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In Trios From the City of Big Shoulders, the Lincoln Trio dusts off overlooked Chicago chamber works

It’s Leo Sowerby’s summer. Had 2020 gone as planned, musicians across the city likely would have launched into 125th-anniversary celebrations for the late Chicago composer (1895–1968) and onetime St. James Cathedral organist. Any such plans were obviously tabled, but luckily for us, quasquicentennial recordings of Sowerby’s chamber works are nonetheless bubbling to the top of […]

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Israeli pianist Shira Legmann revives the piano music of composer Giacinto Scelsi

The music that Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi wrote during the middle of the 20th century predicted minimalism and spectralism, but its forms and sounds remain distinct from those later developments—and from most other European classical music. Born in 1905, he started composing music in the late 1920s and arrived at his mature style after experiencing […]

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The generation-spanning Fountain of Time is an intriguing peek into Chicago new-music lab the Grossman Ensemble

The Grossman Ensemble could be thought of as a new-music incubator. The resident ensemble of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition (CCCC) at the University of Chicago, the 13-piece group—which comprises some of the best contemporary players in the city—rehearses extensively with composers over the course of several weeks. Some of their commissions emerge collaboratively […]