Civ­i­tas Ensem­ble Cel­e­brates the Chi­nese Year of the Ram

with Two World Premieres

Eventbrite - Civitas Ensemble All-Chinese Program

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.