Don’t take our word for it, see what the Chicago Reader and Peter Margasak have to say about the festival next week:
Power in Sound: The Music of Galina Ustvolskaya
The Latest Update
Experience Galina Ustvolskaya — Next Week!
One of Chicago’s “Ten Best” for Fall Arts!
We are so excited the festival is fast approaching! While everyone is busy preparing the music for performance, both the Chicago Reader and The Chicago Tribune have singled out Power in Sound: Music of Galina Ustvolskaya as one of the “Ten Best” Fall Arts events in the city of Chicago!
Here’s what they are saying:
John Von Rhein, Chicago Tribune:
Peter Margasek, Chicago Reader:
Multi-Day Ustvolskaya Festival and Conference October 5-7, 2017
The Ustvolskaya Festival will feature 3 concerts of her solo, small and large chamber works, in connection with a 3-day conference, ‘Found in Time: Forgotten Experiments in Soviet Art, 1940-1960’ open to the public. Providing a dialogue between Ustvolskaya’s work and music by an emerging Russian composer, the festival will feature US Premieres by the acclaimed Marina Khorkova (b. 1981). With pre-concert talks by Richard Taruskin, Maria Cizmic, and Olga Panteleeva, performances will be presented at The Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts and PianoForte Studios.
The conference, organized by The University of Chicago and the University of Illinois, Chicago’s Department of Slavic/Baltic Languages and Literature and Music Departments, will feature lectures by Richard Taruskin, (Berkeley), Marina Frolova-Walker, (University of Cambridge), Julia Vaingurt (University of Illinois at Chicago), and Boris Gasparov (Columbia University), among other noted scholars.
Power in Sound: The Music of Galina Ustvolskaya was received additional funding from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Festival in the making!
We are very excited to be in the final stages of contracting players and venues for this festival! Check back soon for a full roster and program, venues, and times!
“I am convinced that the music of G. I. Ustvolskaya will achieve worldwide renown, to be valued by all who perceive truth in music to be of paramount importance.” (Dmitri Shostakovich)
Galina Ustvolskaya’s music is unique and does not resemble any other. Her music was too far from the Soviet ideals to gain wide-recognition during her lifetime. Almost completely unknown outside of Russia until the fall of the iron curtain, Ustvolskaya’s music entered Western Europe/USA in more recent years and is said to ‘burn’ ‘with an inhuman intensity and a spiritual strength, as though it is broken away from musical substance and exists independently, like radiation or gravity.’
The first time a major festival of her music occurred outside of Russia (and possibly ever) was in Amsterdam 2011. We venture to take it even further.
The Chicago Ustvolskaya Festival is a 3-day immersion into Ustvolskaya’s powerful and intense music,October 5-7, 2017. Named “the woman with the hammer, (Elmer Schonberger)” for her use of heavy, homophonic blocks of sound, Ustvolskaya’s music is rarely performed in Chicago, and never in a portrait festival. Our festival will feature 3 concerts of her solo, small and large chamber works, in addition to a 3-day musicological symposium open to the public. Concerts will be presented at The Logan Center for the Arts, the University of Chicago Music Department and PianoForte Studios.
The Ustvolskaya Festival and Symposium looks back to a previous generation to remember and celebrate the importance and inspiration of this great composer’s work for contemporary music. The festival gives us an opportunity to bring together our whole community to have a dialogue about this music. With the continued issue of male dominated new music programs, and the lack of current and earlier 20th century female composer’s presence, our festival will promote and explore this earlier generation 20th century female composer’s legacy. Lastly, the festival will allow important connections to be made between Ustvolskaya’s work and the music being created by today’s emerging composers.
Building on the momentum generated by fall 2016’s Ear Taxi Festival, the Chicago New Music Community has united again to form the Ustvolskaya Ensemble, which includes the city’s most prestigious musicians including Seth Parker Woods, Shanna Gutierrez (Collect/Project), Liz Pearse (Quince Vocal Ensemble), DePaul University’s Ensemble 20+ led by Michael Lewanski, Kevin Harrison (Axiom Brass), Jeff Kimmel (a.pe.ri.od.ic), Andrew Rosenblum, Chris Jones, Ann Yi, Tara Lynn Ramsey, and more.
The accompanying symposium is hosted by The University of Chicago and the University of Illinois, Chicago’s Department of Slavic/Baltic Languages and Literature and Music Departments, and will feature lectures by musicologists Richard Taruskin, (Berkeley), Marina Frolova-Walker, (University of Cambridge), and Julia Vaingurt (University of Illinois at Chicago) among other noted scholars.
This is a rare and important opportunity for a city’s artistic community to unify in the presentation and discussion of something new to the ears of Chicago audiences. Ustvolskaya’s music is presciently relevant in today’s climate of concerns regarding gender and artistic expression in a difficult political environment.
This is a recording from Amsterdam 2011 during the most recent festival of Ustvolskaya’s music in the world. Only more recently has this reclusive composer’s works come to be performed and championed. This is an example of the wonderful imagination and power of this composer with a truly novel instrumentation. We will be performing this piece during the festival.
The Ustvolskaya Festival has drawn some of Chicago’s brightest stars form the new music community. Seth Parker Woods will be performing the Grand Duet during the festival, as well as a duo for flute and cello with Shanna Gutierrez among other works.
Written for Seth Parker Woods, Not Alone uses interactive digital delays, spatialization and timbre transformation to create a dance among multiple cellists following diverse yet intersecting spatial trajectories.
Shanna Gutierrez joins the Ustvolskaya Festival to perform “Composition No. 1 Dona Nobis Pacem” as well as a duo for flute and cello with Seth Parker Woods among other works. Shanna is also a co-curator and organizer of the festival.
This sample shows a total mastery and control of her instrument and was a Prize-winning performance from the 2013 Stockhausen Courses in Kürten, Germany. Ustvolskaya’s music requires similar levels of control and detail as the Stockhausen.
Start and End Dates
10/05/2017 — 10/07/2017