Cube Calendars articles from 2004

Thoughts on Ted Shen — October 10, 2003

It’s impossible to think of new music audiences in Chicago without thinking of Ted Shen. He was always promoting the work ofnew music groups, connecting composers and performers, ensembles with other ensembles,serving as a linchpin for many of us. A source of gossip about the musical world, he wouldreveal facts and stories about the community with a delightful wry humor.

We at CUBE owe our public identity to Ted. He was the first Chicago music critic tonotice us, promote us in The Reader; he reviewed us frequently in the paper in theearly years of our ensemble, and in the past several years he wrote about us in ChicagoTribune as well. He didn’t always praise us, instead he often provided colorful descriptionsof our presentations, usually with a slight twist—his first review of us in The Reader, for our “Naked Neon” concert in March,1991 began: “Four men, each nude except for awhite loincloth, sit cross-legged in a circle facing one another... What are these paunchy middle-aged men up to? Is this some sort of male-bonding ritual? Are they reliving thetoga parties of their college days?... Naked Men Music was one of the audience favorites in...a multimedia potpourri presented recently by CUBE.” Ted went on to discuss and critique each piece with care and attention, giving us the time, space and respect that helped make our work known to the music-going public.

Ted also spoke of us in terms that helped us define ourselves: “Far too often modern music is regarded as serious fare that intimidates through its intellectual and emotional demands. But, as the experiment-minded local music collective CUBE suggested in a chamber concert Sunday afternoon at Smart Museum, a healthy portion of the musical ideas of our time is meant to be provocative always encouraged us to explore different kinds of music, especially the music of Asian composers, and we will continue to pursue the kind of thinking about repertoire that he led us to. He connected us with other members of the press, introduced us to others in the city with missions similar to ours, and he helped us find ways to develop relationships with funders.

But most of all, he was a presence in the new music scene. As a writer and not a professional musician, Ted had a perspective on our work that helped us see ourselves beyond the confines of our own traditions. He was always great to talk with, at concerts, parties, over meals. We delighted in his presence. It is now, and will continue to be, very painful for all of us not to see him at arts events in Chicago. The city has lost a wide-ranging writer and critic. CUBE has lost a dear friend. He will be deeply missed. —

Janice Misurell-Mitchell

Dear Pat,

Dumfounded upon receiving the news, words sound pretty hollow when it comes to expressing grief over the loss of friends and colleagues. A sad loss indeed; no wisdom in life, no faith, no explanation facilitates understanding that ultimate severance.The fact that Ted was so young, still had so much to tell and share, that from now on he can only be in our thoughts makes it only more difficult. Let’s continue on our creative path in a way that reflects Ted’s tireless promotion of our art. I realize the importance of Ted’s recognition of CUBE. He eloquently expressed a sentiment of many in the right spots, at the right times and places so more people would know about and enjoy the rare mixture of openness, artistic freedom, promotion of things unheard, presented with quality, love and passion, that constitute CUBE's concerts.

—Sebastian Huydts

Andrew Patner on Ted Shen

Chicago critic Andrew Patner, speaking on his November 2 edition of “Critical Thinking” on 98.7WFMT featuring CUBE in performance, said, “Normally, with new music programs such as CUBE's, we would be reminded of them, have our antennae raised by them, would be told to go and see them, by a voice that has been suddenly, unexpectedly and tragically stilled, and I'm speaking of a longtime friend and colleague of all of us,Ted Shen. “For almost a quarter-century Ted was a regular contributor in the worlds of mu s i c, theatre, art, film, and dance for the Chicago Reader, Chicago magazine, and the Chicago Tribune; he also contributed to Crain's Chicago Business and other publications. His ‘Critic’s Choice’ pieces in the Chicago Reader were regarded as essential by many arts and music presenters and patrons in and around Chicago. “In recent years,Ted had also played a strong role in keeping Asian and Asian-American arts and artists before the public, not only those from his native China and Taiwan, but also from Japan, Korea, and other Asiancountries. For years he had done the same thing with women composers and with black and Hispanic composers and perfo rmers.Though not a political person in the traditional sense,Ted was an inherently political person when it came to equity and representation in arts and culture. “Ted was an institution in Chicago.When we contacted Olivier Boasson, who had been the French cultural attache in Chicago, and who is now in Washington with the French Embassy, to tell him of Ted’s death, he told us, ‘Ted was a part of the cultural fabric of Chicago.’ I think that when the person that we have lost locally has made that kind of impression on a foreign service officer from another country, it shows that
the fabric is rent.


