Dancing in Chains


April 29th, 2016

The final concert of the current Eko Nova series is May 2nd. (Image courtesy of Kaneko)

The final concert of the current Eko Nova series is May 2nd. (Image courtesy of Kaneko)

Omaha, NE — The Omaha Chamber Music Society presents their final concert of the Eko Nova series, on May 2nd, titled Dancing in Chains. This performance is based around a piece titled, “Gumboots”, a piece by 21st Century composer David Bruce, inspired by the brutal labor conditions of South Africa. Artistic Director for Eko Nova and Assistant Principal clarinetist of the Omaha Symphony, John Klinghammer spoke to us about the concert.

“I’m searching for new music that strikes me in a particular way, that I find interesting, that I think there is some sort of beauty in somewhere that I think is worth bringing to listeners, and that I think people will respond to even if they don’t understand what is going on. They will respond to it in a visceral and emotional way. In this case, the featured piece on the program, Gumboots, is really close to my heart, I’ve performed it four times and I think it’s a brilliant piece of chamber music by a really brilliant composer who is in his forties, in the prime of his career, working today and I just really wanted to feature it. So really the program is built around that.”

John Klinghammer gave specifics about the way he programmed this recital.

“It’s a very interesting program because the first piece we have programmed so far this season isn’t “new music”, which is the Bartok String Quartet, right in between Caroline Shaw and David Bruce who are two young composers working today and Bela Bartok’s String 33rd Quartet was written in 1926, so, ninety years ago now. So what I think is interesting for listeners is that the Bartok is so much more modern sounding than the other two pieces and so much more challenging to listen to. For a first time listener, it’s quite something to take in. It’s violent and rough and kind of, wandering and it’s hard to get a hold of. I think it’s a very interesting thing and it’s part of conversation I want to be happening between us and our audience is, “What does new music mean to you?”. Challenging peoples preconceived notions about what music is and is it even relevant when it was written.”

His goal of bridging the gaps between classical and new music is truly inspiring.

“I feel like in Omaha, in particular, there is a really vibrant art community. And there are a lot of people doing really interesting things, all these groups who are really interested in modern art, and there is a real disconnect between them and classical music. That is as much a fault of classical music as anyone, there is a certain image of a symphony orchestra as being stuffy and boring as so what I’m trying to do a little bit is bridge that gap so we are presenting classical music, with classically trained musicians but they are playing music that resonates with a modern mind. It’s classical music for the modern soul.”

The fourth and final concert of the Eko Nova series, “Dancing in Chains” takes place Monday, May 2nd at 7:00pm at Kaneko. The performers are Artistic Director of Eko Nova, John Klinghammer on clarinet and bass clarinet, and members of the Kansas City Symphony; Sungho Kim and Stephanie Kashkar on violin, violist, Philip Kramp and cellist, Maria Crosby. More information about the concert and tickets can be found online at omahachambermusic.org.

From the KVNO Arts desk, I’m Melissa Dundis.

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