Mary Stolper

Contempo: Big names, world premieres

Contempo always packs a heavy-hitting and heady mix of music.  This past Sunday seemed extra significant as Contempo gave the world premieres of works by Gunther Schuller and Sofia Gubaidulina - two giants in the world of contemporary composition who were also in attendance.  Add composer and Contempo artistic director Shulamit Ran, conductor Cliff Colnot, and U of C ensembles-in-residence Pacifica Quartet and eighth blackbird, and you've got some of the best in new music.  

Unlike traditional classical music forms, contemporary music is impossible to predict, making it uniquely challenging to photograph.  The usual strategy of waiting for the loud parts doesn't necessarily work since the loud parts may never come, or they come and go in an instant.  Here are some moments that I caught when the shutter sound was (hopefully) masked.