CUBE South Loop Festival 2004

Chiaroscuro CUBE will explore chamber music that ranges in style from neo-tonality to the plugged-in world of electronics. The concert will feature four world premieres. Lawrence Axelrod, composer/pianist/conductor and CUBE’s Artistic Administrator, will premiere his Four Postcards for Piano, inspired by postcards he has received from around the world. Canadian-born Timothy Bowlby has written a trio for the intriguing combination of oboe, bass clarinet and vibraphone. Laura Schwendinger, currently on the faculty of the University of Illinois at Chicago, is represented by Lontano, for a different trio combination — oboe, cello and percussion. The fourth premiere is Hopewell Community, for oboe, violin, cello, piano and percussion by Columbia College composer Philip Seward. This rich quartet of premieres is joined by three works involving electronics. Howard Sandroff’s Chant de femmes for flutes and electronic sounds will be performed by CUBE’s Caroline Pittman. Stolen by Anna Rubin combines the oboe with live electronics and digital audio. Finally, the very popular Lord of the Rings is the inspiration for Gandalf the Gray by Jody Nagel for clarinet and electronic tape. This concert is dedicated to the memory of Cassandra Gouletas, my composition student at the University of Illinois at Chicago and my dear friend.

— Patricia Morehead

"Flute'd CUBE'd" is a concert to reward our flutist friends in Chicago and at the same time to create another “single instrument” concert which our audiences have always enjoyed (“The Sopranos” and “Clarinet Summit” were among the favorites). This concert is about sound exploration for multiple flutes: what kinds of noises and textures can multiple flutes make, what kinds of cultural styles are present in today’s contemporary flute music, and what kinds of artistic rituals can we create to take back the concert halls and have large, enthusiastic audiences? Some pieces will be about the flutes creating abstract sound in space: Otto Luening’s Sonority Canon, and Harvey Sollberger’s Grand Quartet for Flutes. Other pieces offer strains of Brazil and Japan, through the music of Ricardo Szpilman and Toru Takemitsu. New music textures meet jazz in Janice Misurell-Mitchell’s Paradigms, which features Nicole Mitchell, of the Black Earth Ensemble, as soloist. The newest work on the concert will be the Chicago premiere of Cineshape I for alto flute and percussion, by Northwestern University faculty member Amy Williams. Commissioned by CUBE, this exciting work will be performed by ensemble members Caroline Pittman and Dane Maxim Richeson. The oldest work on the concert will be a performance of Charles Ives’ The Unanswered Question, for solo trumpet, flutes, and strings, a piece in which the composer gives human societal roles to groups of instruments, and a piece which CUBE will present with appropriate flair.

—Janice Misurell-Mitchell

It is an important part of CUBE’s mission to promote the music of America, and vocal music has always been a strong component of America’s musical tradition. "American Songbook," a concert spotlighting this rich repertory, Julia Bentley performs works by five vibrant American voices, with the collaboration of myself and the Azmari String Quartet from Northern Illinois University. Two works are being created especially for this program. Marilyn Shrude, Distinguished Artist Professor at Bowling Green State University and an award-winning composer, is writing for us a work with the intriguing title of Secrets, based on the poetry of Emily Dickinson. Chicago’s Lita Grier is composing a setting of “Those Dancing Days Are Gone” by W.B. Yeats for voice and piano. Julia will also perform two important recent vocal works. Mirabai, the author of the poems set by John Harbison in his cycle Mirabai Songs, was 27 when her husband was killed in a war. She refused to follow tradition and die on her husband’s funeral pyre, choosing instead to dedicate herself to writing poems to Krishna, which she sang and danced in the streets. Anges et déesses, by CUBE’s Artistic Administrator Lawrence Axelrod, is a setting of poems by Rainer Maria Rilke for voice and string quartet. To complete the program, we will present the American premiere of con amore for b.c. by Artistic Co-Director Patricia Morehead for oboe d’amore and string quartet dedicated to composer and theorist Robert Cogan of the New England Conservatory.

—Philip Morehead

don malone turns 60

Don Malone is Professor of Music Composition and Director of ElectroAcoustic Studios at the Chicago College of Performing Arts, Roosevelt University, Chicago. CUBE is celebrating his sixtieth birthday year by inviting Don to write us a piece about composing. Happy Birthday, Don!

