Free Concert Series at Millennium Park

(News Release) Classical music "with a twist" comes to the stage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park this summer when Dusk Variations: A Chamber Series, debuts on Monday, June 15, 2009 at 6:30 p.m. Presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Millennium Park, this new series of four free concerts on Monday nights in June and July will push the boundaries of chamber music, mixing electronic music, improvisation and rock and roll, with classical music.

The series opens on June 15 with ChicagoCentric, an evening of music played by four acclaimed local chamber ensembles, which each bring a cutting edge sound to their work. The Biava Quartet will bring a contemporary feel to the sounds of a string quartet on July 6 and composer/violinist DBR with DJ Elan Vytal will take to the stage on July 20. The series concludes with In Tribute: A Chinese Voyage featuring Rachel Barton Pine, among others, on July 27. All concerts begin at 6:30 p.m. and are free.

"Millennium Park is pleased to offer chamber ensembles the opportunity to perform on the stage of the Pritzker Pavilion, with its state-of-the-art sound system," said Lois Weisberg, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. "This new Monday series, showcasing smaller groups performing non-traditional fare for a broader audience, is a terrific addition to the summer line-up."

The programming for Dusk Variations: A Chamber Series includes:

Monday, June 15, 6:30pm ChicagoCentric featuring Accessible Contemporary Music's Palomar Quartet, Fulcrum Point New Music Project, Third Coast Percussion and the New Millennium Orchestra of Chicago. Fulcrum Point New Music Project affirms its energy and innovation with three rock and roll-infused pieces, and the New Millennium Orchestra of Chicago and Chicago Symphony cellist Katinka Kleijn performs remixes of Shostakovich's Cello Concerto #1 by three electronic artists: The Abominable Twitch (Max Glascott), The Flashbulb (Benn Jordan) and EVAC (Jeremy Goldstein). The evening is rounded out with performances by Accessible Contemporary Music's Palomar Quartet and percussion quartet, Third Coast Percussion.

Monday, July 6, 6:30pm The Biava Quartet Violinists Austin Hartman and Hyunso Ko, violist Mary Persin and cellist Jason Calloway take to the stage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion with a program by contemporary American composers, all putting their own stamp on the classical tradition. A highlight of the night will be the highly charged and personal work "String Quartet No. 2 (Demons and Angels)," by Chicagoan Stacy Garrop.

Monday, July 20, 6:30pm DBR with DJ Elan Vytal Carving a reputation for himself as an innovative composer, performer, violinist, and band leader, Haitian-American artist Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) melds his classical music roots with his own cultural references and vibrant musical imagination. Tonight's performance, "etudes4violin&electronix" features DBR (violin, piano) and Elan Vytal aka DJ Scientific (turntables, laptop).

Monday, July 27, 6:30pm In Tribute: A Chinese Voyage featuring Rachel Barton Pine, John Bruce Yeh, Betti Xiang and the Cheng Da Drumming Team East meets west in a selection that fuses Chinese traditional music with western compositional styles. The program will feature luminaries, such as internationally renowned violinist Rachel Barton Pine, clarinetist John Bruce Yeh of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and erhu player Betti Xiang, along with Chicago's Cheng Da Drumming Team, a ten instrument drumming group, which will bring vibrant traditional rhythms into the concert. A Chinese Voyage honors the late founder of the Chinese Fine Arts Society, Barbara Tiao and her contributions to developing Chinese music and arts programs and is presented as part of Chinese Cultural Week in Chicago.

For more information about Dusk Variations: A Chamber Series, visit or call 312.742.1168.

Millennium Park is located in the heart of downtown Chicago. It is bordered by Michigan Ave. to the west, Columbus Dr. to the east, Randolph St. to the north and Monroe St. to the south. Convenient parking is located in the Millennium Park Garage (entrance on Columbus at Monroe or Randolph) and at the Grant Park North and East Monroe Garages, all located within a short walking distance of Millennium Park.

Millennium Park is an award-winning center for art, music, architecture and landscape design. The result of a unique partnership between the City of Chicago and the philanthropic community, the 24.5-acre park features the work of world-renowned architects, planners, artists and designers. Among Millennium Park's prominent features are the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the most sophisticated outdoor concert venue of its kind in the United States; the interactive Crown Fountain by Jaume Plensa; the contemporary Lurie Garden designed by the team of Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, Piet Oudolf and Robert Israel; and Anish Kapoor's hugely popular Cloud Gate sculpture. Since its opening in July 2004, Millennium Park has welcomed more than 16 million people, making it one of the most popular destinations in Chicago.

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