Third Coast Percussion and Rachel Calloway to Explore the Works of Ligeti in UChicago Presents Series

Members of Third Coast Percussiion (photo by Saverio Truglia).

On Friday, February 16, 2018, at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, Chicago-based Third Coast Percussion will join forces with mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway and students at the University of Chicago in a unique concert celebrating the legacy of composer György Ligeti (1923–2006). The performance is part of The University of Chicago Presents’ Ligeti Series, devoted to the unique catalogue of works by the Hungarian composer. This program features one of Ligeti’s most ironic and controversial works, his Poème Symphonique (1962) for 100 wind-up metronomes. Each set to a different tempo, the metronomes are started at once and eventually die away until just one is left ticking. UChicago students will assist Third Coast Percussion in this performance, and patrons can take part, too, by sponsoring metronomes for the performance through UCP’s Adopt-aMetronome campaign.

Also on the program is Ligeti’s Continuum (1968), for two-manual harpsichord, and one of his final works, Síppal, dobbal, nádihegedüvel (With Pipes, Drums, and Fiddles) (2000), a song cycle for mezzo-soprano and percussion quartet with texts by Hungarian poet Sándor Weöres, as well as Christopher Cerrone’s song cycle, Goldbeater’s Skin. Christopher Cerrone (1984–) is a 2015 Rome Prize winner and a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for his opera Invisible Cities. Using the same instrumentation as Ligeti’s Síppal, dobbal, nádihegedüvel, Goldbeater’s Skin is set to a collection of poems of the same name by G.C. Waldrep. In an interview with the Black Warrior Review at the University of Alabama, Waldrep said of his work, “I trained as a singer and the idea that poetry should be performative on some basis—that it should live in the tongue—is important to me. There are poems that don’t do that—or don’t do that primarily, that are meant to be transmitted through the page. But I hope for my work that the sound quality is important.” Third Coast Percussion and Calloway gave the premiere of Goldbeater’s Skin at the University of Notre Dame in February 2017. This performance marks its Chicago premiere.

For more information about the upcoming performance or for tickets, visit