Fifth House Ensemble


Praised by The New York Times for its "conviction, authority, and finesse," Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble is defined by its limitless imagination and energy and an insatiable desire to bring transformative performance experiences to audiences of all types. Having pioneered the art of narrative chamber music with its signature series Black Violet, The Weaver's Tales, In Transit, and Caught, 5HE's cross-media projects fuse elements as diverse as physical theatre, graphic novels, and community-based storytelling. With humor and joy, 5HE breathes life into repertoire both established and emerging, equally at home on the most prestigious stages and unexpected venues including aquariums, train stations, and bars.

Recent seasons have included performances at the Ravinia Festival, Miller Theatre, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and live broadcasts on Chicago's WFMT. Currently in residence at Carthage College and DePauw University, the ensemble presents performances and training programs at universities and conservatories nationwide including the Eastman School of Music, Yale, Indiana University, and New England Conservatory.

The ensemble has premiered and performed works by contemporary composers including Caleb Burhans, Kevin Puts, David T. Little, Mason Bates, JacobTV, and John Zorn. In 2012, 5HE launched the annual summer fresh inc festival, presenting 16 new works of chamber music by composers under age 32.

In addition to its work on the concert stage, 5HE began presenting curriculum-integrated residencies for students grades K–12 within its first season, exploring links between chamber music and language arts, social studies, and science. 5HE now collaborates with the International Music Foundation, Ravinia's Reach*Teach*Play program, Communities in Schools Chicago, and the Illinois Arts Council to present these programs in Chicago Public Schools.

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