News from UW-Madison School of Music Alumni Association
Friday, April 6, 2012
Debut album release of Amy Wurtz String Quartets – multifaceted collaboration between composer, ensemble, and community
CHICAGO (March 11, 2012) – Chicago Q Ensemble, founded in 2009, is one of the few string quartets in the city that is specifically dedicated to collaboration with other art forms and championing works of living composers. Local pianist and composer Amy Wurtzapproached the ensemble with her String Quartet No. 2 in early fall of 2011. By November they had embarked on a major recording project of Wurtz’s Quartets No. 1 & 2. The debut album, Amy Wurtz String Quartets, will be officially released on April 15, 2012 at 3pm during their CD release party hosted at Jennifer Norback Fine Art, 217 W. Huron St. in downtown Chicago.
Recording projects are often understood as a major collaborative effort between composer and musician. This project, however, was collaborative in the fullest sense by engaging the community to help fund the various costs involved in producing an album. Using the increasingly popular fundraising platform, Kickstarter, Wurtz and the ensemble raised just over $3,000 from individual donations, surpassing their goal. Take a closer look at their campaign here .
The ensemble considers this recording to be part of the ongoing effort to bring awareness to the music of women composers. Chicago Q Ensemble violinist Ellen McSweeney shares, “We immediately felt that we wanted to help share Amy’s music with the world. The two quartets were head and shoulders above other contemporary works that we'd read. They are full of challenging harmonies, textures, and techniques found in most 21st century music, but also have the qualities of great traditional string quartet works.” McSweeney continues, "We saw this not only as an opportunity to premiere two outstanding pieces, but also to help change the under-representation of women in new music."