Award-winning composer Marta Ptaszynska will succeed Shulamit Ran as the artistic director of Contempo, the University of Chicago’s renowned contemporary music collective.
Ptaszynska, the Helen B. and Frank L. Sulzberger Professor of Music, joined the University of Chicago faculty in 1998. An internationally renowned composer, she has received commissions from orchestras and opera houses worldwide, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, the Polish Chamber Orchestra and the National Opera in Poland. Her many works include the Holocaust Memorial Cantata, Concerto for Marimba, the opera Oscar of Alva, Mister Marimba, an opera for children, and the opera Valldemosa on Chopin in Majorca, commissioned by the National Chopin Institute and the Polish Ministry of Culture for the Chopin Bicentennial in 2010.
In 2010, she received a Guggenheim fellowship to complete a concerto for percussion, electronic tape and orchestra, Of Time & Space, which is designed to be performed simultaneously by different ensembles around the world. Ptaszynska was awarded the lifetime achievement award by the Union of Polish Composers in 2011. She received the Officer’s Cross of Merit from her home country of Poland in 1995.
Ptaszynska said she is already making plans for the next year of Contempo, which will be devoted to new trends in contemporary European music. “We will have a great variety of works, including electronic and multimedia presentations, along with a jazz concert by Grazyna Auguscik and a portrait concert of Shulamit Ran,” Ptaszynska said.
The full Uchicago News article here
More about Contempo's 50th anniversary season, here