Chicago Classical Review
March 2, 2015
By Tim Sawyier
On Sunday afternoon the new-music collective Contempo performed the second installment of its 50th anniversary season at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago. Two Contempo-commissioned world premieres by Sofia Gubaidulina and Gunther Schuller were the main events on the program. Yet the musicians—drawn from ensembles-in-residence eighth blackbird and the Pacifica Quartet (and filled out with guest artists)—offered thoughtful, incisive readings of several works from a wide stylistic spectrum. More »
Chicago Classical Review
January 26, 2015
By Gerald Fisher, critic
Through fifty years of good times and lean the University of Chicago’s new music collective Contempo has faithfully presented challenging programs and fostered the careers of impressive composers and performers. Saturday night at the Logan Center for the Arts the ensemble celebrated their achievements in the first of two programs, “Contempo at 50: Now and Then,” which included three world premieres.
January 25, 2015
By Alan G. Artner
Contempo, the University of Chicago’s new music collective, began its 50th anniversary season Saturday night at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, with a characteristically prickly program superlatively played.
As in time past, when the organization was called the Contemporary Chamber Players (CCP), premieres sat alongside recent and older pieces that continue to sound questing, challenging and uncompromisingly “modern.”
January 23, 2015
Award-winning composer Marta Ptaszynska will succeed Shulamit Ran as the artistic director of Contempo, the University of Chicago’s renowned contemporary music collective.
Ran, the Andrew MacLeish Distinguished Service Professor of Composition and a Pulitzer Prize winning composer, will retire in June after more than 40 years of service to the University and 12 years as artistic director of Contempo.
Click here to read more: ptaszynska-contempo-director
January 21, 2015
By Kyle MacMillan, critic
While nearly every major city in the United States has some kind of a contemporary music ensemble or society, few can equal the longevity of the University of Chicago’s Contempo, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a series of concerts beginning Jan. 24.
January 20, 2015
By Dennis Polkow
Some forty-plus years later, composer Shulamit Ran still recalls her first exposure to the music of Ralph Shapey, the legendary University of Chicago composer and founder of the Contemporary Chamber Players (later known as “Contempo” for short). “It was in New York,” she says. “I do remember very distinctly feeling that this was powerful music, that for all of its high dissonance and rigor, it was music that spoke from the heart and had a passion and a specificity about it that I really appreciated.”