Come out Saturday for "The Party"!
Preview of Ensemble Dal Niente's newest production.

The Party is not calling itself just a concert. Performance, experience, music? Yes. And definitely an evening that shouldn't be missed.  Chicago’s Ensemble Dal Niente and renowned pianist-conductor Marino Formenti invite us to experience some of today’s most "daring, wonderful, radical music in an evening-length concert" in the new Hairpin Arts Center, 2800 N. Milwaukee Avenue, 2nd floor this Saturday, May 12 at 6pm.  

For The PartyFormenti and Dal Niente come together to produce "a communal experience that casts away some of the concert hall’s conventions in order to bring listeners together in a brand new way." Taking place in the new Hairpin Arts Center, The Party unfolds over the course of an entire evening, pairing food, drink, and conversation with some of the most eclectic and exciting music you are likely to hear this year.  Dal Niente is collaborating with local organizations such as food artist Nick Jirasek’s catering company Guerilla Smiles, Koval Distillery, and Goose Island Brewing Company to provide an evening that is uniquely Chicago.

Ammie Brod, Dal Niente's Violist and Director of Public Relations says, "I would still definitely call it a performance, interactive but perhaps also described as self-determined.  The Party is an entire evening of music, but the people who are attending get to choose how they wish to listen to that music, how they want to sit (on a chair, on a couch, lying on the floor, etc.--we'll have multiple types of seating around) or stand or [even] leave the room."

The Party attempts to be the antithesis of listening to music through earbuds plugged into your head as you sit alone staring at a computer screen.  "This is a social thing; we want people to talk about what they're experiencing, to let the performance become what they make of it instead of letting it be circumscribed by the normal constraints of the concert hall or a digital recording." The Party brings together stylistically diverse and uniquely brilliant composers’ music for you to experience, examine and share in one unforgettable evening. This isn’t just a concert: it’s an experience.

This evening-length event includes food, drink, socialization, and performances of music by:
            Marcos Balter (b.1974)                     Timothy McCormack (b.1984)
            Pablo Chin (b.1982)                           Alex Mincek (b.1975)
            Franco Donatoni (1927-2000)         Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988)
            Morton Feldman (1926-1987)         Salvatore Sciarrino (b.1947)
            Bernhard Gander (b.1969)               Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007)
            Mauricio Kagel (1931-2008)           James Tenney (1934-2006)
            Bernhard Lang (b.1957)                   Galina Ustwolskaja (1919-2006)
            Alvin Lucier (b.1931)                         Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001)  

Ensemble Dal Niente, one of Chicago’s foremost contemporary music groups, has a growing reputation for innovation and virtuosity paired with forward-looking programming.  Marino Formenti is one of the most compelling and original interpreters of his generation and a featured piano soloist at major international festivals (Salzburg, Lucerne, Ravinia) and with some of the world’s leading orchestras (New York Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic). 

photo courtesy of Ensemble Dal Niente
Ensemble Dal Niente (Dal Niente for short) was founded in 2004 by composer Kirsten Broberg. The group consists of 22 musicians, although most of the music they play involves a small fraction of that total number, ranging from solos to as many as 18 musicians. As a group, Brod says they're "dedicated to the promotion and advancement of contemporary music through performance, education, and commissions from composers, including Chicago composers Marcos Balter and Pablo Chin (both of whom will be represented at The Party) as well as others, such as Evan Johnson, Aaron Einbond, and Noah Keesecker.  There is an enormously diverse world of contemporary music available to new music groups and we explore lots of different areas within that world, from European avant-garde and American high modernism to music influenced by jazz and popular music.  HOT by Franco Donatoni, for instance--one of the pieces we'll be playing at The Party--has big band saxophone solo influences and an instrumentation reminiscent of a jazz combo."

Ensemble Dal Niente has made Chicago its home since its founding in 2004. With a growing international reputation for virtuosic musicianship and fearlessly eclectic programming, the ensemble will present two concerts at the famous New Music Courses in Darmstadt, Germany, in July 2012. Closer to home next season, the ensemble will premiere a new work for octet, electronics, and synced video projection by Minneapolis composer Noah Keesecker. The project was awarded a major grant by the American Composers Forum and the Jerome Foundation.

You will also have more chances to hear the music from Dal Niente in the coming months, as they are also opening for indie rock band Deerhoof this summer at Millennium Park, as part of the Loops and Variations series.  Dal Niente has been on the receiving end of many good reviews, touting the originality and "enterprising" quality of their performances. (Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein, "MusicNOW, Dal Niente take listeners on exciting aural adventures", March 6, 2012)


We're going to The Party, are you?
Saturday, May 12, 6PM
Hairpin Arts Center, 2800 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Tickets: $45/$30 advanced sales, $55/$35 at the door (general/student with ID)

--Brooke Herbert Hayes


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