Rube Goldberg

Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola

Chicago Composers Consortium Season Finale with the Nois Saxophone Quartet!

The final concert of the Chicago Composers’ Consortium 2018-19 season is special indeed! The special featured performers are the highly acclaimed ~Nois Saxophone Quartet – Hunter Bockes, János Csontos, Jordan Lulloff and Brandon Quarles. The program will include a work by special guest composer Jeremy Rapaport-Stein, winner of this year’s call for scores. The rest of this program features works specially written for ~Nois by CCC members Lawrence Axelrod, Martha Horst, Betsy Start and Timothy Ernest Johnson.We hope you can join us for what will be an exciting evening of the newest music for saxophone, performed by four of Chicago’s new music specialists!

Frequency Series

Sunday, June 2 2019 / 8:30PM / $20/$5
Constellation 3111 N. Western Ave.



Frenetic Dances (2018)            Martha Horst
Chicago Summer (2018)        Timothy Ernest Johnson
Quatresaxfoil (2018)            Elizabeth Start
Frissons (2018)                Lawrence Axelrod
Lucifer Gorgonzola (2016)        Jeremy Rapaport-Stein

Nois Saxophone Quartet:

Hunter Bockes
János Csontos
Jordan Lulloff
Brandon Quarles


Traveling Inside: C3 at ESS


Painting by Cassandra Kaczor
Portrait of Seth Pae Playing His Viola (2016)
Acrylic on Canvas

The Chicago Composers’ Consortium has once again brought together a fascinating group of pieces exploring both electronic and acoustic media including works by three guest composers to keep your eye on, as well as several established Chicago composers. On April 5, Experimental Sound Studio will be the setting for the event including works featuring a variety of instrumentalists performing on bass clarinet, viola, piano, violin, spoken word and French horn, and with an emphasis on electronic interaction.

Themes of travel, motion, dreams, surrealism and introspection pervade these highly individual and personal musical expressions. Guggenheim-winning composer Kyong Mee Choi will include her acousmatic piece Trains of Thought, “based on the experience of sitting on a train and having various thoughts evoked by the sounds of the environment.” Based on a short story, Cassandra Kaczor’s piece secondhand smoke for amplified viola is also a technical study. The theme of introspection continues with the sonically rich electro-acoustic autobiographical piece about a trip to Japan, Journey/Dream by Lawrence Axelrod. Keith Kusterer’s newest premiere will exhibit the most masterful fusion of dramatic and compositional elements in a duet performance for pianist Shi An Costello and electronics. The composer writes “for measure is a surrealist work performed by two very close friends. The live performance is layered with pre-recorded sonic events that are designed to pair with real-time elements of theater, interactive movement and musical gesture.” Jeff Schaller’s piece for solo violin is inspired by soundscape work and virtuosic performance experienced in Italy.

While at ESS, you’ll want to experience The Sound Art Chair, a sound installation by Beth Bradfish in collaboration with Celia Grainer, inspired by her synesthetic response to paintings by Anna Kunz. The project was supported by a grant from DCASE. It is the third sound sculpture object in the series “Home Sounds.”

Experimental Sound Studio

5925 N Ravenswood Ave., Chicago

7:30 pm April 5, 2019

Tickets $20/$5 at the door

C3 @Impromptu Fest

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C3 presents a concert of chamber works at Guarneri Hall in downtown Chicago as part of the second annual Impromptu Fest created by New Music Chicago. Concert to include works by Betsy Start, Larry Axelrod, Tim Johnson, Tim Edwards, KC Ginther and Kyong Mee Choi.

Concert is March 28, 7:30PM.

Guarneri Hall
11 East Adams Street · Suite 350A
Chicago, Illinois 60603

For more info see:

~Nois Saxophone Quartet Competition Results

Rube Goldberg

Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola

This year’s call for scores had the largest response of all that we have held. Sixty-four entries from around the world were sent in. These compositions covered all ranges of style and manner of musical expression. We were truly awed at the variety and quality of the entries.
Larry Axelrod, Kyong Mee Choi and Tim Johnson narrowed the field to twelve finalists, which were sent to ~Nois for their final decision. With typical verve and energy, the members of the quartet listened carefully and decided quickly. The winning composition is Lucifer Gorgonzola by Jeremy Rapaport-Stein. Jeremy is currently a PhD student at Brandeis College in Boston. He hopes to join us for the concert in June!

