CHICAGO Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago (CAIC) begins its eleventh anniversary season with its annual Collaborative Works Festival, held in venues around Chicago from October 69, 2021. The 2021 Collaborative Works Festival:
Strangers in a Strange Land explores themes of immigration and migration in song, featuring the works of a wide range of composers, many of whom immigrated or migrated during the course of their own lifetimes. Festival programming includes a diverse and wide-range of composers, including Thomas Campion, Rebecca Clarke, Ian Cusson, Mohammed Fairouz, Gabriela Lena Frank, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Florence Price, Franz Schubert, Jorge Sosa, Missy Mazzoli, Nico Muhly, and more. CAIC Artistic Director, tenor Nicholas Phan, curates the festival and performs alongside an international roster of artists including soprano Helen Zhibing Huang, mezzo-soprano Amanda Lynn Bottoms, bass Anthony Reed, the Avalon String Quartet, and CAIC co-founder and Director of Education, Shannon McGinnis.
2021 Collaborative Works Festival: Strangers In A Strange Land
Following the success of the 2020 festival, which Opera News praised as demonstrating "why CAIC has emerged as one of the classiest vocal performance options in the city," the 2021 Collaborative Works Festival: Strangers In A Strange Land explores the experiences of human migration and the journeys we make to seek safety and belonging through song.
The festival opens October 6 with a Master Class led by Grammy Awardnominated tenor Nicholas Phan. Acclaimed by the Boston Globe as "one of the world's most remarkable singers," Phan will work with Chicago-based young professional singer-pianist duos on repertoire exploring themes of immigration by composers and poets who migrated or immigrated during the course of their lifetimes.
The festival's first concert, Songs of the New World (October 7), showcases songs about the immigrant experience. Songs by composers Ian Cusson, Missy Mazzoli, Mohammed Fairouz, and Ruth Crawford Seeger feature on this program alongside those of Franz Schubert, who wrote many songs on the themes of wandering and pilgrimage. A highlight of this performance will be the Midwest premiere of a new song cycle for tenor and string quartet written by Nico Muhly, Stranger, in which Muhly juxtaposes settings of accounts of immigration through Ellis Island with settings of texts protesting the United States' Chinese Exclusion policies of the late 19th century, which persisted until the end of World War II.
The second concert, Strangers (October 8), presented in partnership with The Richard H. Driehaus Museum, features the music of composers who themselves immigrated to the United States. Held in the Samuel M. Nickerson House on the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great Chicago Fire, a pivotal moment in the history of the city's immigrant communities, the concert's showcase of the work of immigrant composers is a special reflection on the varieties of migratory experience.
Composers highlighted on this second program include Rebecca Clarke, Erich Korngold, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Igor Stravinsky, and Irving Berlin. In addition, the program will not only explore the work of composers who immigrated to the US from other countries, but also the songs of Florence Price, who relocated to Chicago from Arkansas in 1927 as part of The Great Migration, and songs of the African American composer, pianist, and actor Robert Owens, who relocated to Europe after serving in the US army during World War II, completing his musical studies in Paris and eventually settling in Munich, Germany.
The festival's closing concert, The Songs We Carried (October 9), examines the ways in which song is both an important method of cultural exchange as well as an art form that many rely on to preserve their cultural identity upon arriving in a new location. The program features folk song arrangements by composers such as Benjamin Britten, Béla Bartók, Rebecca Clarke, and Percy Grainger; songs heavily influenced by folk elements by Gabriela Lena Frank and Alberto Ginastera; and spiritual arrangements by Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, and Julia Perry.
Festival Artists and Partnerships
In addition to CAIC Artistic Director and festival curator, tenor Nicholas Phan, and CAIC co-founder and Director of Education, pianist Shannon McGinnis, the 2021 Collaborative Works Festival features a diverse lineup of singers and instrumentalists, including returning festival artists mezzo-soprano Amanda Lynn Bottoms and Ryan Opera Center bass Anthony Reed, as well as 2021 Winter Lieder Lounge pianist Ronny Michael Greenberg, alongside soprano Helen Zhibing Huang, CAIC Vocal Chamber Music Fellow Anna Laurenzo, pianist Yasuko Oura, violinist Adriane Post, and the Avalon String Quartet.
