$10 Suggested Donation
Ursa Ensemble returns to give their third and final MasterWorks program of the season!
Contrasts, Sz. 111, BB. 116 - Béla Bartók
6 Ways of Looking Through a Prism - Jonathan Hannau (world premier)
Violin Sonata No. 1, Sz. 75, BB. 84 - Béla Bartók
Hailed as a group that provides a “much needed voice in the discourse of art music’s place and role in American culture,” Ursa Ensemble strives to present uncommon music to our audiences in unique ways, in unconventional places, and with individual interpretations. Ursa Ensemble has performed at a variety of locations across the Midwest including Constellation Chicago, Pritzker Pavilion, Intuit: Center for Outsider and Intuitive Art, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, the DANK Haus, Tavern of Fine Arts, The Musical Offering, PianoForte Studios, The Green Mill Jazz Lounge, Half Price Books, and the Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church. Their unique Collaboration in Concert (CIC) series has led the Ursas into all sorts of arenas, allowing them to work with and perform for an extremely diverse audience: elementary school students at Catalyst Circle Rock Charter School; college students at Harold Washington College in the Loop; and young writers at 826CHI. Past CIC events have involved collaborations with artists from a wide array of expertises, including photographer Michael Schoeneweis, author Michael San Gabino, printmaker Sarah Adams, abstract creator Shawn Lucas, and painters Melanie Brown and Joel Javier.
The Ursa Ensemble consists of some of the best young musicians in the Chicago area, all of whom are dedicated performers and artist-teachers. Violinist and Artistic Director Rachel Brown is the Associate Principal Second Violin of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, and has given over a dozen world premieres of contemporary solo and ensemble works. She teaches violin lessons, chamber music, music theory, and music history at the Chicago Academy for the Arts and Harold Washington College. Pianist Jonathan Hannau is also dedicated to his solo project, the Rocking Chair Series, which involves commissions of short solo piano works presented alongside an interview with the composer in an effort to create an inviting atmosphere for the audience as they listen to a wide variety of musical styles. His toy piano duo, The Plucky Plunkers, recently was selected as Ensemble In Residence at the International Toy Piano Festival. He also teaches at Access Contemporary Music. Nicholas Jeffery holds the Principal Violist position with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and maintains a private studio in addition to teaching at the Chicago Academy for the Arts. Cellist Veronica Nettles focuses on performance in classical chamber music (she was a founding member of the Kaia String quartet) and world music collaborations (she is a member of a Cuban Charangas ensemble). Also, she maintains a private studio at the DePaul University Community Music Division. Joe Sanchez, clarinetist, is a founding member of the Vandoren-Sponsored Lake Effect Clarinet Quartet, and he can be heard regularly with a cross-continental spread of orchestras, ranging from the Las Vegas to the Kalamazoo Symphony! In addition to this, he teaches woodwind students at Catalyst Circle Rock Charter School.