 

Don Malone is Professor of Music Composition and Director of ElectroAcoustic Studios at the Chicago College of Performing Arts, Roosevelt University, Chicago.

CUBE is celebrating his sixtieth birthday year by inviting Don to write us a piece about composing. Happy Birthday, Don!

 

this is not what the fine folks at cube

expected when they invited me

to write a short bio

but

i don't always do what's expected

so here goes

 

you are prob'ly expecting

a list of impressive names

so

Lets do it this way

insert revered name here _________

ok one more __________________

 

now Lets talk about music

i Love music

 the very idea thrills me   

sophisticated or mundane

                                         i Love it

 

this of course gets me into trouble

  people always expect me to hate

     some genre of music

            dismiss it as "twangy"

            diss it as "pretentious"

                                                but

sometimes "twang" is deeply satisfying

"pretense" is sometime transmogrifying

 

      something in every music gets me

 

surprises are the best

when real musing power overtakes you

when you Least expect it

 

it can come any time any place

                             even at a concert

while i find it impossible

                  to diss any music a priori

i do have my biases

although the aesthetics shift a Lot

  usually my favorite is

                       raw and unprocessed

i don"t mean non electronic

                       i am an electromuser

i mean real

      not calculated for success

            LIVE & RAW

the closer to musing        the better

also fond of crossovers

 and wild associations

not necessarily free association

            that is too expensive

cheap association is more to my Liking

 

since this writing style

                          is tiresome to read

Let"s wrap it up with

some philosophy

seek

you miss a Lot

when you think you've already found it

trust your power

we need you

Listen to your muse

you're the only one who can

respect others

or else

don malone

electroMuser

http://faculty.roosevelt.edu/malone

 

it takes all of us  


Herbert Brün Society

An international festival of experimental arts, called “Hear and Now: Herbert Brün and his Co-Conspirators,” took place Oct. 29–Nov. 1, 2003, on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign-Urbana. The festival was a tribute to the composer/activist Herbert Brün, celebrating his music and ideas, as well as influences and connections with his teachers, students, friends, and antagonists. As Herbert Brün himself would have said: “It was a non-trivial event!”—five concerts of experimental music, theater, poetry; 100-200 people per concert; an extensive percussion and composition residency by the Percussion Group of Cincinnati and by the Swiss pianist-duo Baechli and Schneider.

Herbert Brün was born in Berlin in 1918, emigrated to Palestine in 1936 (where he studied with Stefan Wolpe), left Israel for France in 1955, and roamed in Europe until 1963 where he landed at the UIUC at the invitation of the School of Music to research electro-acoustic music. He taught at the University of Illinois and at the School for Designing Society (which he co-founded in 1991) until his death Nov. 6, 2000. If asked what he taught, Brün would answer, “Students!” To these students he connected the subjects of composition, social change, power, cybernetics, performance, and language.

For more information about joining the Herbert Brün Society, and about recent publications of Brün’s books and compositions, please write to sparenti@uiuc.edu.


George Walker: Pulitzer Winner’s Overnight Success of 60

By Ralph Blumenthal (New York Times, April 11, 1996)

MONTCLAIR, N.J., April 10 — A rash of crank calls had been interrupting George Walker at his music since last year, so when the telephone rang on Tuesday afternoon as this 73-year-old composer labored over an organ piece, he snatched it up expecting to hear the maddeningly familiar click of a hangup. Instead, a friendly voice informed him that he had just won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for music.

It was a triumphant moment for the lanky and laconic Mr. Walker, a not-quite-overnight sensation more than 60 years in the making and the first black composer to win a music prize in the 80 years of awards. Indeed, he suggested yesterday as television vans, photographers and reporters flooded his quiet suburban street, the selection served to recognize an often overlooked minority group within a minority group: black musicians who compose classical music.

It’s something one can never expect or take for granted; it’s a kind of gift,” Mr. Walker said today about the award, for which one of his two sons, a violinist in Colorado, had nominated him. The prize honored “Lilacs,” a 16-minute work for soprano voice and orchestra that is based on a poem by Walt Whitman and that was given its premiere on Feb. 1 by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Members of the Pulitzer nominating jury today praised the piece as masterly and rigorous, one that deepens with successive hearings yet grips an audience from the first. “It’s an American piece but don’t ask me to define that,” said Richard Wernick, chairman of the five-member music panel that winnowed the entries and recommended Mr. Walker and two other finalists to the Pulitzer Prize board.

