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chamber music

Violinist Maureen Choi holding her bow and instrument
Courtesy of Maureen Choi

Violinist Maureen Choi is a Michigander making international waves. Her band the Maureen Choi Quartet fuses a blend of styles to create a sound that some describe as "Spanish chamber jazz."

But Choi doesn’t like putting her work into a box. She describes her compositions as a blend of Western classical music, jazz, music from the Spanish diaspora, and Western chamber music concepts.

A string quartet
creative commons

Twenty-nine chamber music ensembles face off this week at the University of Michigan's first M-Prize competition.

Founder Aaron Dworkin says it's a major chamber music competition, both in terms of the number of groups competing and the size of the prize: $100,000.

Dworkin says he hopes to draw attention to how chamber music is evolving. He says it's not just a strings ensemble, or winds.

"You might have euphonium, harp, oboe and spoken word," says Dworkin, "and all acoustic, or are there any parts of that ensemble that engage electronics."