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Illinois Philharmonic Presents POETIC STRINGS, April 9-23

A virtual concert featuring works by American modernist composer with Chicago roots, Ruth Crawford and Arnold Schoenberg.

Illinois Philharmonic Presents POETIC STRINGS, April 9-23

Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) continues its popular IPO Reimagined virtual season with its spring concert Poetic Strings filmed in IPO's stunning home venue, Ozinga Chapel at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, available to stream April 9-23, 2021. The hour-long concert features 32 IPO string players performing American modernist composer Ruth Crawford's Andante followed by Austrian-American composer Arnold Schoenberg's Transfigured Night. Tickets are $15 and now available at

Ruth Crawford began her studies at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago in 1921 and composed her most famous work Andante in 1931. The score is extraordinarily complex, with overlapping crescendos and diminuendos creating a sense of melody out of single pitches in each instrument.

"IPO is committed to featuring less well-known composers, especially female, African American and Bulgarian composers," said IPO Music Director Stilian Kirov. "We are thrilled to perform the work of Crawford, a female composer with strong Chicago ties, paired with the work of one of the most influential composers of the 20th century, Schoenberg."

Schoenberg's Transfigured Night, composed in just three weeks, was violently rejected by the public when it premiered in Vienna in 1903, likely because Schoenberg was Jewish during a tumultuous political atmosphere in Vienna at that time. Antisemitism shaped much of Schoenberg's life and career.

Despite the negativity surrounding the premiere of the work, Transfigured Night is now considered Schoenberg's earliest, most important work. IPO's concert title Poetic Strings is an homage to the piece, which was inspired by German poet Richard Dehmel's poem of the same name. The movement can be divided into five distinct sections which refer to the five stanzas of Dehmel's poem, which describes a nameless man and woman walking together on a cold night.

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