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University of Chicago Performs Midwest Premiere of Andrea Clearfield’s Lung-Ta, “The Windhorse,” with Music, Dance, and Art

Performance features world premieres by University of Chicago composers including University Professor Augusta Read Thomas

Chicago, IL, May 04, 2012 --( University of Chicago New Music Ensemble will present a distinctive, multi-media performance of Andrea Clearfield’s Lung-Ta (“The Windhorse”) on Saturday, May 5 at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel. Under the direction of Barbara Schubert, the event will celebrate Tibetan ritual music, iconography, and dance. Composer and artist Maureen Drdak and the Group Motion Dance Company of Philadelphia will visually enhance Clearfield’s musical work.

Scored for medium chamber ensemble, Clearfield’s “Lung-Ta” also incorporates both digital field recordings of Tibetan chant and authentic Tibetan percussion instruments into its fabric. Inspired by the Tibetan Buddhist ritual music, Drdak and Manfred Fischbeck, Artistic Director of the Group Motion Dance Company, created a multi-media work including iconography and cham dance to celebrate the common themes of eastern and western philosophy. Drdak’s accompanying artwork consists of three large-scale oil paintings, integrating the text of Amchi Tenzin Sangbo Bista’s “Path of Aspiration: A Prayer for Planetary Peace.” The original choreography by the Group Motion Dance Company is a distinctive fusion of American modern dance and Tibetan idioms, embodying the company’s mission of “expressing the human experience through movement.” Lung-Ta was premiered in Philadelphia in 2009, and presented as a gift to His Holiness the Dalai Lama as an initiative for world peace.

Preceded by a discussion with Maureen Drdak and Andrea Clearfield at 7:15 pm, the first half of the May 5 concert will also feature Department of Music graduate student composers – Iddo Aharony, Andres Carrizo, Jae-Goo Lee, and Philip Taylor – who created new works to harmonize with the spiritual theme of the concert and to highlight the reverberant acoustics of Rockefeller Chapel. Performers will include members of the Spektral Quartet, area professionals, and highly accomplished University of Chicago student musicians.

Andrea Clearfield (b. 1960) is an award-winning American composer of music for orchestra, chorus, chamber ensembles, dance, and multimedia collaborations. She has been praised by the New York Times for her “graceful tracery and lively, rhythmically vital writing,” by the Philadelphia Inquirer for her “compositional wizardry” and “mastery with large choral and instrumental forces,” and by the L.A. Times for her “fluid and glistening orchestration”. Her works are performed widely in the U.S. and abroad. More at

The New Music Ensemble (NME) is a group of highly accomplished musicians who are devoted to presenting music of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The NME performs three to four concerts per season. Repertoire is an eclectic mix of works by well-known contemporary composers, experimental projects in the musical avant-garde, and premieres of new pieces by University of Chicago composition students (both undergraduate and graduate), as well as select classics of the early twentieth century. Beginning with the 2011-2012 season, the New Music Ensemble welcomes the acclaimed Spektral Quartet as the core ensemble for its quarterly concerts, along with pianist Amy Briggs as Resident Artist.

Program details follow:

Lung-Ta: Tibetan ritual music, iconography, and dance – The Midwest Premiere
Rockefeller Memorial Chapel
on The University of Chicago campus
5850 S. Woodlawn Avenue

Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 8:00 pm
University of Chicago New Music Ensemble
Barbara Schubert, Artistic Director
Amy Briggs, Resident Artist and Artistic Advisor
Andrea Clearfield, composer
Maureen Drdak, composer and visual artist
Group Motion Dance Company of Philadelphia, guest artists
August Read Thomas, University Professor, composer
Iddo Aharony, composer
Andres Carrizo, composer
Jae-Goo Lee, composer
Philip Taylor, composer

Free and open to the public

Photographs and extended biographies are available upon request.

Event Hotline: 773.702.8069

Sponsored jointly by the University of Chicago Arts Council, Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, and the Department of Music.

Positioned at the heart of a world-renowned academic institution, the Department of Music offers degrees in fields of musical scholarship and composition and sponsors a lively and diverse performance program that involves 15 student performance ensembles and programs in over 100+ concerts a year. Five ensembles-in-residence, the including Grammy-award winning eighth blackbird and Pacifica Quartet, and numerous professional concerts offered by University of Chicago Presents further enhance the vibrant musical life on campus.
Contact Information
University of Chicago Department of Music
Rashida N. Black

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