Callisto Ensemble

From April ’07 Spotlight: Chicago’s Callisto Ensemble, founded in 2003, is making the work of Israeli composer Shulamit Ran a primary element of this year’s program schedule. According to founding member Stefan Hersh: “Shulamit’s music is ferociously intellectual in the best sense. It’s extremely well-conceived, well thought-out. Shulamit has developed her own language and her own tonality. It’s very earthy and sensual music, and demands technical capacity at the edge of what I know how to do.”

Since Ran teaches at the University of Chicago (where she is the William H. Colvin Professor in Music), she has been available as a resource during rehearsals. “For us, the experience of working with a living composer, and especially someone who’s as intelligent and articulate as Shulamit is, really informs what happens when we go back and work on old music,” says Hersh. “The experience of seeing how composers react when we play their music for them and when they have their suggestions and adaptations based on what we do, it really elasticizes our sensibilities about old music.”

In addition to Hersh, who plays the violin, the members of the Callisto Ensemble include violinist Robert Waters, violist Roger Chase, and cellist Julian Hersh. Their first April concert is scheduled for Monday, April 23, at the Chicago Music Institute in Evanston. The next night, Tuesday, April 24, they will repeat the program at the Merit School of Music in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood.

To purchase tickets, visit:

To learn more about Shulamit Ran, visit:

Callisto will perform Shulamit Ran’s “Fantasy Variations for Solo Cello” on WFMT radio on the evening of April 9, and they are also planning a program of Jewish music to be performed at North Shore Congregation Israel in Glencoe on Sunday May

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