Present Music
Press Release

Present Music Celebrates 5th Annual Chamber Series with ‘GIANTS’

Concerts feature five musicians and 100 metronomes in three intimate venues

By - Jan 12th, 2017 01:21 pm

MILWAUKEE, WI (Jan. 12, 2017) — Present Music’s “In the Chamber” series, now in its fifth year, features smaller contemporary chamber works performed in a variety of intimate spaces. This year’s program, GIANTS IN THE CHAMBER, connects the lines between legendary composers and the music of today with a lineup of short pieces played by anywhere from one to five musicians.

“Every composer on this concert (except for one) is dead—a first for Present Music. But each of them had an enormous influence on the living composers that we commission and perform,” says Artistic Director Kevin Stalheim. “Still giving life even after death, these composers are our ‘giants.’”

The concert will open with György Ligeti’s controversial Poème Symphonique for 100 metronomes. Present Music’s performance will include the use of one hundred mechanical metronomes, all manually set in motion on stage. The metronomes are wound, set to different tempos, and then all 100 released to create a unique sonic atmosphere where no two performances are alike. Ligeti’s piece, due to the difficulty in acquiring so many metronomes, is rarely performed in concert. Present Music is asking anyone who may own a wind-up metronome to lend or donate one for the performance. Those wanting to help with the collection of metronomes can email

Other program highlights include Claude Debussy’s Syrinx, Scott Joplin’s Searchlight Rag, and a series of tango pieces by Satie, Stravinsksy, and Piazzolla. Musicians include Jennifer Clippert (flute), William Helmers (clarinet), Eric Segnitz (violin), Adrien Zitoun (cello), and Grammy Award–winning pianist Cory Smythe.

The concert will be performed three times at three different venues Feb. 16–19. In the traditional spirit of chamber music concerts, GIANTS IN THE CHAMBER will utilize intimate spaces including a new venue for Present Music—The Pitch Project. The art gallery and artist studio space is located adjacent to Brenner Brewing Company in Milwaukee’s Historic Walker’s Point neighborhood. “The Pitch Project was created to not only house 21 artist studios and two art galleries, but to be a venue to feature contemporary art in all forms. Present Music has always been a leader in entertaining and educating Milwaukee audiences about what’s at the forefront of contemporary composition. We are all so excited to be partnering with this incredible organization,” stated Mike Brenner, Owner & Brewmaster at Brenner Brewing Company.

Present Music’s GIANTS IN THE CHAMBER will be performed at 7:30pm on Thursday, Feb. 16 at The Pitch Project, with the option for a brewery tour pre-concert, and of course, Brenner Beer. The other performances are at 11am on Friday, Feb. 17 at the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, and sitting on stage with the musicians at UWM’s Zelazo Center on Sunday Feb. 19 at 3pm.


Single tickets are available for $15/25/35 (prices dictated by seating) and are on sale now. Student tickets are half-price with a valid student id. Tickets are available by phone and online, as well as at-the-door the day of the concert. Online ticket sales end 24 hours prior to each concert. To purchase tickets go to or call 414-271-0711.

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