Hyde Park Salons
Since the summer of 2006, I've been running a salon series in Hyde Park (if I were more fashionable I might say "curating") serving as a forum for artists of any definition to present work of any kind. At the last salon, Thomas Christensen (Professor of Music, University of Chicago and quite the specialist in 19th-century salon culture) debuted some Schubert 4-hands with his wife, Clara Christensen, also a brilliant pianist).
Larry Zbikowski (by now a regularly-appearing performer and Associate Professor of Music at the U of C [in that order ;)]) presented a classical guitar program in the form of an aural experiment. Larry's work since coming to Chicago hovers around the intersection of music and cognition, and the audience was asked to draw its own interpretive conclusions about the titles of various pieces without being told in advance what they were (one of the audience members actually correctly guessed at one of the titles -- "El Colibri" ["The Hummingbird"], by Julio Salvador Sagreras).*
The next salon on July 26th, however, features less traditional fare, including a presentation on tea by Gregory Freeman, another on abstract art (Danielle Klinenberg), and a short film by David Bashwiner, a.k.a. Jack Classick. While I generally avoid performing at my own salons, Opera Cabal received a recent commission from Lydia Goehr/The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Columbia University (it's complicated) to produce a staging of Bach's Cantata 201 next winter, and I'll be workshopping one of the arias from the Cantata with choreography by Irene Hsiao to brainstorm ideas for the staging.
For a write-up on the salons last winter, see the University of Chicago magazine.
*Larry, we expect a footnote and doughnuts if this makes it into your next book!