Fierce enthusiasm drives VulpineLupin
Pilgrim Congregational Church, 460 Lake St., Oak Park
6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19
There is no admission charge, but a freewill offering will be accepted
Updated: August 16, 2012 12:16PM
The Ensemble VulpineLupin, which will be playing Sunday in Oak Park, is made up of young professionals who want to present contemporary music, including world premieres.
That’s not an easy path, but the gutsy name of their group might hold a key: Vulpine means “fox-like” and Lupin means “wolf-like” — both fearless images.
The musicians started performing together in February and have survived what soprano and co-founder Nina Dante called “half a season.”
Prior to this upcoming concert they made their international debut in San Jose, Costa Rica, the country of composer Pablo Chin. He founded the group with Dante and composer Edward Hamel. The Oak Park program Sunday will reprise some of the numbers played during the ensemble’s Central America concert.
“All the pieces in our concert in Costa Rica were written by either Chicago or Costa Rican composers,” Dante explained.
Members of the ensemble are sopranos Nathalie Colas and Nina Dante; flute Dalia Chin; violin Marley Haller; cello Mira Luxion; string bass Matt Orenstein; piano Joann Cho; and guitar Samuel Rowe. Artistic Director is composer Pablo Chin.
“Many of us met at Northwestern University,” said Dante. “Mira, Marley and I graduated from NU with our bachelor degrees in music performance and Pablo is currently working on his doctorate in music composition there.”
Dante sang works composed by Edward Hamel at his graduation recital from Columbia College. “Dalia and Nathalie studied their instruments at DePaul University,” she added, “and we met Matt and Sam through the rich new music community of Chicago.”
Ensemble VulpineLupin performs a wide range of contemporary classical repertoire and specializes in chamber music involving the voice. In their “Fragments” concert last June at the Chopin Theatre in Chicago, they played two works by Chicago-based composers Hamel and David Grant.
That program also included works by well-known avant-garde composers Pierre Boulez, Arnold Schoenberg and Anton Webern.
In Oak Park the pieces will run what Dante calls a “wide gambit of musical styles” including “Changing Light” by Kaija Saariaho; selections from “9 Settings of Lorine Niedecker” by Harrison Birtwistle; “Sequenza III” by Luciano Berio; “Pairs” by Christian Wolff; selections from the “Kafka Fragments” by György Kúrtag; and the “Three Desert Songs” by Chicago composer Hans Thomalla.
“We will be playing works by two young composers with whom we have collaborated closely — Daniel Dehaan and Julio Zúñiga,” Dante explained. “It is a pleasure to bring these works to Chicago after our summer tour.”
The group has become established very quickly. Between last February and June the musicians gave Chicago concerts and were invited to become ensemble in residence at St. Xavier University on the far south side of Chicago. Also during that time they debuted in New York City.
Their Oak Park program will be given in the parlor of Pilgrim Congregational. “They want to make this like an in-house concert,” said Stuart Jamieson, the group’s liaison with the church. “It seats between 30 and 40, just the right size for a chamber program.”
Members of the ensemble regard their performances as on-going adventure. “We choose music that truly speaks to us,” Dante concluded. “We are excited to be on the edge of musical discovery, a journey we hope to include our audience in as well.”
She then quoted the words of artistic director Chin: “More than understanding the music, it is important to imagine the music, which is available to everyone, not only the composer or performer. In this way, new music is not only a musical rediscovery, but a rediscovery of the listener.”