You can get to know a bit about him here:

We thank all those who took the time to submit to our call for scores. We learned so much about the amazing possibility of the saxophone from your music.
Congratulations to Jeremy Rapaport-Stein!

Call for scores 2018

The c3 is teaming up with ~Nois Saxophone Quartet this June, and we are accepting scores for a competition. The winner will be included in the concert.

Please see our Call for Scores for all the details.

CCC and Friends, September 23

Butterfly, painting by Kyong Mee Choi

Butterfly, painting by Kyong Mee Choi

The Chicago Composers’ Consortium offers a fresh selection of compositions performed by members of the consortium and outstanding guests, including Caroline Pittman, Jeff Yang, Daniel Williams, Eleanor Bartsch. Join us September 23 at 3pm for a lovely fall afternoon enjoying the remarkable resonance of beautiful North Shore Baptist Church in Andersonville.

Rippled Pond for violin, cello, piano by Kyong Mee Choi
Summer Triangle for solo flute by Roger Zare
vc pc for cello and piano by Jason Raynovich
Upbeat for solo clarinet by Martha C. Horst
Simic Songs for guitar and voice by Timothy Ernest Johnson
The Violinists in My Life for piano and violin by Laura Schwendinger
Silent Moon Variations for violin, clarinet, piano by Elizabeth Start

Sunday at 3pm, September 23, 2018
North Shore Baptist Church
5244 N. Lakewood Avenue, Chicago
Suggested donation: $15 accepted at the door

May 6 concert featuring Lakeshore Rush

CCC Season Finale with Lakeshore Rush

Sunday, May 6 2018
2:30 PM
Ganz Hall, Roosevelt University
430 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago
Donations accepted at the door

Our final concert of the season is Sunday, May 6 at 2:30 PM, Ganz Hall at Roosevelt University.

Our guest artists for this concert are Lakeshore Rush, a sextet consisting of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion.

There will be three world premieres by our member composers: Night Contemplation and Dance by Elizabeth Start, Curved Silence by Beth Bradfish and Ji Chon Myong by Kyong Mee Choi. Until the Sunrise by Laura Schwendinger will receive its Chicago premiere. Portrait of a Moment by Timothy Dwight Edwards has been previously performed by Eighth Blackbird, Contempo and other ensembles.

Here is what people are saying about these composers:

Timothy Edwards is a versatile composer both in electronic and live acoustic music of all combinations. His often playful music was described by the Chicago Sun Times as having “a sense of purposeful direction that kept us anxious to hear what would happen next.”

Elizabeth Start’s work is described as “engaging Buoyancy… a bustle of rhythmic energy, tightly assembled,…(Chicago Tribune) …”Full of great ideas, fun accidentals, suggested dances.  Wonderful stuff…”  (WMUK-FM)

About Laura Schwendinger’s Creature Quartet release featuring the JACK Quartet, “The sheer intensity of both music and performance thereof is spellbinding, as if the passion of the composer for her subject shines through like a light.”

Kyong Mee Choi’s music pays intimate attention to dynamic and expressive gestures and the organic evolution of a deeply personal sonic journey. Along the way it becomes the felt experience of each listener who attends to it.”

“(Beth) Bradfish is a groundbreaking electronic composer whose works are as heartfelt as they are daring. Bradfish’s work has an emotional immediacy that lends it an incredible power.”

We will also feature the winner of our competition for a work to be included on this program. From thirty-nine impressive international entrants we chose Amos Gillespie, a local composer and his piece, The Spanish Speakers.

The concert will conclude with David Lang’s these broken wings, an unusual post-minimal work whose hypnotic slow movement includes various metal objects being dropped to the floor.

We are happy to be presenting the program in Ganz Hall at Roosevelt University, a lovely space in which to enjoy chamber music such as this.

We look forward to seeing you there and celebrating the end of our 28th season!


Cello-stravaganza featuring Craig Hultgren

with featured guest composers Mischa Zupko, Seung-Wan Oh, and Marc LeMay

The Chicago Composers’ Consortium presents Cello-stravaganza! This year, our annual concert featuring electro-acoustic music has a low-string twist: Guest cellist Craig Hultgren, nationally known for his superb performances of new and experimental music, will play works both with electronics and piano. The concert will also feature the CCC’s own cellist/composer Betsy Start in electric and acoustic cello works.