In addition to CAIC's partnership with the Richard H. Driehaus Museum, a first for the two organizations, the 2021 Collaborative Works Festival is also presented in partnership with the Poetry Foundation, an annual collaboration that has continued since 2013.
CAIC's Collaborative Works Festival will be presented in an online/in-person hybrid format, with ticketed, live, in-person events as allowable according to state and city health regulations combined with delayed broadcasts on CAIC's website, Facebook Live, and YouTube channels. Festival programs will be broadcast individually from mid-October through early November.
CAIC is selling individual tickets to both the opening and closing concerts of the 2021 festival on October 7 and 9, respectively. As in previous years, CAIC is also selling a limited number of Festival Passes, which grant patrons access to all Festival events.
Due to limited capacity at the October 8 performance venue, in-person attendance at this event is limited to Festival Pass holders.
Due to COVID19 safety protocols at CAIC's venues, ticket sales for all in-person festival events (including Festival Passes) will close at 11:59pm central time on October 3, 2021.
2021 COLLABORATIVE WORKS FESTIVAL
Strangers In A Strange Land
October 6, 2021
Grace Episcopal Church
Virtual broadcast premiere October 29, 2021 (available on-demand through November 4, 2021) presented in partnership with The Poetry Foundation
Nicholas Phan, tenor
CONCERT I - Songs of the New World
October 7, 2021
430 South Michigan Avenue
Virtual broadcast premiere October 15, 2021 (available on-demand through October 21, 2021) presented in partnership with The Poetry Foundation
Songs by Thomas Campion, Ian Cusson, Mohammed Fairouz, Missy Mazzoli, Nico
Muhly, Franz Schubert, and Ruth Crawford Seeeger
Amanda Lynn Bottoms, mezzo-soprano | Nicholas Phan, tenor | Avalon String Quartet | Yasuko Oura, piano
CONCERT II - Strangers
October 8, 2021
The Richard H. Driehaus Museum
Samuel M. Nickerson House
40 East Erie Street
Virtual broadcast premiere October 22, 2021 (available on-demand through October 28, 2021) presented in partnership with The Richard H. Driehaus Museum and The Poetry Foundation
Songs by Irving Berlin, Rebecca Clarke, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Robert Owens, Florence Price, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Jorge Sosa, Igor Stravinsky, and Chen Yi
Helen Zhibing Huang, soprano | Amanda Lynn Bottoms and Anna Laurenzo*, mezzo-sopranos | Nicholas Phan, tenor | Anthony Reed, bass | Ronny Michael Greenberg, piano
* CAIC Vocal Chamber Music Fellow
CONCERT III - The Songs We Carried
October 9, 2021
430 South Michigan Avenue
Virtual broadcast premiere November 5, 2021 (available on-demand through November 11, 2021) presented in partnership with The Poetry Foundation
Songs by Béla Bartók, Margaret Bonds, Benjamin Britten, Rebecca Clarke, Gabriela
Lena Frank, Alberto Ginastera, Percy Grainger, Julia Perry, and Florence Price
Helen Zhibing Huang, soprano | Amanda Lynn Bottoms, mezzo-soprano | Nicholas Phan, tenor | Adriane Post, violin | Shannon McGinnis, piano
Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago works to make Chicago a world home for the study and performance of art song and vocal chamber music. In pursuit of its mission, CAIC presents performance and educational events, including the annual Collaborative Works Festival, the Lieder Lounge recital series, master classes, and educational workshops. Since its founding in 2010 by pianists Shannon McGinnis and Nicholas Hutchinson and tenor Nicholas Phan, CAIC has presented many of the world's leading proponents for the art song and vocal chamber music repertoire.
"The connoisseurs' genre of art song will never lack a forum in the city's musical life as
long as the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago is there to affirm its importance and promote its growth." Chicago Tribune