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The Dragon Painter (1919)

Original score composed and conducted by Renée Baker
Performed by Illinois Modern Ensemble and Improvisers Exchange

A pioneering Asian-American film starring producer and actor Sessue Hayakawa, The Dragon Painter will be screened with an original score, composed and conducted by Renée Baker. Illinois Modern Ensemble and Improvisers Exchange Ensemble members will be the featured performers.

Improvisers Exchange Artist-in-Residence (September 18-26, 2018), Renée C. Baker is an accomplished instrumentalist who conducts new music throughout the world that seamlessly blends improvisation and composition. Baker is the founding music director of the Chicago Modern Orchestra Project, which celebrates contemporary music across genres, highlights living composers, and often performs new scores for silent and experimental films. Baker was the principal violist for the Chicago Sinfonietta for 25 years, is an active member of the famed AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians) and has premiered original compositions with Chicago Sinfonietta, Joffrey Ballet Chamber Series, PianoForte Salon Series and Umbria Jazz Festival.

Improvisers Exchange is a two-year initiative deeply investigating the field of music improvisation. This multifaceted program features performance and engagement residencies by leading artists representative of a wide spectrum of the practice, initiates a new performance course on improvisation for students, and promotes scholarly discourse through lectures and panel discussions. This ambitious project will introduce our campus and community to leading artists practicing non-idiomatic approaches to the music, others rooted in jazz and avant-jazz heritages, and master improvisers representing folkloric traditions of the world.


  • Center for Advanced Study
  • University Housing Global Crossroads Living-Learning Community
  • Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
  • Krannert Art Museum
  • Robert E. Brown Center for World Music
  • School of Music

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Event Details

Colwell Playhouse
Tu Sep 25, 2018 - 7:30pm