Durward Ensemble Brings Large Forces

On May 15 at 2:30, the Consortium will be dishing out some big orchestrational flavor with an exciting and diverse program of large ensemble works performed by Durward Ensemble. Please join us at Ganz Hall as we welcome Durward Ensemble to Chicago, direct from the cornfields of Iowa!
IOWA c3 poster

May 15, 2022, 2:30 pm
Ganz Hall, 430 S Michigan, Chicago, 7th floor
Tickets $20 / $5 at the door
Important: COVID Policy and self-assessment survey for on-campus visit
If you can’t make it in person, then you can watch via YouTube

Rose Bishop, flute
Lisa Wissenberg, clarinet
Douglas Moore-Monroe, clarinet
Ryan Smith, saxophone
Aren Van Housen, trumpet
Matt Driscoll, tenor trombone
Casey Thomas, bass trombone
Catie Moritz, violin
Jessica Altfillish, viola
James Ellis, cello
Amy Brewer, piano
Aaron Ottmar, percussion

Michelle Perrin Blair, conductor

Talia Amar: REMINISCENCE (2015)
Amos Gillespie: ENTERTAINMENT OF BEING (2022)
Lawrence Axelrod: CALM WATERS (2022)
Timothy Ernest Johnson: UNBECOMING A LA TI SONG (2022)
Timothy Dwight Edwards: CIRCUS FLEXUS (1997/2022)
Laura Schwendinger: ECLIPSE (2018)
Kathleen Ginther: LAKE EFFECT (2016/2022)
Elizabeth Start: TOGETHER 360 (2022)




The Bernard Rands Effect

Re-Mark your calendars! After a two-year delay (you know why!), Chicago Composers’ Consortium and Spektral Quartet present The Bernard Rands Effect, a concert of nine World Premieres written for and premiered by Spektral Quartet on Monday, March 14, 2022, at Constellation Chicago starting at 7:30.

This long-awaited event features a new string quartet by Chicago resident and Pulitzer Prize winner Bernard Rands, commissioned for this concert by John Bierbusse, plus 5-minute quartets written by C3 composers in response to Bernard’s new quartet. Using Bernard’s music as a jumping off point into their own individual musical landscapes, eight C3 composers enter into a unique conversation with each other, with Spektral, and with the composer whose work inspired this project.

We are delighted to invite you to join us in celebrating the extraordinary creativity and accomplishment of this world-renowned composer who calls Chicago home – on his 88th birthday! Come join us at Constellation for a musical bouquet of string quartets, premiered by Chicago’s irreplaceable Spektrals, in one of their final live Chicago performances.

Participating C3 composers include Larry Axelrod, Kyong Mee Choi, Tim Edwards, Kathleen Ginther, Martha Horst, Tim Johnson, Laura Schwendinger and Elizabeth Start.


Chicago Premiere Performance

Monday, March 14, 7:30 pm *RESCHEDULED from the original March 2 date*
3111 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL


Midwest Tour

Monday, March 7, 7:30 pm
Stetson Chapel
Kalamazoo College
Kalamazoo, MI

Saturday, April 2, 7:30 pm
Hamel Music Center
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI

Friday, April 15, 7:30 pm
Shryock Auditorium
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL


Bernard Rands: String Quartet Music

Lawrence Axelrod: Meditation (on a theme of Bernard Rands)

Kyong Mee Choi: Falling Leaves

Timothy Dwight Edwards: with Pause for Reflection

Kathleen Ginther: quartetto in ombra

Martha Horst: Rabbit Hole

Timothy Ernest Johnson: For the Love of Home

Laura  Schwendinger: una breve canzone senza parole

Elizabeth Start: Conclusions


K.C. Ginther and Tim Edwards Floating Lounge – *NEW DATE: MAR. 2*

C3 Composers Kathleen Ginther and Timothy Dwight Edwards are Spektral Quartet’s special guests on an upcoming episode of the Floating Lounge!

