Music of Ligeti, Josefowicz and Aimard on tap in UC Presents’ 2017-18 season

Mon Mar 13, 2017 at 4:20 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Gyorgy Ligeti's music will be featured throughout the 2017-18 season of University of Chicago Presents series.
György Ligeti’s music will be featured throughout the 2017-18 season of the University of Chicago Presents series.

Music of György Ligeti will be spotlighted in the University of Chicago Presents’ 2017-18 season.

The celebrated Hungarian composer was among the leading modernist voices of the 20th century, and his envelope-pushing music will be featured throughout the season across five concerts in the UC music series.

The renowned Arditti Quartet will perform Ligeti’s String Quartets No. 1 (“Métamorphoses nocturnes”) and No. 2 October 20, framed by  Bartok’s Quartets Nos. 3 and 4.

The Imani Winds, Randel ensemble-in-residence, will team up with Ensemble Dal Niente to perform Ligeti’s Ten Pieces and Horn Trio November 10. Eighth blackbird will perform their own arrangements of Ligeti’s piano Etudes February 2, 2018 along with music of his son, Lukas.

An acclaimed Ligeti interpreter, pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard will pair Ligeti’s Etudes with Beethoven’s massive “Hammerklavier” sonata March 6. And Third Coast Percussion and vocalist Rachel Calloway will tackle Ligeti’s Continuum, the whimsical song-cycle Síppal, dobbal, nádihegedüvel, and the infamous Poème Symphonique (for 100 metronomes) February 16.

In other events in UCP’s Classic Concert series, Leila Josefowicz will perform a recital with pianist John Novacek November 3. The adventurous violinist, who enjoyed success with the CSO premiere of John Adams’ Scheherazade.2 earlier this month, will perform a wide-ranging program encompassing music of Sibelius, Prokofiev, Mahler, Saariaho and Zimmermann.

Pianist Alexander Melnikov will return to perform Shostakovich’s complete set of Op. 24 Preludes and Fugues January 28. Tenor Christoph Prégardien mkaes his Chicago debut in an all-Schubert recital with pianist Julius Drake February 18.

Quatuor Ebène will offer a program of Haydn Faure and Beethoven March 2. And the Montrose Trio will perform music of Turina, Beethoven and Mendelssohn April 20.

The Howard Mayer Brown International Music Series will open its season October 6 with the Norwegian early music ensemble Barokksolistene in a promisingly titled evening called “An Alehouse Session.” The vocal group amarcord will offer a Reformation-minded evening titled “Luther and Music.”

The Boston Camerata will bring their popular mystery play reinterpretation The Play of Daniel to Chicago on January 21. And Nicholas McGegan and his Philharmonia Baroque  are joined by soprano Sherezade Panthaki April 8 for an afternoon of Italian Baroque music from the Jewish ghetto.

Contempo will offer a lineup of new music by established young composers October 21 and a classical-jazz program with the Imani Winds February 9. Most intriguing is an April 22 program with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) performing several composers’ reflections on nature. The program includes George Crumb’s 11 Echoes of Autumn, Harrison Birtwistle’s Some Petals from my Twickenham Herbarium, Mario Davidovsky’s Synchronisms No. 3, Toru Takemitsu’s Rain Spell, Pauline Oliveros’ Earth Ears and Krzysztof Penderecki’s Sextet.

In their second and final year as Don Michael Randel Ensemble in Residence, the Imani Winds will also offer “A Change is Gon’ Come,” a program marking the civil rights movement May 11.

The Jazz at the Logan series will offer bandleader Anat Cohen and Tentet (October 7); Brad Mehldau and his Trio (December 1); vocalist René Marie (January 19); “Songs of Freedom,” a tribute to vocalists Joni Mitchell, Nina Simone, and Abbey Lincoln assembled by drummer and bandleader Ulysses Owens Jr.  (April 6); and Brian Blade and his Fellowship Band (May 17).

Subscriptions go on sale Tuesday and may be purchased at the Logan Center box office, calling 773-702-2787, or going online at

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