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News Wed Oct 10 2012
On October 2, the MacArthur Foundation announced its 2012 Fellowship recipients, and for Chicago fans of contemporary classical music, one name in particular jumped out. Claire Chase, no stranger to the pages of Transmission, was among the roster of recipients.
Chase is the CEO and Artistic Director of the International Contemporary Ensemble, better known as ICE. Rooted in both Chicago and New York, ICE has presented programs of modern classical and experimental music ("new music," as it's often called) throughout Chicago, from the stages at the MCA and the Art Institute to small coffeehouses and galleries across the city. She is also a flutist with two solo CDs to her credit (Aliento, 2009, and Terrestre, 2012), interpreting both the classics and works by up-and-coming musicians. Passionate about her craft and the great works since childhood, Chase recounted a story during her January 2012 recital at the Art Institute of Chicago in which she asked permission to perform Edgard Varese's solo flute composition, "Density 21.5," for a middle school recital. She was denied the chance as a teen (a "Rite of Spring"-like riot might have ensued), but she blazed through the classic piece from memory at the Art Institute performance, making what could sound in lesser hands like a museum relic into a vital piece of living music. Chase's work with community outreach, new artist commissions, and interdisciplinary events were among the many accomplishments cited by the MacArthur Foundation.
Here is Ms. Chase speaking about her history with ICE, her love of new music, and her thoughts on winning this prestigious fellowship.
Congratulations to Claire Chase on this monumental achievement!