Mr. Walker said he had drawn inspiration from folk sources, spirituals, popular music and jazz “in small snippets so they’re not recognizable.”

In “Lilacs,” he said, he sought to use Whitman for his identification with Lincoln, a symbol of freedom and emancipation, especially to blacks. Lilacs, Mr. Walker said, also have a personal association for him: his family used to visit relatives who lived amid lilacs in Virginia.

He disdains electric keyboards and computers for his compositions, he said, preferring his large Steinway concert grand that takes up a good part of the dining room. “A piano is all I need,” he said.

But for the roadblocks facing a black performer in the 1950’s, he might have made a career as a concert pianist, Mr. Walker said. “I never got the opportunities that would have allowed me to concertize like a white pianist,” he said.

But he added: “I never felt bitter. I strongly felt if I continued to press for what I hoped to achieve, I would achieve it.”

Mr. Walker was born on June 27, 1922, in Washington, and he was guided early to a music career. His father was a Jamaican immigrant who came to this country with $35 and the determination to become a physician. He put himself through medical school, and as the American Medical Association of that time barred entry to blacks, he formed his own medical clubs to foster research with colleagues. His mother, who cared for young George and his sister, had a beautiful voice and tutored neighborhood children in math and writing.

“The summers were long and hot, with no directed activity,” Mr. Walker said. “We had a piano, and I was banging on it so my mother decided to start me on the piano.” His talent was soon recognized. He gave his first concert at the age of 14, and the next year started at Oberlin College as a music major.

After graduation, he was accepted as a student by the redoubtable Rudolf Serkin at the Curtis School of Music in Philadelphia. But Mr. Serkin, like many others, seemed surprised to find that his protege was a purely classical musician. “Imagine my puzzlement,” Mr. Walker recalled in an article he wrote for The New York Times in 1991, when Mr. Serkin “instructed me to play an instrumental passage in Beethoven’s Opus 101 Sonata ‘like jazz.’“ Mr. Walker said he did not play jazz and had never listened to jazz until college.

He made his debut at Town Hall in 1945 to “wonderful notices,” as he recalled, followed by a performance with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy. But he said it took him five years to find a management agency that would handle him.

In 1953, National Concert Artists booked him on a European tour, during which he suffered with ulcer attacks. “I always had a queasy stomach,” he said. “I was in agony for most of the tour.”

Mr. Walker played other engagements to favorable reviews, but his father thought he should move into teaching, he said. In 1956, he received a doctorate from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, and the next year he traveled to France to study with the teacher Nadia Boulanger. “She was the first person to acknowledge my talent as a composer,” Mr. Walker said.

She even excused him from harmony exercises, a distinction he said she did not accord other pupils, who included Aaron Copland.

In 1961, he accepted teaching appointments at Smith College in Massachusetts and the University of Colorado, and in 1969 joined the faculty of Rutgers University, where he became the chairman of the music department. He retired in 1992 during a dispute with the university over back pay and benefits. “They said I was overpaid as I was,” he said, adding that he had broken off contact with the school. In response, a spokesman for the university, Robert Clark, said today that “there was a grievance and it was resolved in March 1993.” He said he was precluded from saying more.

Over the years, Mr. Walker has published more than 70 works, including overtures, sinfonias, concertos, sonatas, string quartets, cantatas and a Mass. His commissions include works for the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, among many others. His works and piano interpretations have also been recorded on three compact disks on the Albany label: “George Walker: A Portrait,” “George Walker in Recital” and “George Walker.”

The telephone call on Tuesday announcing the award came from Fran Richards, Mr. Walker’s friend at the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

“I must have shouted,” Mr. Walker said. “I was not that aware.”

Howard Sandroff at m-cluster, Berlin

On September 4, works by Howard Sandroff will be performed as part of the Berlin series “m-cluster 2004” at the Academy of the Arts.

With ‘m-cluster’, the Berlin Academy of Art’s Electro-acoustic Studio continues a series of events it launched last year. As part of the ‘American Season 2004’ —accompanying the ‘Museum of Modern Art in Berlin’ exhibition—m-cluster features electro-acoustic performers of absolute top class. Legends of innovative play like Leroy Jenkins (violin), Anne LeBaron (harp) and Alan Silva (keyboard) represent the American Scene’s rich spectrum of improvisation styles and new playing techniques between the poles of improvised and composed music.

