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Fifth House Ensemble
The Fifth House Ensemble not only promotes the work of young composers, it works in schools to encourage future generations of musicians.
Praised by The New York Times for its “conviction, authority, and
finesse,” Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble is defined by its limitless
imagination and energy and an insatiable desire to bring transformative
performance experiences to audiences of all types. Having pioneered the
art of narrative chamber music with its signature series Black Violet,
The Weaver’s Tales, In Transit, and Caught, 5HE’s cross-media projects
fuse elements as diverse as physical theatre, graphic novels, and
community-based storytelling. With humor and joy, 5HE breathes life into
repertoire both established and emerging, equally at home on the most
prestigious stages and unexpected venues including aquariums, train
stations, and bars.
Recent seasons have included performances at the Ravinia Festival,
Miller Theatre, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and live broadcasts
on Chicago’s WFMT. Currently in residence at Carthage College and DePauw
University, the ensemble presents performances and training programs at
universities and conservatories nationwide including the Eastman School
of Music, Yale, Indiana University, and New England Conservatory.
The ensemble has premiered and performed works by contemporary
composers including Caleb Burhans, Kevin Puts, David T. Little, Mason
Bates, JacobTV, and John Zorn. In 2012, 5HE launched the annual summer
fresh inc festival, presenting 16 new works of chamber music by
composers under age 32.
In addition to its work on the concert stage, 5HE began presenting
curriculum-integrated residencies for students grades K–12 within its
first season, exploring links between chamber music and language arts,
social studies, and science. 5HE now collaborates with the International
Music Foundation, Ravinia’s Reach*Teach*Play program, Communities in
Schools Chicago, and the Illinois Arts Council to present these programs
in Chicago Public Schools.