Debuts and contemporary works on tap in UC Presents’ 2016-17 season

Tue Mar 22, 2016 at 11:55 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Soprano Sandrine Piau will make her local debut in the UnIversity of Chicago Presents' 2016-17 season.
Soprano Sandrine Piau will make her local debut in the UnIversity of Chicago Presents’ 2016-17 season.

The University of Chicago Presents series will feature several artist debuts in the 2016 -17 season, as well as UC’s new ensemble in residence, and an expanded emphasis on local new-music groups.

The Danish String Quartet and cellist Torlief Thedeen will open the Classic Concert series October 28 with music of Schubert and Shostakovich. Violinist Isabelle Faust and pianist Alexander Melnikov offer three Beethoven violin sonatas on November 11. The Imani Winds, who replace the Pacifica Quartet next fall as ensemble in residence, debut January 20 with an eclectic program encompassing music from Elliott Carter and Ruth Crawford Seeger to Paquito D’Rivera.

Acclaimed French soprano Sandrine Piau will make her Chicago debut with a program of chansons and lieder February 17. The Pacifica Quartet returns for a program of favored composers Mozart, Beethoven and Shostakovich April 21. On April 7 pianist Benjamin Hochman will perform music of Bartok, Janacek and Beethoven as well as Fred Rzewski’s epic The People United Will Never Be Defeated!

The Cleveland-based Baroque ensemble Apollo’s Fire makes its Chicago debut October 14 with a populist program of Bach, Handel and Vivaldi. Other events in the Howard Mayer Brown International Music Series include lutenists Paul O’Dette and Ronn McFarlane January 8, Stile Antico March 3 and Sequentia April 28.

Under new artistic director Marta Ptaszyńska, the Contempo series will unfold a new initiative, spotlighting several Chicago-based new-music ensembles next season.

The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) will present a program of theatrical works by Kagel, Stockhausen, Maxwell Davies and Cage December 2. Contempo and Ensemble dal Niente perform contemporary chamber works by women composers (Saariaho, Gundry, Bacewicz, Gubaidulina and Czernowin) April 9, and the Spektral Quartet tackles works of UC student composers May 5.

The “Music Across Genres” series features the American String Quartet in a collaboration with author Salmon Rushdie February 24, Roomful of Teeth with composer Ted Hearne April 2, and the Imani Winds in a program marking the centenary of Gwendolyn Brooks May 3.

Artists appearing in the UC jazz series include Freddy Cole and Rene Marie, the Paquito D’Rivera Quintet, Fred Hersch and Vijay Iyer.

Subscriptions go on sale April 1 and single tickets August 22. Call 773-702-2787 or go to

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