Our guest composers on this program will include local favorite Mischa Zupko, represented by his powerful rhythmically-charged work Fallen for cello and piano. Also, Philadelphia-based composer Marc LeMay will be represented with his work The Crab for cello, electronics and video. The final guest work on the concert will be the solo cello work Persistent Memory by Korean-born Seung-Won Oh.

Adding to the richness of the program, the CCC composer offerings will be the premiere of In Winter for cello and piano by Lawrence Axelrod, Inner Space for cello and electronics by Kyong Mee Choi, Aurora Inscrutabile for cello and electronics by Tim Johnson and a work for electric cello by Betsy Start.

The concert will be held in the Puth Family Theater, a fun black-box theater environment that is a part of the Music Institute of Chicago in Evanston. An ideal location for this electro-acoustic program.

Please join us for this fun concert featuring great performers that will uncover the many sides of the cello in a congenial setting!

Mischa Zupko    Fallen
Marc LeMay        The Crab
Seung-Won Oh    Persistent Memory
Lawrence Axelrod In Winter (premiere)
Kyong Mee Choi    Inner Space
Timothy Ernest Johnson    Aurora Inscrutabile
Elizabeth Start        ecello work tbd

Sunday, March 18 3 PM
Tickets: $20/$10 students and seniors

Puth Family Theater of the Music Institute of Chicago
1702 Sherman Avenue
Evanston, Illinois


deadline extended, season at a glance

Lakeshore Rush competition deadline extended to October 15

The Chicago Composers’ Consortium announces a call for scores for its upcoming collaboration with Lakeshore Rush ( on May 6, 2018. The winner of the call for scores will have her/his work programmed alongside those of members of the Consortium. There will also be a small stipend offered for travel. A concert recording will be made for the winner’s personal use.

The original deadline of October 1 has been extended to October 15. See the competition details here


2017-2018 Season

Friday, October 20, 2017 at 7:30 • Chamber works
Chamber works including flute, clarinet, violin, cello, guitar and piano by George Flynn, Marta Ptaczynska, Randall West, Lawrence Axelrod, Elizabeth Start and Timothy Johnson
North Shore Baptist Church 5244 N. Lakewood Ave
Tickets: $20/$10 students/seniors

March 18, 2018Cello-stravaganza
Featuring cellist Craig Hultgren, with cellist Elizabeth Start, pianist Lawrence Axelrod, and others
Composers: Misha Zupko, Seung-Won Oh, Lawrence Axelrod, Timothy Johnson and Kathleen Ginther.

Sunday, May 6 • Lakeshore Rush
Lakeshore Rush: flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion
Composers: Beth Bradfish, Kyong-Mee Choi, Laura Schwendinger, Timothy Edwards, and our competition winner

Our 2017-2018 season, details.

Five Studies in Black and White 2017


Music for two pianos

pianosLawrence Axelrod and Sebastian Huydts, pianists

For our final concert of the 2016/17 season, the Chicago Composers’ Consortium will present pianist-composers Lawrence Axelrod and Sebastian Huydts in a program of music for two pianos. This lesser-known keyboard repertoire offers amazing sonic possibility, especially in this exciting collection of 20th and 21st century pieces. Lawrence Axelrod’s As Summer Wanes, an elegaic work that explores both extended techniques and gentle lyricism, will receive its premiere. Sebastian Huydts’ substantial Fifth Sonata, with powerful echoes of Shostakovich and Spanish music, will finish the program. The classic repertoire is a delightful mix of styles. Debussy’s exquisite En blanc et noir shows great breadth of compositional and emotional range, from joyous to intensely personal to fun. Britten also juxtaposed seriousness and fun in his Introduction and Rondo alla burlesca. Frank Martin’s Overture and Foxtrot contrasts a highly organized sonata-form movement and a jazz/popular dance-inspired movement with highly individual melody and tonality.

Please join us for this wide-ranging and exciting program!

Thursday, May 18, 7:30 pm
Sherwood Conservatory Concert Hall
1312 S Michigan Ave

Lawrence Axelrod ~ As Summer Wanes (world premiere)
Sebastian Huydts ~ Fifth Sonata, op. 39 (for two pianos)
Claude Debussy ~ En blanc et noir
Benjamin Britten ~ Introduction and Rondo alla Burlesca
Frank Martin ~ Overture and Foxtrot