Menagerie by composer Mark Zuckerman was performed on June 2, 2015 by the Chicago Ensemble at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago. Mark Zuckerman is a winner of The Chicago Ensemble’s “Discover America” competition. His Ménagerie (2001) is a song cyle for soprano, flute and piano, set to whimsical poems about animals which were written by French poet Robert Denos during World War II.
For more than 30 years, The Chicago Ensemble has brought a fascinating array of chamber works to Chicago audiences. Offering an innovative mix of familiar masterworks and lesser-known repertoire, performed in varied combinations of instruments and voice, The Chicago Ensemble occupies a unique place in Chicago's cultural life. Outstanding musicians from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta and other distinguished area organizations come together in The Chicago Ensemble under the leadership of Gerald Rizzer, Artistic Director and pianist. Through the Discover America competition for new chamber works, The Chicago Ensemble introduces Chicago audiences to innovative works by contemporary composers.
The Chicago Ensemble performs 10 subscription concerts per year, comprising five programs each in Hyde Park and the North Side. The group also has been featured on WFMT and in the PianoForte Salon Series.