Upcoming Ensemble Dal Niente Shows in Chicago

From Ensemble Dal Niente:

Hommage to Ligeti, Hauer, and Reich
Saturday, February 23, 2013, 5:00pm ($10 general, $5 student; Tickets available on Feburary 1, 2013 at http://www.dalniente.com)
PianoForte Salon in the Fine Arts Building
410 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL

Georg Friedrich Haas (b.1953): Trois Hommages (1984) for one pianist playing two pianos tuned one quarter-tone apart
I. Hommage à György Ligeti
II. Hommage à Josef Matthias Hauer
III. Hommage à Steve Reich

In the intimate setting of the PianoForte Salon, pianist Mabel Kwan presents a rare performance of Haas’ Trois Hommages, a feat in itself considering one pianist is required to play two pianos simultaneously. While one piano is tuned conventionally, the other is detuned by one quarter-tone in its entire range, creating a palette of 176 pitches played by one musician. Each movement pays tribute to an influential composer who profoundly shaped the course of 20th century music.

As a member of Ensemble Dal Niente, Mabel Kwan is active in performances and education outreach throughout the concert season. She performed with Dal Niente at the 45th International Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt, Germany where they received a Kranichstein Stipend Prize, the first ever awarded to an ensemble. She and percussionist Andrew Bliss are founding members of the duo Nothing in Common. The duo has performed at the Intermedia Festival at IUPUI and the SEAMUS conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana, as well as universities and concert venues throughout the Midwest. Mabel has given solo recitals at the Sonic Fusion Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland and the Experimental Piano Series produced by the Chicago Composers Forum and Pianoforte Chicago. She champions the works of artists from her generation and has enjoyed collaborations with Liminal Performance Group and the Poetry Foundation. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Mabel received performance degrees from Rice University and Northern Illinois University. She currently lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Thursday, February 28, 2013, 7:30pm ($20 general, $10 student)
Ruth Page Center for the Arts
1016 North Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL

Christopher Trapani (b. 1980): Anyplace Else (2012) for large ensemble*

Georg Friedrich Haas (b. 1953): in vain (2000) for 24 players and lighting design

Haas’s in vain has already earned recognition as one of the most influential and important pieces of music written since 2000. It is the composer’s vehement, long-form response to the far right’s political victories in his native Austria. With a style reminiscent of Ligeti, with its rich, spectrally-derived harmonies and complex interweaving rhythmic matrices, Haas has a dramatic and powerful musical voice. His music is made even more distinct by the lighting effects that his scores call for; certain passages of in vain will be performed in complete darkness, disturbing and transforming the listener’s expectations on this journey through territory in which intense, violent energy and absolute stasis are juxtaposed. There are few ensembles that can pull off a work of this magnitude (it even includes an accordion part!), and Dal Niente is pleased to offer the first Chicago performance of this incredible masterwork.

Also on the program is Chris Trapani’s Anyplace Else, in which melting imaginary landscapes are conjured by the sounds of prepared piano and effects-drenched electric guitar. Dal Niente gave this work its world premiere to high praise at the 2012 Darmstadt Courses, and Chicago audiences will thrill to its savvy mingling of harmonically-rich and formally structured worlds of Grisey or Murail with the deconstructed pop/rock experimentation of contemporary sound artists such as Dirty Beaches. RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Tortoise, Les espaces acoustiques, The Sea & Cake.