consort: a group of instrumentalists and singers performing together
fonema: (Spanish, phoneme) the smallest unit of speech, which distinguishes words according to their sonic quality.
These concepts define the essence of Fonema Consort, as we bring 20th and 21st century repertoire for voice(s) and instruments to the stage, and live out our fascination with the expressive overlap between voices and instruments and the theatrics that result.
Fonema Consort was founded in October 2011 by singer Nina Dante and composers Pablo Chin and Edward Hamel. Named “Best New Vocal-Oriented Contemporary Classical Ensemble of 2014″ by The Chicago Reader, the ensemble has quickly earned a place in Chicago’s new music community, performing widely in Chicago venues and universities. Additionally, the ensemble is building a national and international audience with performances in New York, Costa Rica, and Mexico City and France.
Fonema Consort is dedicated to the commissioning of new works for voice(s) with instruments, and collaborating closely with composers on the realization of these scores. Since its debut concert in February 2012, Fonema Consort has premiered more than 20 works by national and international, emerging and established composers.
Described by Chicago Reader’s Peter Margasak as “dazzling“, Fonema Consort’s debut album, Pasos en Otra Calle, was released this Spring on New Focus Recordings.
The ensemble is also committed to outreach and education, and has held residencies at Chicago’s Saint Xavier University and North Central College, and has given lecture-performances at Boston’s New England Conservatory, Columbia College of Chicago, and UNAM’s Cátedra Conlon Nancarrow in Mexico City.
Believing that new music offers a journey of discovery for the performer and listener alike, Fonema Consort hopes that our audience will join us on this journey at the edge of musical, linguistic and theatrical discovery.