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Tuesday, January 19 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pmFree
Members & guests–free. To RSVP, please scroll down. The day before this event, registered attendees will receive a confirmation email with details to join via Zoom.
Civitas Ensemble joins The Village Chicago to present a virtual concert of chamber music classics by Mendelssohn, Liszt, Brahms, and more. Building on Civitas’ Memory Café collaboration with Northwestern University, the program was designed with clinical music therapy guidelines in mind to boost energy levels, improve mood, and strengthen memory. The featured performances include videos from Civitas Ensemble musicians as well as Prague’s Gipsy Way Ensemble. At the start of this program, professional music therapist Amber Price, and musician, Yuan-Qing Yu will discuss the power of music and how it can benefit overall health. This program is presented by the Village Brain Health and Memory Loss Board.
About the Civitas Ensemble
Named for its dedication to civic artistry, Civitas Ensemble encapsulates the versatility, collaborative spirit, and musical excellence that define a world-class chamber ensemble. Founded by Chicago Symphony Orchestra members in 2011, the group’s mission is three-fold: to present engaging live performances of new and traditional works, to inspire a young generation of classical musicians, and to bring the healing power of music to those with limited access to live performances.
Civitas presents free performances in a variety of outreach environments, including hospitals and retirement living facilities. The ensemble’s Memory Café initiative, launched in 2020 in collaboration with Northwestern University’s Mesulam Center for Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease, is a series of virtual musical programs designed to support the brain health of patients with mild-to-moderate memory loss and their caretakers during the Covid-19 pandemic. Passionate about education, Civitas also works with students in Chicago Public Schools and is the Ensemble-in-Residence at Valparaiso University, where ensemble members perform concerts, coach students in the many aspects of music making, and mentor aspiring young musicians.
Civitas’ two studio albums highlight the Ensemble’s versatility and passion for collaboration. Alla Zingarese (Cedille 2018) — an epic 2-disc international connections project with Prague’s Gipsy Way Ensemble, funded by the MacArthur Foundation and Sage Foundation — features the premiere of young Czech composer Lukáš Sommer’s Cigi-Civi, along with several other works adapted for the group. Jin Yin (Cedille 2020), named for the Chinese phrase meaning “gold tone,” presents a spectrum of new instrumental works and arrangements by contemporary Chinese composers. Inspired by the fusion of chamber music and other disciplines, Civitas performed WWII-era compositions by Jewish and Chinese composers at the University of Chicago’s two-day symposium “The Shanghai Jews: Risk and Resilience in a Refugee Community” in 2019 and presented a Mother’s Day concert featuring original poetry by author Rachel DeWoskin.
In recognition for both its exceptional performances and ongoing community engagement efforts, Civitas Ensemble was invited to perform with Yo-Yo Ma at the 2012 Chicago Humanities Festival and participate in a panel discussion on the topic of “The Artist and Citizenship.” A cornerstone of Chicago chamber music, the group has performed in the “Loops and Variations” series at Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion, Rush Hour Concerts at St. James Cathedral, and the Ear Taxi Festival, where Civitas premiered a commission by David Clay Mettens in 2016. Civitas receives rave reviews from the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Classical Review, and Chicago on the Aisle and has earned a “Best of Live Broadcasts” distinction from Chicago’s classical music radio station WFMT.
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