Under the heading ‘recent compositions’ there are works by Earle Brown and Howard Sandroff interpreted by Mario Bertoncini (inside piano) and Helge Harding (clarinet). Bertoncini brilliantly succeeds in rendering the innovative elements of Brown’s composition audible, elements that in the early fifties could be represented only via the score’s graphic symbolism.

Sandroff’s work, Tephilla (Hebrew for Prayer) has been performed all over the world and recorded by American Clarinet Virtuoso, John Bruce Yeh, Assistant Principal of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (KOCH International Classics) and by French Virtuoso, Alain Damiens, Principal Clarinetist of the Ensemble Intercontemporain (Virgin Classics). This performance is the German premiere.

Opera on the life of Frida Kahlo

On October 22 and 23, Fulcrum Point and the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum will present Robert X. Rodríguez’s opera Frida, with a libretto by Hillary Blecher. The work was composed in 1997. It is scored for a small chamber consisting of clarinet/alto sax, trumpet/fluegelhorn, percussion, accordion/piano, and violin. A biography of the composer can be accessed at http://www.schirmer.com/composers/rodriguez/bio.html. Of the opera Stefan Ender of Der Standard wrote: “The American composer, Robert X. Rodríguez has made a musical of Frida Kahlo’s life and suffering, in fact a sensationally good one. Violin, doublebass, guitar, clarinet and saxophone, trumpet, accordion, piano and percussion — the man does not need more to create extraordinarily evocative and wide-ranging worlds in sound. Boisterous Fiesta-Mexicana-strumming alternates with a brandy-soaked ballroom atmosphere, drama alternates with intimacy, poetry with bombast… Enormously charismatic, varied, full of nuance...It is all here and wonderful.


Janice Misurell-Mitchell: Berlin Diary

This is a Berlin music diary from September 30 to October 10, 2004. So far we’ve gone to three concerts—a new music concert, an opera, and jazz. They represent only a part of the rich musical tradition here, but for this “installment” I’d like to focus on the most unusual of what we’ve seen so far: Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron. This production was given at the Staatsoper in February and in two performances just recently. Daniel Barenboim had conducted the earlier performance but due to health reasons was replaced by Julien Salemkour. Siegfried Vogel sang the role of Moses and Thomas Moser performed as Aaron.

The opera, its first two acts completed in 1932, is from the story of Exodus. (The third act contains a text but no music, and it is frequently omitted, as it was in this production.) In the story God chooses Moses as the one who understands the idea of an unseen deity, and his brother Aaron as a translator of the idea of God into terms the Israelites can understand. The music employs sprechstimme (speechsong) in Moses’ part and sung tones in Aaron’s. There are significant times where Moses speaks a thought that is hard to grasp and Aaron sings about the same idea, only more concretely and poetically. Similarly, the chorus is often divided between the two timbres, and its music creates dialogue, arguments and agreements.

What made this performance particularly striking, and also controversial, was the staging and direction by Peter Mussbach, known for his socially-oriented work in previous operatic and stage productions here. The production created a tension between the story as Schoenberg tells it in the libretto and the visual elements onstage. Clearly one viewing wasn’t enough to grasp it all—though several friends I spoke with who saw it said that once was too much (!)--a musicologist friend said that she had to see it twice before it made sense.

Mussbach set the story in a dark, East Berlin (pre-1989) parking garage, and the visual themes were related to the Soviet occupation of East Germany as well as to fascism, with ideas of uniformity, following blindly, being caught up in mass spectacles. In this production efforts were made to minimize the difference between the two men. Vogel’s Moses made use of more pitched tones than those we normally find in sprechstimme, so there was more similarity of sound and less contrast in the dialogues. The idea of creating sameness, or perhaps a sense of “the common man” extended to the appearance of the chorus members: each person, male and female, wore a dark padded suit, white shirt and tie, half-masks with identical features, sunglasses and hairpiece. Although there were solo lines, one didn’t distinguish between characters in the opera by anything but their voices.

Tom Mitchell continues, “The overall effect of the staging was to radically modernize the story of Moses and Aaron. The choreography of the multitude of Israelites is especially striking, and the uniformity of the costumes enhances the effect of having the crowd assume shapes, volumes, and masses in motion. When the Israelites turn on their priests, for instance, they heap them in the center of the stage, and subject them to mockery and torture. The impassive sunglassed faces were reminiscent of a Situationist icon: the cover of Guy Debord’s classic Society of the Spectacle, written in 1967 (see Note 1). This association is made literal when the chorus dons TV monitors that turn them into passive receivers of the spectacle.”

