Premiere of Spektral Quartet’s immersive ENIGMA at Adler Planetarium in April

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Spektral Quartet presents world premiere ENIGMA

at the Adler Planetarium for four performances only

April 7 & 8, 2022

New immersive multimedia work for string quartet includes

360-degree video experience in Adler’s Grainger Sky Theater

February 10, 2022 (Chicago, IL)—The multi-GRAMMY-nominated Spektral Quartet presents the world premiere of a groundbreaking new multimedia work, ENIGMA, in partnership with the Adler Planetarium for four performances only on April 7 and 8, 2022. Composed by world-renowned Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir with original video by Venice Biennale featured artist Sigurður Guðjónsson, ENIGMA is a 360-degree experience under the Adler’s iconic Grainger Sky Theater for anyone curious to discover the vast cosmos that lies within. For more information, visit spektralquartet.com/enigma.

ENIGMA is inspired in part by the 2017 solar eclipse and created specifically for live performances by Spektral Quartet in planetarium spaces. The limited April performances provide a unique opportunity to see Spektral Quartet live in the largest-scale project the ensemble has ever produced—a hypnotic collision of music and film that puts audiences at the center of an immersive and otherworldly experience. ENIGMA is a featured Alignment for the 2022 edition of EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art.

Tickets for the world premiere of Spektral Quartet’s ENIGMA at the Adler Planetarium (1300 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago) will go on sale to the public later this month. Performances are Thursday, April 7 at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Friday, April 8 at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. For more information, visit spektralquartet.com/enigma.

ENIGMA is Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s debut in the string quartet realm. Her enchanting and beautifully disorienting sounds take on an even more vivid hue through Sigurður Guðjónsson’s mysterious and perspective-warping video imagery. The commercial recording of ENIGMA, out now on record label Sono Luminus, was featured on numerous “Best of 2021” lists and received critical acclaim in outlets including The New York Times and NPR Music.

ENIGMA is presented in partnership with the Adler Planetarium and is co co-commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts, Carnegie Hall, Washington Performing Arts, and Spektral Quartet, with essential support provided by the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Music Academy of the West, mediaThe foundation, and EXPO Chicago.

Artist Bios

Recipient of the Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists and the New York Philharmonic Kravis Emerging Composer Award, Anna Thorvaldsdottír is a composer who frequently works with large sonic structures that tend to reveal the presence of a vast variety of sustained sound materials, reflecting her sense of imaginative listening to landscapes and nature. Her music tends to portray a flowing world of sounds with an enigmatic lyrical atmosphere. Anna’s music is frequently performed internationally and has been featured at several major venues and music festivals such as Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival in NYC, the Composer Portraits Series at NYC’s Miller Theatre, ISCM World Music Days, Nordic Music Days, Ultima Festival, Klangspuren Festival, Beijing Modern Music Festival, Reykjavik Arts Festival, Tectonics, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Her works have been nominated and awarded on many occasions—most notably, Anna is the recipient of the prestigious Nordic Council Music Prize 2012 for her work Dreaming. More atwww.annathorvalds.com

Sigurður Guðjónssonstudied in Vienna, Reykjavík and Copenhagen, starting his exhibition career at the turn of the century in the artist-run experimental scene in Reykjavík that has fostered new art in temporary venues across the city. His dark and moody videos immediately set him apart and attracted attention not only in Iceland but also in Berlin, New York, London, Beijing, Seoul and elsewhere. He mostly uses video but in many ways his work could as easily be classed as music. He exploits the potential of time-based media to produce pieces that rhythmically engage the viewer in a synesthetic experience, linking vision and hearing in ways that seem to extend one’s perceptual field and produce sensations never felt before. His work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world, in such as the National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavik Art Museum, Hafnarborg, Iceland, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Germany, Arario Gallery, Beijing, Liverpool Biennial, Tromsø Kunstforening, Norway, Safn Reykjavík, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Kling & Bang Gallery and Bergen Kunsthall Norway. More at www.sigurdurgudjonsson.net.

About the Spektral Quartet

The multi-GRAMMY-nominated Spektral Quartet actively pursues a vivid conversation between exhilarating works of the traditional repertoire and those written this decade, this year, or this week. Since its inception in 2010, Spektral is known for creating seamless connections across centuries, drawing in the listener with charismatic deliveries, interactive concert formats, an up-close atmosphere, and bold, inquisitive programming.

With a tour schedule including some of the country’s most notable concert venues such as the Kennedy Center, Miller Theater, Library of Congress, and NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts, the quartet also takes great pride in its home city of Chicago: championing the work of local composers, bridging social and aesthetic partitions, and cultivating its ongoing collaborations and residencies in the Chicago region. Recently, Spektral publicly workshopped and presented a world premiere by Lebanese-born Afro-Tarab/jazz innovator Tarek Yamani as part of the Digital Artist Residency at University Musical Society (UMS).

Named “Chicagoans of the Year” by the Chicago Tribune in 2017, Spektral Quartet is most highly regarded for its creative and stylistic versatility: presenting seasons in which, for instance, a thematic program circling Beethoven seamlessly coexists with an improvised sonic meditation at sunrise, a talent show featuring Spektral fans, and the co-release of a jazz album traversing the folk traditions of Puerto Rico.

About the Adler Planetarium

The Adler Planetarium connects people to the Universe and each other. Whether it is introducing a guest to the Ring Nebula, a neighborhood school to a community partner, a research team to a network of citizen scientists, or one staff member to another, the Adler’s focus on meaningful connections dates back nearly a century. The museum typically hosts more than half a million visitors each year and reaches millions more through youth STEAM programs, neighborhood skywatching events, people-powered research, and other outreach efforts. Today, the Adler is bringing our unique approach—scientific exploration rooted in community and connection—to guests from around the world who can enjoy the digital Adler from their own homes, libraries, schools or offices. With the Adler’s support, people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities gain the confidence to explore their universe together and return to their communities ready to think critically and creatively about any challenge that comes their way. For more information, visit adlerplanetarium.org.

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