Ustvolskaya Festival in Chicago, Oct 5-7

Source: Power in Sound: The Music of Galina Ustvolskaya.

Power in Sound: The Music of Galina Ustvolskaya Festival is a 3-day immersion into Galina Ustvolskaya’s powerful and intense music, October 5-7, 2017. Named “the woman with the hammer,” (Elmer Schonberger) for her use of heavy, homophonic blocks of sound, Ustvolskaya’s music is rarely performed in the Unites States.

Organized/curated by Nomi Epstein and Shanna Gutierrez, this will be the first major multi-day festival celebrating the music of Galina Ustvolskaya (1919-2006) in the United States, and only the second outside of Russia. The festival unites some of the city’s most prestigious musicians: Seth Parker Woods, Liz Pearse (Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble), Shanna Gutierrez (Collect/Project), DePaul University’s Ensemble 20+ led by Michael Lewanski, Kevin Harrison (Axiom Brass), Jeff Kimmel (, Andrew Rosenblum (Memoria Nova), Christopher Wendell Jones, Ann Yi, Tara Lynn Ramsey (dal niente), Kuang-Hao Huang (Fulcrum Point New Music Project), and more.

The Ustvolskaya Festival will feature 3 concerts of her solo, small and large chamber works, in connection with a 3-day conference, ‘Found in Time: Forgotten Experiments in Soviet Art, 1940-1960’ open to the public. Providing a dialogue between Ustvolskaya’s work and music by an emerging Russian composer, the festival will feature US Premieres by the acclaimed Marina Khorkova (b. 1981). With pre-concert talks by Richard Taruskin, Maria Cizmic, and Olga Panteleeva, performances will be presented at The Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts and PianoForte Studios.

The conference, organized by The University of Chicago and the University of Illinois, Chicago’s Department of Slavic/Baltic Languages and Literature and Music Departments, will feature lectures by Richard Taruskin, (Berkeley), Marina Frolova-Walker, (University of Cambridge), Julia Vaingurt (University of Illinois at Chicago), and Boris Gasparov (Columbia University), among other noted scholars.

Power in Sound: The Music of Galina Ustvolskaya is supported by New Music USA, made possible by annual program support and/or endowment gifts from Helen F. Whitaker Fund, Aaron Copland Fund for Music. Additionally, this project is partially supported by an Individual Artists Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, as well as a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

This is a rare and important opportunity for a city’s artistic and scholarly community to unify in the presentation and discussion of something new to the ears of Chicago audiences. Ustvolskaya’s music is presciently relevant in today’s climate of concerns regarding gender and artistic expression and a complicated political environment.

Thursday, October 5, 2017, 8pm
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
915 E 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637
Power in Sound: The Music of Galina Ustvolskaya
Free to Public, Donations accepted
Composition No. 1 Dona Nobis Pacem: piccolo, tuba, piano (1970/71)
Piano Sonata No. 3 (1952)
Composition No. 3 Benedictus: 4 flute, 4 bassoon, piano (1974/75)
Symphony No. 4: “Prayer” contralto, pno, trumpet, tam-tam (1985/87)
Symphony No. 5 “Amen” for reciter, violin, oboe, trumpet, tuba and perc (1989/90)

Friday, October 6, 2017, 8pm
Logan Center for the Performing Arts
915 E 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637
Now/Then: Ustvolskaya and Khorkova
Free to Public, Donations accepted
Marina Khorkova: falsche spiegelungen two prepared pianos (2012)
Marina Khorkova: a priori for flute and cello (2013)
Galina Ustvolskaya: Trio for clarinet, violin, piano (1949)
Galina Ustvolskaya: Grand Duet for cello and piano (1959)

Saturday, October 7, 2017, 3pm
PianoForte Studios
1335 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605
$15/10 students
Power in Sound: The Sonatas of Galina Ustvolskaya
Sonata No. 5 for piano (1986)
Sonata No. 4 for piano (1957)
Sonata for Violin and Piano (1952)
Sonata No. 2 for piano (1949)
Sonata No. 6 for piano (1988)