Civitas Ensemble Celebrates the Chinese Year of the Ram
with Two World Premieres
Tickets are still available to join Civitas Ensemble and the Chinese Fine Arts Society on March 15 at Nichols Concert Hall, Music Institute of Chicago, Evanston, as we co-present two world premieres written for Civitas. All concert-goers are invited to attend a special 2 pm pre-concert discussion and a post-concert reception with the musicians, composers and producers.
Our first piece making its première, Five Elements with Five Movements, is by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Zhou Long and was commissioned by the Chinese Fine Arts Society. It was inspired by the traditional Chinese concept of the five elemental energies or wu xing, which are metal, wood, water, fire and earth, and accentuates the harmonious union of East and West.
The second world première is Emanations of Tara by Yao Chen, a composer trained in the United States who has returned to China to teach. This work is a result of our jointly winning the prestigious commissioning grant from the Harvard University Fromm Foundation and was inspired by the Tibetan Goddess Tara. Yao Chen will bring a team of videographers, including director Fen Lin, from Hong Kong to showcase a visual, non-narrative documentary on Tara that offers reflections on the cycles of life and provides the audience with the experience of traveling between the mythical emptiness of landscape and the restless abundance of cityscape. The composer carefully crafted the musical and visual dual elements to offer an implicit plea for the contemplation on the essence of life.
Both world première pieces feature the pipa, a Chinese four-stringed lute or guitar, with more than 2000 years of history. The other two pieces on the program are To the Four Corners by Huang Ruo and Roundabouts by Anthony Cheung.
Guest artists joining Civitas members for the afternoon are Cheng-Hou Lee, cello, Eugenia Moliner, flute, Weijing Wang, viola, Yang Wei, pipa, Vadim Karpinos, percussion.
Tickets are $30. Student tickets are offered at no charge, but reservations are required.
Civitas is a nonprofit performing arts group that is comprised of members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The goals of Civitas are to provide classical chamber music at the highest possible level to people who are passionate about live music, to present educational programs to young audiences, and also to bring music to those who would have limited access to the healing power of live classical music. Civitas strives to achieve these goals through creative programming which includes working with other nonprofit organizations, collaborating with other artists and visual arts, and presenting new compositions.