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Jupiter String Quartet with UI Chamber Singers and special guests Robin Wall Kimmerer and Su Lian Tan

Krannert Center audiences have enjoyed front-row seats for the Jupiter String Quartet’s varied creative collaborations and musical investigations since they became artists-in-residence at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2012. Singing Land, a collaboration with Potawatomi botanist/writer Robin Wall Kimmerer and Maylasian Chinese composer Su Lian Tan, is the latest in a series of Jupiter Quartet-commissioned works celebrating the environment. 


A dedicated flutist, composer, and teacher, Su Lian Tan is a professor of music at Middlebury College who has received accolades and awards from ASCAP, the Academy of Arts and Letters of Québec, the Toulmin and Naumburg Foundations, and the Yaddo and MacDowell arts colonies. Her “wonderfully dramatic music” (Gramophone) is inspired by tonalities, timbres, and themes of her Malaysian Chinese heritage. Previous commissioning collaborators include the Grammy-winning Takács String Quartet, Da Capo Chamber Players, Vermont Symphony, and author Jamaica Kincaid. The Jupiter Quartet introduced Krannert Center audiences to the music of Su Lian Tan last season (November 2023) in their program “Folk Encounters.” 


A mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Robin Wall Kimmerer is the author of the award-winning books Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants and Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses. The 2022 MacArthur Fellow lives in Syracuse, New York, where she is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of environmental biology and the founder/director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment. 


The collaborators describe Singing Land as “a new garden of sound, recalling ancient and modern voices and the mysticism of string instruments, voices of bullfrogs, and hawks who cry warnings. The circle of life continues and we create a world that is both spiritual and material. Text becomes music, music weaves the lushness of greenery and the breath exchanging on our planet, perhaps with the required urgency. Are we now in the aubade or the twilight? We CAN love the earth back to wholeness.”   




Singing Land 
Music by Su Lian Tan 
Text by Robin Wall Kimmerer 
Commissioned by Jupiter String Quartet 

Patron Sponsors

  • Jayne & Richard Burkhardt Jr.
  • Marilyn & Don Krummel

Patron Co-sponsors

  • Melanie Loots & George Gollin
  • Linda & Ronalds Roaks
  • Diana Sheets, in loving memory of Stephen Levinson and in memory of Dr. Arthur Chitz, music director of the Dresden Schauspielhaus

Event Details

Foellinger Great Hall
Su Oct 20, 2024 - 3:00pm CT

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