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Music and the Search for Meaning

Concert series featuring 21st century music continues

Chicago (August 29, 2006) – The music of  world renowned composer Shulamit Ran will be performed on Tuesday, Sept. 19, in the third of the four-part “Music and Search for Meaning” series in Saint Xavier University’s McGuire Hall, 3700 W. 103rd St., Chicago.

Ran, winner of the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for music, will be featured in a program titled “Interpreting the Signs and Symbols of Meaning,” which looks at the relationship between the work and the audience. Ran will talk about the subject and answer audience questions from 6 to 6:30 p.m.

A concert featuring Ran’s works will be performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble, with Claire Chase as executive director, at 7 p.m. The evening will also feature the original compositions of Chicago Composers Forum members Eun Young Lee, Shawn Allison, Marita Bolles and Gregory Hutter. The Chicago Composers Forum is dedicated to creating and performing new music by composers from the greater Chicago area. 

Ran is a professor of composition at the University of Chicago and former composer in residence for the Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera of Chicago. 

General admission to the performance is $10 and $5 for all SXU students, faculty and staff, Beverly Arts Center members, Chicago Composer Forum members and senior citizens.

The four-part “Music and the Search for Meaning” series celebrates the link between the arts, creativity and the spiritual life and is jointly sponsored by Saint Xavier’s Center for Religion and Public Discourse, the Beverly Arts Center and the Chicago Composers Forum. The last two programs are also funded in part by grants from the Meet the Composer’s Creative Connections program and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. 

The series, which began in March, includes a discussion and concert featuring the work of a contemporary composer.

The final concert in the series is free and features James Mobberley, the composer-in-residence of the Kansas City Symphony and the New Ear Ensemble, who will perform on Thursday, Nov. 2, at the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., Chicago. 

Mobberley’s work reflects the cutting edge in computer-generated music technology. His program, titled “Performers, Technology and Meaning,” looks at the realization of a work on stage and how a particular performer or the use of technology affects the notes a composer has put on the page. Mobberley will be joined by featured performers MAVerick Ensemble, with artistic director William Jason Raynovich. The audience is invited to meet Mobberley after the performance. 

Chicago Composers Forum President Christopher Preissing called the series “a rare opportunity for audiences to hear cutting-edge music, particularly music created by a new generation of Chicago composers.” 

Each concert in the series explores a different step in the creation of a musical composition. The first and second concerts explored what happens before music is put to paper and the actual process of putting notes to paper. 

Michael Nix, executive director of the Beverly Arts Center, called “Music and the Search for Meaning” an “excellent example of how artists, educational institutions and community groups can band together to promote the creative arts. This series presents an array of new music to audiences in a way that is both stimulating and accessible.”  

The music series builds on Saint Xavier’s highly successful series during the 2004-05 academic year, “Poetry and the Search for Meaning,” which brought Pulitzer Prize-winning poets W.S. Merwin and Lisel Mueller; Illinois Poet Laureate Kevin Stein and longtime Poetry magazine editor Joseph Parisi to the campus. 

“Through our poetry series, and now our music series, Saint Xavier University is proud to stand in a collaborative effort with the Beverly Arts Center and the Chicago Composers Forum as a beacon of the arts on the South Side for the entire city of Chicago,” said University President Judith A. Dwyer, Ph.D. 

“Catholic institutions have a long tradition of seeking the sacred through the creative arts. Here at Saint Xavier University, we hope to encourage people to look at the arts as an important tool for deepening the inner life, whatever one’s faith tradition,” said Sister Susan Sanders, R.S.M., Ph.D., director of the Center for Religion and Public Discourse and vice president for University Mission and Heritage.

Tickets are available at the door or online at www.beverlyartcenter.org. For more information, please contact the Center for Religion and Public Discourse at Saint Xavier University at (773) 298-3981.


Contact Center for Religion and Public Discourse

Saint Xavier University, a Catholic institution inspired by the heritage of the Sisters of Mercy, educates men and women to search for truth, to think critically, to communicate effectively, and to serve wisely and compassionately in support of human dignity and the common good.

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