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Degenerate Art

Degenerate Art

Sunday, April 29, 2018 - 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

$18 | $10 for Spertus members | $8 for students and Spertus alumni

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Ticket questions? Contact The Fifth House Ensemble at

Throughout history, art has maintained the power to threaten the social order.

Delving into music that was censored, banned, or labeled “degenerate,” Fifth House Ensemble sheds new light on works by musicians and artists facing oppression in Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, and the United States during the dark days of McCarthyism.

Fifth House Ensemble will be joined on stage by guest artists from street art collective CMK to explore art that challenges authorities today.

For this project, Fifth House Ensemble collaborated with the American Civil Liberties Union, Holocaust Community Services, Spertus Institute, Artists at Risk, Unsilence, the Guild Literary Complex, the University of Chicago, and street art collective CMK to illuminate stories of censored and suppressed art of the past and the present-day. 

Following the performance, join Fifth House Ensemble and representatives from each organization for a panel discussion about censorship, human rights, and freedom of expression.

5th House

Praised by the New York Times for “conviction, authority, and finesse,” Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble harnesses the collaborative spirit of chamber music to reach beyond the traditionally perceived limits of classical music, creating new interactive programs with theater artists, video game designers, and musicians from around the globe.

Musical program

6 Esquisses de Jazz (Jazz Sketches)
Erwin Schulhoff (1894-1942)

Adagietto from Symphony No. 5
Gustav Mahler, arr. Cliff Colnot (1860-1911)

Four Waltzes for Flute, Clarinet, and Piano
Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)

Quatuor pour la fin du temps
Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992)

Quartet for Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, and Viola, Op. 98
Ernst Toch (1887-1964)

Les Moutons de Panurge
Frederic Rzewski (b.1938)

5th House Peformers

Melissa Snoza, flute
Grace Hong, oboe
Elizandro Garcia-Montoya, clarinet
Eric Heidbreder, bassoon
Parker Nelson, horn
Charlene Kluegel, violin
Michael Lieberman, viola
Herine Coetzee Koschak, cello
Eric Snoza, double bass
Katherine Petersen, piano