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Inaugural ‘Ear Taxi Festival’ of new music reveals schedule

More than 300 musicians, 53 world premieres and 4 installations via concerts, lectures, marathons, webcasts and artist receptions— all taking place over six days — is what to expect when the inaugural Ear Taxi Festival of new music arrives in Chicago, Oct. 5-10.

At the helm of the fest are Grammy-winning composer Augusta Read Thomas and her co-curator Stephen Burns, trumpeter and artistic director of the Fulcrum Point New Music Project, and will take place at various venues including the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, the Chicago Cultural Center, Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago and Constellation.

“We want to take your ears on a wide variety of ‘taxi rides’ through the world of contemporary music,” said Thomas, in an official statement today. “At every concert, you’ll hear a mix of ensembles and musical styles that reflects the incredible depth and breadth of new music both here in Chicago and beyond.”

Currently the plans call for showcasing the work of 75 Chicago-based composers, and performances by 39 Chicago-based ensembles and soloists. A series of “Meet the Artists” events and “New Music USA” will host a NewMusicBox LIVE! online event focused on Chicago-based compose. Some of the Chicago ensembles on the docket include Ensemble Dal Niente, Access Contemporary Music, Chicago Composers Orchestra, Fonema Consort, Spektral Quartet, Third Coast Percussion, and Fulcrum Point New Music Project, the Latino Musical Festival and Avalon String Quartet, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and Civic Orchestra of Chicago, among many more. Patricia Barber kicks things off Oct. 5 with a concert at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.

For tickets (passes will be available starting next month) visit the fest’s website here. Single tickets will go on sale later in the year.

For more information, including the full schedule, visit