Past Event

OpenICE: Night and Snow

Night Snow

Call it what you will–experimental, avant-garde, new–but the music of the critically acclaimed International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) is sure to challenge, engage, and challenge your notions of what music can be.

Illinois Humanities offers the unique opportunity to hear ICE musicians Rebekah Heller and Michael Nicolas in an informal, intimate setting, followed by a conversation with the Dilettantes where artists share their techniques and the audience shares their impressions.

On January 23rd, get a drink, settle in, and join Illinois Humanities, ICE, and the Dilettantes, for an evening of good talk and deep listening.

The program will feature the music of Olga Neuwirth and Dai Fujikura.

Anyone under 21 must be accompanied by a guardian.


Praised for her flair and deftly illuminated performances by The New York Times, bassoonist Rebekah Heller is a uniquely dynamic chamber, orchestral and solo musician. Equally comfortable playing established classical works and the newest of new music, Rebekah is a fiercely passionate advocate for the bassoon. Called an “impressive solo bassoonist” by The New Yorker, she is tirelessly committed to collaborating with composers to expand the modern repertoire for the instrument.

Canadian cellist Michael Nicolas is one of the rising stars of his generation and a dynamic performer on the classical and contemporary music scene, in demand as a soloist, chamber musician, and recording artist. He performs across North America, Europe, and Asia, in collaboration with many renowned artists and ensembles, including the Met Chamber Ensemble, Speculum Musicae, Musicians from Marlboro, Metropolis Ensemble, the Da Capo Chamber Players, and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE).


The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) is dedicated to reshaping the way music is created and experienced. With a modular makeup of 33 leading instrumentalists performing in forces ranging from solos to large ensembles, ICE functions as performer, presenter, and educator, advancing the music of our time by developing innovative new works and new strategies for audience engagement. ICE redefines concert music as it brings together new work and new listeners in the 21st century.


From live games to interactive discussions, The Dilettantes specialize in crafting distinctive, immersive experiences. Their projects can be narrative-based, structurally experimental, or anywhere in between, but they are all linked by their steadfast belief in the value of live events and face-to-face interactions. Through their work they explore the nature of what’s joyful, unexpected and necessary about being in a room with other human beings.