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2020 Vision

Metro Detroit sees double vision, or in this case triple vision, across three world premieres and four unforgettable nights of new music.


The 27th Annual Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival (GLCMF) promotes the future of new music through the lens of three contemporary composers and world premieres. As our Composer-in-Residence, Perry Goldstein is creating a work for piano trio (Philip Setzer, Paul Watkins, Soyeon Kate Lee) and baritone (Darren Drone). Goldstein will introduce the 20-minute premiere at a subscription concert on June 17, pre-empted by a Q & A for upwards of 220 patrons.

Composer Fellow Alan Hankers is writing a 10-minute piece for Deka String Quartet, an ensemble formed in 2015 at Stony Brook University. Deka will participate as a group in the Catherine Filene Shouse Chamber Music Institute. Hankers is pursuing his PhD and has written for Calidore String Quartet, Balkan Brass Quintet, and Driftwood Trio. He studies with Goldstein. Hankers’ piece will premiere on June 19 at Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor. Our concerts in this city, home to the University of Michigan, typically draw 100 people, many of whom are students.

Our second Fellow is Niloufar Nourbakhsh, an Iranian female composer and pianist working on her doctorate in music composition. Her pieces have been commissioned by Symphony Number One, PUBLIQuartet, and Forward Music Project. She is founder and co-director of the Iranian Female Composers Association. Nourbakhsh’s 10-minute work will be premiered by another Shouse group, F-PLUS. They represent an exciting makeup of chamber ensembles today as a mixed trio of violin, clarinet, and percussion. Nourbakhsh’s work premieres at the Detroit Institute of Arts on June 28. Our events there attract 300 people from the tri-county region.

Both Nourbakhsh and Hankers’ pieces will be heard again after their premieres at a subsequent concert during the Festival. In all instances, the composers will introduce their music and conduct post-concert Q & A sessions. The Festival intends to offer emerging artists (composers and musicians) a platform to challenge their skills, boost a collaborative spirit, and reinforce audience engagement to perpetuate music of our time. We also celebrate many special connections to Stony Brook. GLCMF’s Artistic Director (Paul Watkins) and Shouse Director (Philip Setzer) are members of the Emerson String Quartet, an ensemble in residence at the university.

All three premieres connect directly to GLCMF’s 2020 theme, “Visions and Revisions.” Across two weeks, artists will perform repertoire tracing the impact of old composers on younger creators across the centuries. Our theme is congruent not only with chamber music’s evolution, but to our expanding role in the community. The Festival has broadened engagement initiatives by collaborating with institutions that bring our art form to demographics ranging from elementary students to homeless veterans. In this project, we span decades of creativity and reflect three distinct, diverse perspectives. It will occupy the imaginations of audiences from multiple counties and backgrounds.

The Festival remains an unwavering advocate for new music. Our Composer-in-Residence and Fellowship programs annually feature at least two composers, totaling 37 to date. Last summer, 46% of our repertoire was by living composers. Two years ago, we premiered works by 10 Composer-in-Residence alumni.

Project Media

White Helmets as white as death (2017)
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This piece is by Niloufar Nourbakhsh, one of the Festival’s 2020 Composer Fellows. This recording was performed by Eun Hae Grace Oh (flute), Micael Fruend Haimov (viola), and Shanrong Sabrina Tuo (violin) at Stony Brook University. It was recorded on July 30, 2017, a month before the release of the video on YouTube. The cue directive for panelists to start listening is at 5’45” until the end. This sample reflects the more unconventional instrumentation by Nourbakhsh, similar to what she will write for the Festival’s Shouse group, F-PLUS.

Coalescence (2018)
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Features: Alan Hankers

This is a piece by Alan Hankers, one of the Festival’s Composer Fellows in 2020. It is a piece for string quartet and mixed choir, performed in August 2018 by Ensemble Edge. The performance occurred at Symfonish Sal in Aarhus, Denmark. The composer did not provide specific cues in this work sample. This is a beautiful piece that represents a work involving string quartet, echoing the type of string music Hankers is creating for the Deka String Quartet during our Festival.

Introduction (movement 1) from Quintet for Cello and String Quartet, “Anthem” (2016)
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Features: Perry Goldstsein

Perry Goldstein is the Festival’s 2020 Composer-in-Residence. His work sample here was recorded at our 2017 Festival on June 21 at Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Clive Greensmith is the cellist and the ensemble is the Omer Quartet (one of our Shouse ensembles). Omer was selected to participate by Philip Setzer, the violinist who will perform Goldstein’s world premiere at the 2020 Festival. Cellist Paul Watkins will perform alongside Setzer, pianist Soyeon Kate Lee, and baritone Darren Drone. There are no cues provided for this sample.

Start and End Dates



Detroit, Michigan

Project Created By

Southfield, Michigan
The Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival was born in 1994 of a remarkable relationship between religious and cultural institutions. A secular event, the Festival is sponsored by three religious institutions (representing Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant faiths) and Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings, a prominent musical ensemble that also provides administration for the Festival. In two weeks…

In Collaboration With

Stony Brook, New York
Brooklyn, New York
Chicago, , Illinois


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