March 11, 2013

Presenter: Contempo

Performers: Antigona Furiosa: Cliff Colnot, conductor; Alexander Gelman, stage director; Terrence McClellan, scenic director; Julia Bentley, mezzo-soprano; Benjamin Robinson, tenor; Ricardo Rivera, baritone; Adam Marks, piano; Winston Choi, piano; Lisa Kaplan, piano; Douglas Perkins, percussion; Robert Dillon, percussion; David Skidmore, percussion
Pablo Aslan Quintet: Pablo Aslan, bass; Emilio Solla, piano; Brian Adler, drums; Diego Urcola, trumpet; Marcelo Nisinman, bandoneon

Date(s): Saturday, April 13, 2013 - 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 14, 2013 - 3:00 pm

Pre-concert: 6:30 pm and 2:00 pm pre-concert discussion with Alexander Gelman and Gustavo Leone, composer and Professor of Music at Loyola University, moderated by Mauricio Tenorio, Professor of History and Director of the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Chicago

Venue: Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, Performance Hall The University of Chicago, 915 E. 60th St. (at Drexel Ave.), Chicago, IL 60637

Tickets: $25; students $5 with valid ID, purchase through the UChicago Arts Box Office (

Program: Antigona Furiosa, an opera by Jorge Liderman; Jazz-Tango Music

The University of Chicago’s new music group, Contempo, presents the 9th annual double bill, pairing an imaginative program of new music and jazz unified by an Argentinian theme in two performances, Saturday April 13 at 7:30 pm and Sunday April 14 at 3:00 pm. Contempo: JAZZ Double Bill is curated by Shulamit Ran, Contempo’s Artistic Director and the Andrew MacLeish Distinguished Service Professor of Music at the University of Chicago.

The first set of the double bill presents Antigona Furiosa, a one-act stage opera by Argentinian-born and award winning Jorge Liderman, UChicago MS ’86 and PhD ‘88. Liderman transports Sophocles’ tragic tale of Antigone to the 1980s during Argentina’s politically-turbulent military rule. For decades, people who were deemed politically subversive disappeared without leaving a trace, and by decree were forbidden to be mourned by their women - mothers, wives, sisters – and given no burial. The opera begins with Antigona in defiance, having chosen her own death over acquiescing to this travesty of justice and humanity.

Artistic Director Ran said, "My first encounter with the opera was love at first hearing. Liderman tackled head-on the commissioning of the opera with the stipulation that it be scored for a triple trio of singers, pianists, and percussionists. He turned this unusual, somewhat unforgiving ensemble into a fascinating soundscape that enhances and propels the action forward. As the opera builds, we find ourselves gripped by its raw emotion, occasional cold wit, as well as its evolving lyricism and expressivity.”

The powerfully staged production was awarded the Munich Biennale International Prize after its premiere in 1992.

Stage director is Alexander Gelman, Producing Artistic Director of the Organic Theatre Company of Chicago whose credits include the Chicago Lyric Opera, New York Shakespeare Festival and The Juilliard School of Drama. Scenic director is Terrence McClellan, Assistant Director of the School of Theatre and Dance at Northern Illinois University who has worked with the Chicago Opera Theatre and Goodman Children’s Theatre among others. Featured performers for the opera include conductor Cliff Colnot, conductor of Contempo, and mezzo-soprano Julia Bentley, a prolific performer whose presence spans performances from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to Fulcrum Point to the Chicago Lyric Opera.

In considering what to pair with a work of such power and potency in a double-bill format, “The answer was almost self-evident,” said Ran. “Jorge had a fascination with tango and considered an early meeting with Piazzolla a formative experience. What better way to release the pent-up dramatic tension through which we are gradually led to the opera's powerful conclusion than with some sizzling Argentinian fireworks, as performed by jazz artist Pablo Aslan and an all-star cast he has assembled for this occasion!”

The double bill’s second set headlines world-class Argentinian bassist Pablo Aslan Quintet, performing jazz-tango music and echoes of Astor Piazzolla. Aslan has collaborated with a wide range of artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Osvaldo Golijov, Lalo Schifrin and Paquito D’Rivera. His recording “Tango Grill” was included among the nominees for Best Latin Jazz Album in the 53rd Annual GRAMMY® awards (2010).