  • https://spektralquartet.com/concerts/2022/2/23/floating-lounge-ginther-edwards for details and to register!



Floating Lounge: Kyong Mee Choi & Timothy Ernest Johnson

C3 Composers Kyong Mee Choi and Timothy Ernest Johnson are Spektral Quartet’s special guests on an upcoming episode of the Floating Lounge!

  • https://spektralquartet.com/concerts/2022/1/4/floating-lounge for details and to register!



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Sunday, December 12, 2021, 7:30 pm
Ganz Hall, Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL

Join C3 and Ensemble Dal Niente on December 12 at Ganz Hall or Streamed Here!

Called ‘a superb new music collective’ by the New York Times, Chicago’s Ensemble Dal Niente has risen to the top tier of new music chamber ensembles worldwide. Recipient of the 2019 Fromm Music Foundation prize and the first-ever ensemble to win the Kranichstein Prize in interpretation from the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt, Dal Niente has performed throughout Europe and the Americas, galvanizing audiences with their experimental spirit and virtuosic performances. C3 collaborates again with our old friends, presenting a program of new works written for Ben, Ammie and Emma by C3 members and emerging composers.

Emma Hospelhorn, flute
Ammie Brod, viola
Ben Melsky, harp

Kyong Mee Choi: Vanished for harp and electronics (2019)
Timothy Dwight Edwards: A Winter’s Voyage for harp and electronics (2021)
Kathleen Ginther: A Distant Light for viola and harp (2021)
Jonathan Hannau: The Sky Fell Last Night for flute and electronics (2021)
Timothy Ernest Johnson: Cadenza Ficta for viola and loudspeakers (2021)
Mary Mixter: River of Grass for flute and electronics (2021)


Please note, if you are planning to attend our concert on Dec. 12, Roosevelt University has a specific set of Covid protocols that must be followed. They include registering at least 24 hours in advance (link below), bringing proof of vaccination and a state ID, wearing a mask, and filling out a health survey (either upon entry or via a phone app). Please refer to the below link for more details:


Unsupervised at Ear Taxi Festival

Celebrate the Ear Taxi Festival with the Chicago Composers’ Consortium on October 4!
We are delighted to be partnering with the group Unsupervised in the upcoming supernova of new music! Five of us – Laura, Kyong Mee, Larry, Betsy and Martha – will have works on this exciting early-afternoon program for large mixed chamber ensemble. This much anticipated.concert is the opening of our 2021-22 season. 
Please join us. It’s free, but you do need to register through the Ear Taxi website because of Covid-related seating restrictions.
Laura Schwendinger: Celestial Bodies
Kyong Mee Choi: MOMENT
Lawrence Axelrod: Of Wind and Sky
Elizabeth Start: O, Aedicatio; O, Vita
Martha Horst: Quiltage

Monday, October 4, 2021 — 1:45 to 2:30 pm

Hannah Christiansen, violin
Rebecca Boelzner, viola
Juan José Horie Phoebus, cello
Joe Bauer, bass
Autumn Selover, harp
Suzanne Hannau, flute
Erick Alverez, clarinet
Mark Haworth, trumpet
Riley Leitch, trombone
Rebecca McDaniel, percussion

NMC Presents C3 at Nevermore 7/20 7:30pm

We will be performing our final concert of the 20/21 season on Tuesday evening, July 20 7:30 PM at the Nevermore Performance Space, 3411 W. North Ave in Chicago. This concert is part of the New Music Chicago Presents series. It will feature Elizabeth Start, cello, Amos Gillespie, saxophone and Lawrence Axelrod, piano. The program is all works by members of the CCC:

Amos Gillespie                  Ellipses (2020)
Laura Schwendinger        Air from Magic Carpet Ride (2001)
Elizabeth Start                   Verdisimilitude (1998)
Lawrence Axelrod             Piano Games (2017)
Tim Edwards                      Cello Cycles (2004)
Martha Horst                     Movement III from Summer Sonata (2004/2007)

