American Music Project Boosts Repertory Rarities in 10th Chicago Season

By Keegan Morris |

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Kontras Quartet poses outside on a stairwell

Kontras Quartet (Photo: Gary Payne)

The American Music Project returns for its tenth season in a three-program lineup of Chicago concerts.

The series is dedicated to casting light on unsung American classical music and is run by Lawrence A. Johnson, who also created Chicago Classical Review. This season’s lineup showcases neglected repertoire in chamber, solo piano, and orchestral settings.

The anniversary season opens on June 1 with a concert by Chicago chamber royalty Kontras Quartet. In a performance at Ganz Hall at the Auditorium Building, the ensemble will perform music by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Bernard Herrmann, and more.

Next up is a September 21 concert by the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra held in southwest suburb Palos Heights. Under the baton of the ensemble’s music director Stilian Kirov, the IPO will perform “Three Great American Symphonies” with one entry each by William Grant Still, David Diamond, and John Vincent. The Still and Diamond selections represent Midwest premieres.

Emiko Edwards studio photo posing with sheet music

Emiko Edwards

Rounding out the season in October (specific date still pending), pianist Emiko Edwards will share works by Still, plus Aaron Copland, Leon Kirchner, Jennifer Higdon, and more.

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This story has been updated to correct the title of the 9/21 performance.