Ensembles in Residence


The University of Chicago Department of Music is proud to work with world-class ensembles, including the Pacifica Quartet, eighth blackbird, the Newberry Consort, and the Spektral Quartet. Its new music collective Contempo (formerly the Contemporary Chamber Players) attracts internationally esteemed composers for commissioned works and special performances.

The Department’s ensembles-in-residence perform regularly on campus, providing inspiration to music students and music-lovers of all ages. Ensembles-in-Residence contribute to student performance through periodic master classes and related activities. A major contribution of the Department’s long-standing resident ensembles, the Pacifica Quartet and eighth blackbird, involves their work with Contempo: both groups serve as core ensembles for the Contempo season, which includes two “Tomorrow’s Music Today” concerts devoted exclusively to graduate student works. The Newberry Consort runs the Early Music Ensemble, in addition to presenting quarterly concerts on campus. The newly appointed Spektral Quartet began a deep involvement with the performance program during the 2012-13 season, which will continue in the coming year: coaching chamber music groups, leading sectional rehearsals for the University Symphony and University Chamber Orchestras, performing with the New Music Ensemble, and presenting their own concerts on campus.

The New Budapest Orpheum Society is an ensemble-in-residence in the Division of the Humanities at the University of Chicago, which draws upon a wide range of repertories, many forgotten, others preserved in European archives, all poignantly bearing witness to the great tradition of Jewish cabaret.