Spektral Quartet

Spektral Quartet


"…the most memorable chamber music performance of the year."
(Chicago Classical Review)

With its innovative programming consistently filling venues with a "crowd that other classical presenters would kill to attract" (Chicago Classical Review), the Spektral Quartet has established itself as one of Chicago's most intrepid and skillful ensembles. With a priority on blurring the boundary between traditional masterworks and the music of today, Spektral concerts feature the likes of Beethoven and Mozart right alongside Elliot Carter and Thomas Adés.

Hailed by Time Out Chicago as having "forged a reputation for fiercely on-point performances as well as some of the city's most imaginative chamber programming," the Spektral Quartet continues to close the distance between performer and audience member. For its 'Sampler Pack' series at indie rock venues like The Empty Bottle and The Hideout, quartet movements are extracted and shuffled with brand new short works, many commissioned by the quartet, to explore unexpected artistic connections in an informal bar setting.

For 2011's 'Epistolary' program, the rising deadline anxieties between the quartet and a commissioned composer were produced as a comic short film, screened just prior to the world premiere of the score in question. As enthusiastic participants in Chicago's dynamic new music scene, Spektral recently produced 'Break Right Through That Line,' a concert featuring works by Northwestern University faculty composers and their protégés.

2012 found the quartet launching its most ambitious project to date: 'Theatre of War'. A seamless integration of music, theatre, film and the spoken word, Chicago-area music critics praised the performance for its stance against societal war-apathy, its donation of ticket proceeds to a veterans organization, and in particular its execution of "a spine-tingling interpretation of George Crumb's amplified string quartet Black Angels that was hands down one of the most impressive performances of the year." (Time Out Chicago)

The 2012-13 season marks the first year of the Spektral's residency at the Music Department at the University of Chicago, where they direct the department's chamber music program, conduct workshops, collaborate with the Department's renowned composition studio, and perform in concert throughout the year.

Pretty Monsters

The four-piece PRETTY MONSTERS drifts and lurches between heavy, noisy, doomy improv and eerie, experimental chamber music. With compositions and leadership by bassoonist Katherine Young, the band's unique sound world amasses from the idiosyncrasies and strengths of each of the integral members: Young, violinist Erica Dicker, guitarist Owen Stewart-Robertson, and drummer/percussionist Mike Pride.

Formed in early 2010 as an extension of Young's solo amplified bassoon project, the band's repertoire has since greatly expanded. Young's compositions vary widely in their structures and mechanisms: Some are wide-open scores utilizing verbal notation and relying heavily on the band's deep improvisational resources. Others are fully notated forms that underscore the ensemble's precision playing. Most are somewhere in between.

Young regularly employs pedals, with which she enhances the bassoon's acoustic sound, draws out interior resonances, and creates monolithic soundscapes. A dynamic and mercurial musical project, Pretty Monsters combines Young's personal approach to her instrument with Dicker's creative and technical virtuosity, Stewart-Robertson's tactile approach to the guitar, and Pride's heavy-hitting experience. Pretty Monsters' debut full-length is currently in production.

Photo credit: Peter Gannushkin


Tickets Available at the Door

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Upcoming Events
The Hideout


Spektral Quartet with Pretty Monsters

Saturday, June 29 · Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM at The Hideout

Tickets Available at the Door