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NORMAL — The 12th year of Illinois State University's Red Note New Music Festival is underway through Thursday.

The fest combines performances from the country's leading contemporary talents, as well as guest ensembles and performers from ISU's own student/faculty resources. The remaining events, all at Kemp Recital Hall, are free and open to the public.  The co-directors of the event are ISU music faculty members Carl Schimmel and Roy Magnuson.

This year's guest performers include the Fifth House Ensemble and Iridium Quartet. 

The Chicago-Based Fifth House Ensemble has been praised by The New York Times for its “conviction, authority, and finesse.” Having pioneered the art of narrative chamber music, Fifth House’s innovative programs work to engage audiences through their connective programming and unexpected performance venues. The ensemble has been involved in artistic projects with urban neighborhoods, social service organizations, and an agricultural community to spark conversations on issues that matter. It also works with music schools and conservatories. 

The Iridium Quartet, meanwhile, draws upon a rich history of more than 10 years of collaboration between its saxophonists: Paul Nolen, Marcos Colón, Paul Forsyth and Eric Lau. Iridium has commissioned and/or premiered major works by a variety of composers and released its first CD of new American music, "Xylonia," in 2014 after receiving a 2012 Aaron Copland Fund Recording Grant. In 2016, it recorded its second full-length CD, set to be released this year. 

Also ISU students and faculty are presenting a program of works by featured guest composers Chen Yi and Eric Moe at 7:30 p.m. tonight (Feb. 11) at Kemp Recital Hall.

The groups will perform at these events: 

7:30 p.m. Feb. 12: Fifth House Ensemble performs music by contemporary composers based throughout the U.S.

7:30 p.m. Feb. 13: Fifth House Ensemble and Iridium Quartet present a concert of premieres by the participants in the festival's composition workshop.

7:30 p.m. Feb. 14: The Iridium Quartet performs 21st-century compositions for saxophone quartet, including works commissioned by Iridium.

For more information on the festival, contact rednote@ilstu.edu.

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