Johannes Brahms – Horn Trio – I (1865) for violin, horn, piano
György Ligeti – Horn Trio – II (1982) for violin, horn, piano
Marcos Balter – memória (2007) for solo cello
Jessie Marino – Witford Rimley and his Robotic Dog Seize Burger King in a Bloodless Coup (2013) for performer(s) and two transducers
Hector Berlioz – Mongagnard Exile (1823) for two sopranos, harp
LJ White – World Premiere (2017) for two sopranos, saxophone, horn, harp piano, violin, cello, bass
Greg Saunier – Deerhoof Chamber Variations (2013) for two sopranos, saxophone, horn, harp piano, violin, cello, bass
Young chamber musicians the world over are pushing boundaries. They are reimagining and rearranging popular songs, mixing Bach and Metallica, or Stravinsky and Katy Perry, with surprising results. They are incorporating elements of classical, country, world, jazz or gypsy music into their playing. They are working with contemporary songwriters and commissioning new works that slide between classical and pop idioms. They are improvising. They are creating new forms of expression.
Ensemble Dal Niente, a 22-member Chicago-based contemporary music collective, is deeply involved in this exploration, performing new music that redefines the listening experience and advances the art form.
Described as a group of “super musicians” and noted for its presentation of “bracing sonic adventures by some of the best new-music virtuosos around” (Chicago Tribune), Ensemble Dal Niente’s projects have exhibited an adventurous approach and an uncommon range that reflects the diversity of music in the world today.
For their Civic Music Association concert, Dal Niente (which means “from nothing” in Italian) will perform important 19th century chamber works, juxtaposed against 20th and 21st century compositions that respond to the earlier works. And they will perform a work called Deerhoof Chamber Variations, the result of a collaboration with the drummer and composer Greg Saunier from the indie-rock band Deerhoof.
They will also perform the World Premiere of a new piece commissioned by Civic Music, to be written LJ White and based on a song by Des Moines-based musician Christopher Ford (aka Christopher the Conquered). White is a composer from Chicago who has worked with some of the most exciting players in contemporary music, including Alarm Will Sound, Ensemble SIGNAL, the Jack Quartet, and members of the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Talea Ensemble, and the Bang on a Can All-Stars.
“It’s kind of like a little musical “think tank” – thinking up repertoire, concert ideas, composers to approach, then figuring out how to turn them into reality.” Ben Melsky, Ensemble Dal Niente harpist