Explore New Music

Five concerts. Four weeks.
Three sensational new-music projects.

MCA Stage’s mid-winter series of New Music is a blizzard of brand new commissions by ten engaging composers from around the globe. World premiers, original compositions and gutsy collaborations by some of the brightest young ensembles today, with many of the commissioned composers present and performing.

Each concert is unique—you won’t want to miss a single night.


ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble)
ICElab: Carla Kihlstedt and Phyllis Chen

Sat, Feb 16: 7:30 pm

Two spirited, and very different composers perform with the inventive ICE ensemble in this ambitious program created in close collaboration. Violinist, composer, and bandleader Carla Kihlstedt‘s new song series, At Night We Walk in Circles and Are Consumed By Fire, is based on the dissonance between our dreams and our waking lives. Phyllis Chen‘s chamber cycle Chimers is an atmospheric work scored for toy piano, electronics, wind instruments, and video.

Click here for program details and more info.


Baroque Band
21st Century Brandenburg Project

Thu, Feb 21: 7:30 pm
Sat, Feb 23: 7:30 pm
Sun, Feb 24: 3 pm

The impassioned period instrument group, founded only five years ago in Chicago and already world-renowned, is pairing each of Bach’s illustrious Brandenburg Concertos with premier commissions by six of today’s leading composers—Anna Clyne, Elbio Barilari, David Fulmer, Jason Seed, Jennifer Jolley, and Christopher Theofanidis. Many of the composers will be on hand for this remarkable three-day engagement.

Click here for program details and more info.


Fifth House Ensemble
Caught: The Wide Open

Sat, Mar 9: 7:30 pm

Chicago’s Fifth House Ensemble makes its MCA Stage debut with two ambitious commissions. Composer Caleb Burhans performs his new multimedia song cycle Excelsior, portraying Captain Joe Kittinger’s world-record free-fall skydive. Burhans’s song cycle is paired with a new work by prolific avant-garde musician, composer, and producer John Zorn that traces the supernatural trials faced by Saint Anthony the Great.

Click here for program details and more info.