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Neighbors of DuPage

Free, Lunchtime Concerts Every Month at Chicago Cultural Center

Feb 05, 2019 10:28AM ● By Hannah Ott

Chicago - New Music Chicago, the membership organization for Chicago area ensembles, artists, composers, students and advocates of contemporary music, announces a free, monthly concert series titled New Music Chicago Presents. 

Residents from Kane and DuPage County are encouraged to enjoy the lunchtime concerts that take place every third Thursday of each month. From 12-12:45pm, it is a great way to relax on your lunchbreak while taking in a musical and cultural experience. 

The series showcases the diversity and creativity of its members. In partnership with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), New Music Chicago will take place in the Claudia Cassidy Theater of the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Chicago Loop. Admission is free. All lead performers are members of New Music Chicago.

Curated by flutist and New Music Chicago member, Jennie Oh Brown, the New Music Chicago Presents series will bring a new body of repertoire and innovative performances to the Chicago Cultural Center while also exposing new audiences to the world-class new music being created among Chicago musicians.

Of the opportunity, Brown says, “The musicians of New Music Chicago are thrilled to partner with the Chicago Cultural Center to present this ongoing monthly concert series of contemporary classical music."

"The success of Ear Taxi Festival 2016 showed that Chicago audiences are interested in hearing what’s new.  New Music Chicago Presents will feature repertoire written since 2000 by living composers," Brown said. 

The year’s schedule follows:

February 21, 2019

Marc Mellits, composer

Title: Music of Marc Mellits

Description: Composer Marc Mellits is one of the leading American composers of his generation, enjoying hundreds of performances throughout the world every year, making him one of the most performed living composers in the United States.  From Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, to prestigious music festivals in Europe and the US, Mellits’ music is a constant mainstay on programs throughout the world. 

March 21, 2019

The L+M Duo

Pianist Marianne Parker and Laurel Black, marimba, as the L+M Duo present a newly commissioned work by composer Jay Derderian.

April 18, 2019

Picosa mixed chamber ensemble (flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, composer-in-residence), presents “Art and Music” presenting contemporary works by Florent Ghys, Tanner Cassidy, Seth Boustead, Jonathon Kirk and Shulamit Ran.

May 16, 2019

Chicago Fringe Opera: Love Wounds

Love Wounds is an immersive collaborative experience with guests Latitude 49. It is a theatrical rendering of music for voice and chamber ensemble by composer Christopher Cerrone.

June 20, 2019

Blackbird Creative Lab Alumni Present a Sneak Peak at Make (New) Music Chicago

Nois Saxophone Quartet founding member and Executive Director Brandon Quarles, Make Music Chicago Artistic Director Kuang-Hao Huang and members of Eighth Blackbird will host a concert of new music that will later be featured during the city wide festival, Make Music Chicago

July 18, 2019

Steven Rice, composer: Divine Epigrams

Composer Steven Rice created a cantata from Richard Crashaw’s poetry and will perform songs from this collection with guest Heike Burghart Rice, piano.

August 15, 2019

Leighann Daihl Ragusa, traverso: New Music for Old Instruments

Chicago based musicians Leighann Daihl Ragusa (baroque flute d'amour) and guests Charles Metz (harpsichord) and Josefien Stoppelenburg (soprano) present contemporary music for period instruments commonly found in the baroque era by Chicago composer, Eric Malmquist (b. 1985).

September 2019 – Date under development

Gaudete Brass

Gaudete Brass presents a collection of works written for brass quintet with ties to Chicago, including a world premiere.

October 17, 2019

Isabelle Olivier, harp and Julie Koidin, flute: Inbetween for flute and harp, an original multi-media work work by Isabelle Olivier

November 21, 2019

Amy Wurtz, composer, piano: American Music Project Commission

A newly commissioned chamber piece by Amy Wurtz accompanied by contemporary American solo piano music.

December 19, 2019

James Donahue, flute: Contemporary Music for Flutes and Piano

Committed to the commissioning of new works, James Donahue presents a program with guest Young-Hee Park, piano.

  • Timothy McCormack: Hammara Pilvi (solo bass flute work that was written for me in 2008)
  • Toshio Hosokawa: Lied for flute and piano (2007 National Flute Association commission)
  • Ata Ghavidel: The Shadow for solo flute (2017)
  • Xingzimin Pan: Kaidan for flute and piano (2013)
  • Kevin Clark: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock for solo alto flute and narration (2009)
  • Amanda Harberg: Court Dances for flute and piano (2017 commissioned by a consortium of 57 flutists, including Donahue).    

About Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE): The mission of DCASE is to enrich Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. To support this overarching mission, the Cultural Grants Program’s goal is simple: to serve as a catalyst to foster a robust, healthy arts community where artists, nonprofit arts and culture organizations and creative industries thrive.

About New Music Chicago: The organization advocates for the importance of a vital, vibrant music scene in our city and its geographical region. We are a membership organization that connects creators and supporters of non-mainstream and experimental music, supporting our passionate community through a mix of online and in-person services, including a calendar, social media presence, networking opportunities, professional development and occasional performances, serving both emerging and established artists. Visit New Music Chicago online at

Source: Jennie Oh Brown 630-772-6366