The concerts will take place in the Performance Hall at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. (at Drexel Ave.), Chicago, IL 60637. Tickets are $25; students $5 with valid ID and can be purchased through the UChicago Arts Box Office.

Dedicated exclusively to the performance of contemporary classical music, Contempo is one of the oldest and most successful professional new music groups in the nation. Contempo continues as the vanguard of adventurous new works and cutting-edge programs. Under the direction of Ran, Contempo introduces audiences to the bold visions of today’s most innovative composers. Its five-concert season features performances by two of UChicago Department of Music’s acclaimed, GRAMMY®- winning ensembles-in-residence, the Pacifica Quartet and eighth blackbird, conductor Cliff Colnot, as well as guest appearances by other Chicago area interpreters of contemporary music.

This program is supported by a grant from the University of Chicago Arts Council. Contempo and its artist residencies are generously supported by the Catherine L. Dobson Music Fund, the Amy and David Fulton Fund, the Julie and Parker Hall Endowment for Jazz and American Popular Music, the Claire Dux Swift Music Endowment Fund, and the Lowell and Elita Wadmond Endowment in Music.


Contempo Winter/Spring 2013 Schedule

Contempo: Double Bill
Saturday, April 13, 2013, 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 14, 2013, 3:00 pm
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, Performance Hall University of Chicago, 915 E. 60th St. (at Drexel Ave.), Chicago, IL 60637
Tickets: $25 | $5 students

Contempo: Tomorrow's Music Today I
Friday, May 10, 2013, 7:30 pm
Fulton Recital Hall The University of Chicago, Fulton Recital Hall, 5845 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago, IL 60637
Tickets: Free

Contempo: Tomorrow's Music Today II
Friday, May 17, 2013, 7:30 pm
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, Performance Hall University of Chicago, 915 E. 60th St. (at Drexel Ave.), Chicago, IL 60637
Tickets: Free

About University of Chicago Presents
Founded in 1943, University of Chicago Presents is Chicago's preeminent presenter of the world's greatest artists of chamber music in a variety of genres and venues. UCP features Chicago debut performances and rarely heard programs of works by outstanding ensembles and musicians from around the world.

Each year UCP brings a wide array of world-class professional soloists and chamber music ensembles to the University of Chicago through its three main concert series and annual jazz concerts. UCP’s Classic Concert Series features recitalists and chamber music ensembles performing music from the Classical period through the present, and regularly includes Chicago debut performances by outstanding musicians and ensembles as well as distinctive programs of works not often heard in the city. UCP’s Howard Mayer Brown International Music Series brings acclaimed artists from around the globe, who otherwise would be known to local audiences only through recordings, for the historically appropriate performances of Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque repertoire. UCP’s Artist-in-Residence Series features concerts by Pacifica Quartet, who join fellow Grammy-award winning new music ensemble-in-residence eighth blackbird to an anchor the Contempo Series.

The 2012-2013 season, entitled “Treasured, True and New,” features both celebrated and rising international artists in repertoire ranging from early music to classical, and from jazz to contemporary music. “Treasured, True and New” features 22 performances of the highest caliber spanning the spectrum of classical music. Performers hail from eight different countries and offer unrivaled musical experiences.

Learn more at
Follow us at or on Twitter at

About UChicago Arts
In response to a 2001 report on the future of the arts at UChicago, the University has launched an ambitious suite of new initiatives and programs to enhance the existing UChicago Arts landscape. These include the Arts and Public Life and its flagship project, the Washington Park Arts Incubator, the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, and the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry. The new initiatives join academic departments and programs in the Division of the Humanities and the College, as well as professional organizations, including Court Theatre, Oriental Institute Museum, The Renaissance Society, Smart Museum of Art, and University of Chicago Presents, and more than 60 student arts organizations, in forging an integrative model for practice, presentation, and scholarship. For more information about UChicagoArts, visit

Amy Iwano
Executive Director
University of Chicago Presents