Chicago Reader

Since 2007, New York’s Talea Ensemble has been a leading light in tackling challenging new-music repertoire, commissioning loads of new work and surveying landmarks of contemporary classical and experimental music from around the globe. In a scene where funding for brand-new commissions takes priority, an ensemble that devotes energy to criminally overlooked pieces from the recent past becomes more important. This rare local concert, under the banner of the University of Chicago’s Contempo series, offers a vivid example of how effectively Talea has filled the role, featuring four bold 20th-century musical-theater pieces of unwavering experimental impulses—so don’t expect show tunes. 

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