The Ear Taxi Festival-a first-of-its-kind celebration of contemporary music in Chicago-will send listeners on a joy ride through Chicago’s vibrant contemporary music scene Oct. 5-10, 2016. Spearheaded by renowned composer Augusta Read Thomas and co-curated by acclaimed trumpeter Stephen Burns, the festival will feature 300 musicians and 53 world premieres and 4 installations in its six jam-packed days of concerts, lectures, marathons, webcasts and artist receptions.
“We want to take your ears on a wide variety of ‘taxi rides’ through the world of contemporary music,” explained Thomas, who is currently University Professor of Composition at the University of Chicago. “At every concert, you’ll hear a mix of ensembles and musical styles that reflects the incredible depth and breadth of new music both here in Chicago and beyond.”
The Ear Taxi Festival will be Chicago’s first large-scale, nationally recognized festival of new music, with plans to present the work of 75 Chicago-based composers, and performances by 39 Chicago-based ensembles and soloists at venues including the Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance, the Chicago Cultural Center, Constellation, and Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago. A series of “Meet the Artists” events will feature moderated panel discussions and cocktails at Harris Theater. New Music USA will host a NewMusicBox LIVE! event focused on Chicago-based composers for a national online audience.
The festival will feature innovative composers and performers in contemporary music, such as Fulcrum Point New Music Project, Third Coast Percussion, Ensemble Dal Niente, Gustavo Leone, Amy Wurtz, and Nicole Mitchell.
In addition to performers and composers, the Ear Taxi Festival brings together partners including the Alice M. Ditson Fund at Columbia University, The Harris Theater for Music and Dance, the University of Chicago, and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), among many other generous supporters.
“The Harris Theater is so proud to be the presenting sponsor of such an important and groundbreaking music festival,” said Harris Theater President and Managing Director Michael Tiknis. “Commissioning, producing, and presenting new work, and providing a platform for our resident companies to do the same, is the primary focus of our mission. Exposing Chicago to a music experience like the Ear Taxi Festival and deepening the city’s identity as the premiere destination for new music is a worthy cause and we are pleased to be a part of it.”
The full schedule and more information on artists participating in the festival is available at the Ear Taxi Festival website, eartaxifestival.com.