The golden calf was replaced by a huge gold statue of the “common man” figure. It appears intact at end of first act and at the beginning of the second is decapitated, causing its body to become an icon during following scenes of lust, orgy, sacrifice, etc. Continuing to represent the idea of worshiping the material and being unable to see beyond, the chorus later appears with florescent light canes, using them as if they were blind.

The performance was beautifully done, with outstanding work by the soloists and especially the chorus. The orchestra, which I’ve heard previously in Verdi’s Macbeth, showed a real sensitivity to Schoenberg’s complex score. For further information on this production you may check out the websites below (see Note 2).

Notes:

1. “In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has moved away into a representation.” Quotation from summaries of major ideas in Society of the Spectacle. http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/debord/society.htm

2. For a series of pictures from the February, 2004 production with Willard White as Moses, see the following address. http://www.jirka-jansch.com/jirka-jansch-cgi/topixx?op=thumbnails2&string=moses+aron+2004. For information in German and more pictures, go to: http://www.gf-kuehn.de/oper/berlin/stob03.htm

A Wedding at Lyric Opera

William Bolcom’s new opera A Wedding, based on the film by Robert Altman, with a libretto by Arnold Weinstein and Altman, opens at Lyric Opera on December 12. At the time of Bolcom’s View from the Bridge, Jim Bessman in Billboard had this to say about Lyric’s unofficial composer-in-residence (excerpt):

William Bolcom’s acclaimed opera A View From the Bridge, which was a highlight of the New York Metropolitan Opera’s December schedule, “embodies a new marriage of theatrical and musical values,” says the illustrious composer, who based his work—which features a libretto by Arthur Miller and longtime Bolcom collaborator Arnold Weinstein—on the classic Miller play.

He explains that while both he and Weinstein are classically trained, they nevertheless delve into “the vernacular as well as our classical kit bag” in seeking the “unified technique” manifested by View—and employed by past top composers.

“The great people were quite interested in melding art for art’s sake [with the] gutbucket popular,” Bolcom says, pointing to the likes of Jerome Kern and George Gershwin. “Later, people tried to separate these things as an absolute schism between high and low art, but then you have people like Mike Stoller, who studied with [atonal German composer] Stefan Wolpe.”

“We did several ‘theater operas’—meaning we used actors instead of singers, who sounded like themselves when they sang and talked,” Bolcom says, adding that these were also smaller-format productions with “theatrical values” that operas at that time did not generally promote. But in the late ‘80s, he says, “I noticed more [opera] singers that you could expect theatrical values from”—like Catherine Malfitano, who starred in Bolcom’s McTeague, an opera written in collaboration with Weinstein and Robert Altman that premiered in 1992, and who will perform a “one-person opera,” Bolcom and Weinstein’s Medusa, March 9 at Carnegie Hall.

“Suddenly there were singers who could handle both musical and theatrical values—with an implicit understanding of what singing was about,” Bolcom says. “So there was the potential for this new marriage of theatrical and musical values, which View From the Bridge represents.”

New Music at the 2004 Chicago Humanities Festival, November 2004

Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave. Fire and Blood (Michael Daugherty, Bethany Mennemeyer, David Gilliland), Saturday, November 13th, 3:30–5:00 p.m.

Considered the greatest Mexican painter of the twentieth century, Diego Rivera is credited with the reintroduction of fresco painting into modern art and architecture. Composer Michael Daugherty has based his work “Fire and Blood” on Rivera’s landmark “Detroit Industry” frescos at the Detroit Institute of Arts, creating a 21st-century meditation on a 20th-century masterpiece. Using the collaboration between Rivera and his wife, Frida Kahlo, as a point of departure, “Fire and Blood” explores the energies and rhythms of machinery and the human body. Bethany Mennemeyer performs on violin and David Gilliland on piano.

Simpson Theater, The Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr. Musical Celebration of Caldecott Illustrators (Fulcrum Point New Music Project, Stephen Burns, Bruce Adolphe, David Stock), Saturday, November 6th, 2:00–3:00 p.m.

For the second year in a row, the Children’s Festival presents “A Musical Celebration of Caldecott Illustrators,” a spectacular family concert featuring Stephen Burns and the Fulcrum Point New Music Project. This year’s edition features two world premieres: Bruce Adolphe’s adaptation of award winner Eric Rohmann’s Time Flies, and David Stock’s adaptation of June 29, 1999 by award winner David Wiesner.