at University of Washington (Seattle, WA), NUNC! 2 at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University (Evanston, IL), Boston University (Boston, MA), the Permutations series at the DiMenna Center (New York, NY), Western Michigan University’s School of Music (Kalamazoo, MI), and June in Buffalo hosted by the Center for 21st Century Music at The University at Buffalo (Buffalo, NY).