It is a fun, dynamic and varied program. You can attend in person for free!! The large space will be set up for a small number of chairs to keep all attendees at a safe distance. You may also watch online through any of New Music Chicago’s portals on YouTube etc,

We hope to see you either in person or virtually for a great “home-grown” program by the CCC!C3 collage image plus logo lo res

Quintet Attacca performs the music of C3 composers – *corrected time: 8pm*


Date: Sunday, June 6, 2021
Time: 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Where: Constellation (3111 N. Western Ave.)

In-person Tickets

Online viewing

Our final concert for the 2020-21 season will be a reprise program with our friends in Quintet Attacca. They will play a fun program of very diverse woodwind quintet works that they performed in Evanston several years ago, plus a new work by Kathleen Ginther. This will be a part of the Frequency Series at Constellation on Sunday, June 6 at 8:00 pm Central Time.


You will be able to attend this concert live!! We are delighted that restrictions have eased enough so we can welcome 68 (and only 68!) lucky people into Constellation for the event. For those at a distance or who are still wary about indoor concert-going, the event will be live-streamed through the Constellation website. TO ATTEND IN PERSON YOU MUST BUY TICKETS AHEAD OF TIME! Because the venue has to assign seats to comply with Covid restrictions, tickets must be purchased ahead of time so they can place people either as single ticket buyers or pairs. Because the CCC and QA are so happy to be able to have a live audience, we have decided that tickets will be $5 – a sort of “thank you for continuing to be a part of our world” offering.


The program will include:


Kathleen Ginther,            Six Haiku (premiere)
Elizabeth Start,             Gibbons: Musings on Orlando, Euell, and the Lesser Apes (2016)
Lawrence Axelrod,         Fits and Starts (2016)
Martha Horst,             Flicker (2016)
Timothy Dwight Edwards,     Attacca (2016)
Kyong Mee Choi,         ever-present (2016)
Timothy Ernest Johnson,         Searching for Sean Ison (2016)


We look forward to welcoming you back into the concert hall with this great event and our good friends in Quintet Attacca!


Constellation Covid policies: https://www.constellation-chicago.com/covid-policy

* Updated Date * Artemisia Vocal Trio performs new works by the Chicago Composers Consortium

For our first concert of 2021, the Chicago Composers’ Consortium is delighted to be collaborating with the local vocal group Artemisia Vocal Trio - Kaitlin Foley, Alexandra Olsavsky, and Diana Lawrence – with the added participation of Beena David.

The concert will be broadcast on Friday, April 30 at 7:30 pm Central Time on the CCC’s own YouTube channel (Concert Link). It will feature seven works for vocal trio and quartet by CCC composers Kyong Mee Choi, Kathleen Ginther, Martha Horst, Timothy Ernest Johnson, Laura Schwendinger and Elizabeth Start. Most of these pieces are premieres. The singers will also talk about their experience with the different compositions as part of the program.

This performance will NOT have the performers stitched together! The singers of Artemisia decided to be their own pod during the pandemic, so they have been able to rehearse and perform together. Therefore, despite the fact that the program will be recorded without an audience in Ganz Hall for broadcast, it will be a like an in-person concert in every other way.

Over the course of the 30+ year history of the Consortium, we have only rarely worked with vocal groups. We are happy to be remedying this notable lack with a fresh exciting program in April.

Please mark your calendar and plan to join us for this unique program by a dynamic, young, local group!

What: Chicago Composers’ Consortium presents the Artemisia Trio
When: Friday, April 30 7:30
Where: The YouTube Channel of the Chicago Composers’ Consortium

Featured Works:

Pale Courage by Kyong Mee Choi

Give Sorrow Words by Kathleen Ginther

Hand Games by Martha Horst

Un jour de les voix des femmes by Timothy Ernest Johnson

STARS and All Those That Love You by Laura Schwendinger

Uncertain Futures by Elizabeth Start

To pique your interest even further about this concert, here are a few words by the composers about their pieces.

