Music of Today: Ensemble Dal Niente

Friday, October 30, 2015 - 7:30pm
$15 ($10 students/seniors)
Ensemble Dal Niente
Ensemble Dal Niente

Chicago-based contemporary music collective Ensemble Dal Niente presents new music in ways that redefine the listening experience and advance the art form. This performance includes the group’s interpretations of works by UW faculty composers Huck Hodge and Joël-François Durand, UW doctoral student Marcin Pączkowski, and others.

Joël-François Durand: Un feu distinct (1991) for flute, clarinet, piano, violin, and cello
Huck Hodge: Apophenia (2014) for flute, oboe, clarinet, percussion, piano, violin, cello, and conductor
Iannis Xenakis: Dmaathen (1976) for oboe and percussion
Marcin Pączkowski: Deep Decline (2015) for ensemble and electronics (World Premiere)

Ensemble Dal Niente is a 22-member Chicago-based contemporary music collective that presents and performs new music in ways that redefine the listening experience and advance the art form. The programming, brought to life by a flexible repertoire-based instrumentation, seeks to challenge convention and create engaging, inspiring, and immersive experiences that connect audiences with the music of today.

Described as "super-musicians" and noted for "bracing sonic adventures by some of the best new-music virtuosos around" (Chicago Tribune), Ensemble Dal Niente became the first-ever ensemble recipient of the coveted Kranichstein Music Prize - the top award for music interpretation - at the 2012 International Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt, Germany.

The ensemble has commissioned or premiered hundreds of works and has collaborated with visual artists and playwrights to create rich new experiences for audiences and people of diverse creative disciplines. Equally at home working with major international figures as with younger composers, recent collaborators include Brian Ferneyhough, Chaya Czernowin, George Lewis, Marino Formenti, Kaija Saariaho, Marcos Balter, Greg Saunier, Deerhoof, Hans Thomalla, Lee Hyla, Johannes Kreidler, Mark Andre, Evan Johnson, Aaron Einbond, Katherine Young, and Jay Alan Yim.

The ensemble's name, Dal Niente ("from nothing" in Italian), is a tribute to Helmut Lachenmann's work for clarinet Dal niente (Interieur III), the courageously revolutionary style of which serves as an inspiration for its musicians. The ensemble's name also references its humble beginnings -- founded in 2004 by a group of music students at various Chicago schools, the ensemble has risen from obscurity to a position as one of North America's most prominent new music groups.