The music of Pablo Chin, a Costa Rican composer based in Chicago, engages with self-designed methods that aid in generating sophisticated polyphony, and that reveal unforeseen musical trajectories. These methods derive from the composer’s concerns with the role of calculation and intuition in his work. Recent works draw inspiration from the narratives of film and literature, phonetic structures in text, and the exploration of iconic Latin rhythms and metrical spaces.
Chin’s music has been performed in 11 countries and across the U.S. states. He has been commissioned by Ensemble Recherche, International Contemporary Ensemble, members of the Anubis Quartet, the MAVerick Ensemble, Chicago Humanities Festival, Latino Music Festival of Chicago, Claremont Concert Orchestra and ensemble dal niente among others. His music has also been performed by artists including Ostravská Banda, Donatienne Michel-Dansac, Pierre-Stéphane Meugé, Marino Formenti, Claire Chase, Eric Lamb, Gan Lev and Marcus Weiss.
Chin earned his doctoral degree in composition from Northwestern University, where he has been awarded the Cacavas Award, William T. Faricy Award, and William Karlins Award. There he studied with Hans Thomalla, Jay Alan Yim, and Aaron Cassidy. In master classes he has worked with Richard Barrett, Oliver Knussen, Chaya Czernowin, and Kaija Saariaho among others. His music has been commissioned for and performed in prestigious international festivals of new music, including the 45th and 46th Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt, Ostrava Days 2009, and Centre Acanthes 2011. Currently Chin teaches theory, aural skills and composition at Saint Xavier University, and is co-founder and artistic director of Fonema Consort. Chin was recently awarded the Dotacion Musical from Costa Rica’s ACAM, to fund the production of his first album, Pasos en otra calle, released in the Spring of 2014.
Soprano Nina Dante, a classical chamber musician based in Chicago and NYC, draws deep artistic satisfaction from the continuous rediscovery of the expressive and technical capabilities of the voice in both contemporary and traditional repertoire.
Dante has performed on concert, festivals and as a guest of venues such as National Sawdust’s Original Music Series, the University of Chicago Presents, the Renaissance Society of Chicago, the Goethe Insitut, the City of Chicago’s Loops and Variations, the Strasbourg Conservatoire (France), the Pianoforte Foundation’s Schubertiade, the New Music Miami Festival, Oberlin Conservatory Modern Music Guild series, Experimental Sound Studio’s Outer Ear Series, Chicago’s Frequency Series and Festival, the Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporaneous (Mexico City), Visiones Sonores (Morelia), the Latino Music Festival of Chicago, De música y músicos (Costa Rica), New York’s Performa 15, and LAMPO. In Chicago, she has served as soprano soloist for works such as Vivaldi’s Gloria, Bach’s Christ lag in Todesbanden, Fauré’s Requiem, Schubert’s Mass in G, and the world premiere of Jeff Enns’ Gloria.
Dante is a founding member of the contemporary chamber music ensemble Fonema Consort, which specializes in new chamber music for the voice and instruments. She can be heard on the ensemble’s debut album Pasos en otra calle with label New Focus Recordings, and label Parlour Tapes’ compilation Glitteringadingding: Frequency Series Mixtape. She looks forward to the release of Fonema Consort’s second album in spring 2017 featuring works of young American composers. She is a recipient of honors such as a 2015 DCASE grant, a 2012 CAAPS grant and was a 2014 artist in residence at the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts.
Dante is dedicated to educating young musicians on traditional and new classical music. In addition to her private voice and piano studios, she is currently on faculty at Art House Astoria Conservatory; and has led numerous workshops and lectures at institutions such as the University of Chicago, Oberlin Conservatory, UNAM (Mexico City), the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, Saint Xavier University, and North Central College.
Dante graduated magna cum laude from Northwestern University in 2010, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Performance, where she studied with Sunny Joy Langton and Theresa Brancaccio. From 2008-09, she studied voice and chamber music in Paris at the École normale de musique; and in 2012 she studied and performed at the Darmstadt Courses for New Music, studying voice with Donatienne Michel-Dansac, and working in chamber settings under the tutelage of such recognized soloists/chamber musicians as violinist Graeme Jennings, saxophonist Marcus Weiss and pianist Nicholas Hodges.
Shawn Lucas is a composer, guitarist, and artist living in Chicago. His music is inspired by raw imagination, using natural physical elements, fragments of dreams, memories, and images as musical inspiration. In his work, improvisation and the utilization of new notation play a key role. The identity of sounds are ever changing, often musical elements are transformed or transported to different acoustic atmospheres unexpectedly, forging volatile sonic progression.
A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Lucas moved to Chicago in 2010 to pursue a master’s degree in composition from DePaul University. While attending DePaul, he studied with Juan Campoverde, Christopher Jones, Kurt Westerberg, and Frederick Gifford, while also serving as a graduate assistant teaching music theory and history. Since obtaining his master’s degree, Lucas works as a freelance composer, guitarist, and artist in the Chicago area, while also working as a guitar and music theory teacher.
Andrea Villanueva is a Chilean journalist with 5 years of experience working in strategic communication. She graduated with an MA in Arts Administration and Policy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in May of 2016. Since her arrival in Chicago, she has been involved in the city’s new music scene, providing administrative support for the ensemble Fonema Consort. Also, she has interned for the Chicago Sinfonietta, where she was part of the marketing and development departments.
In Chile, Andrea worked as Director of Communications for Chilefilms Group. For the company, she designed and overviewed the company’s public relations, sponsor strategies for artistic projects, and internal communications. Her experience also includes news writing and reporting for national TV networks.
Andrea holds a BA in Social Communication and Journalism from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
Kelley Sheehan (b.1989) is a Chicago-born composer and computer musician moving between acoustic, electronic, electro-acoustic, and performance art works. Currently, she is a Graduate Assistant at DePaul University where she is pursuing her Masters of Music in Music Composition studying with Seung-Won Oh and Christopher Wendell Jones.
As an active composer and computer musician, she has written music for both the concert stage and interdisciplinary performance projects, collaborating with artists in film, poetry, and dance. She has participated in Masterclasses lead by David Bowlin and Sebastian Huydts as well as having composed and conducted an original film score recording with the studio orchestra at Capital Records in Los Angeles, CA. She holds a Bachelors in Music Composition from Columbia College where her main teachers were Marcos Balter, Kenn Kumpf, and Ilya Levinson.
The aim of her work is to build tactile explorations through critiques of performance practices. Sheehan’s music is focused on minute physical gestures where the interaction between performer and instrument creates a third parameter through corporeal representations and layers of movement.