Martha – As a little girl growing up in twentieth century America, I learned hand games on the playground and from my mother, who learned them when growing up in the Appalachian Mountains. All third grade girls knew multiple moves, songs, rhythms, and patterns for various songs. The songs in my work titled Hand Games are a celebration of this rich American folk music tradition.

Tim J- In my “Un jour de les voix des femmes”, Emily Dickinson’s beautiful poem “A Day” acts as a frame around a musical exploration of other poems by Dickinson, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Sophie d’Arbouville. I hope that Artemisia finds the perfect vehicle for their fun, eclectic and socially relevant approach to performance and repertoire in this music.

Kyong Mee – <Pale Courage> is a true story about the composer’s grand-aunt who chose starvation to death to fight for her dream to be educated and independent instead of being forced to marry a man who she did not know. Her father’s refusal and denial to accept her wish to go to school continued as well as her hunger strike, which led to her death. The composer wrote the text of the piece. This story also becomes the 3-act Opera, <Pale Courage> which is in the work-in-progress.

Betsy – In addition to real life and death struggles, this past year has included soul-searching on personal and national/international levels, refocusing discussions, and hope of re-imagined future dynamics, all of which are uncertain at this time. All three of the Conrad Hilberry poems I set here  present situations where the future is anticipated, but the realities unknown. The first tells us “when I’m hungry enough….. I will know what the goat knows”, but what is that? The second, looking at a relationship of two people with analogs to geometry, ends wondering if their lines will converge into a point or diverge obtusely. The final poem sets “moon” as a “metaphor for what we leave unsaid”, and the poem ends with the moon, “appalling”, about to speak.

Laura – STARS for four woman’s voices and set to a poem by the Canadian Marjorie Pickthall Pickthall published much of her work while she was still young, and died at only 39. John Garvin, writing in Canadian Poets, “evident that a genius of a rare order had appeared in Canadian literature.’’ (A) writer of pain and presence whom we all, male and female alike, ought to read” In my setting, I have sought to capture the exquisite beauty of the heavens, and that feeling we all have when we look up at the stars in awe but also how small and alone it can make us feel in the face of the utter vastness. ALL THOSE WHO LOVE YOU is for Woman’s Voices, from the Songs of Solomon, is about spiritual and romantic love. It is from my six Choral settings, commissioned by the Marsh Chapel Choir and was performed by them at Carnegie Hall in 2012. These two settings are paired to capture two kinds of wonder, human love and transcendental awe.

KC – In addition to the universal sorrow and grief of the past year, ’Give Sorrow Words’ had a more specific impetus – an article in Vanity Fair by Ta-Nihisi Coates about Tamika Palmer, the mother of Breonna Taylor. This article affected me deeply. I was blown away by the courage of this woman in facing the unimaginable loss of her daughter. I wrote ‘Give Sorrow Words’ thinking of all the mothers, and all the fathers, and everyone who has lost a child during this year of tragedy. The words are by Shakespeare and Rumi.


Spektral Floating Lounge with C3 Composers

spektral.vertical.bwOur concert with the Spektral Quartet – The Bernard Rands Effect – finally has a performance date: March 2, 2022. This is actually Bernard’s birthday and we are looking forward to giving him our long-postponed gift! This wonderful program will feature a short new string quartet by Bernard and eight responses by CCC composers. It’s hard to beat nine premieres played by the Spektrals in one evening! We will update time and location soon.

In the meantime, as preambles for the March concert, we will be doing three of Spektral Quartet’s very popular Floating Lounge programs, each one featuring two of our composers, an excerpt of their quartets for this program and conversation. They are fun online events and have proven very popular.
The dates are:
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Wednesday, January 12, 2022

All programs are at 7:30 PM. They are free, but you must register through the Spektral Quartet website.