photo: Katherine F. Blake

/’khémia/ n.

1. derived from the Ancient Greek word χημεία (chemistry)

2. a contemporary chamber music ensemble based in the United States

Hailed by the Columbia Daily Tribune as adding a “fresh dimension” to the concert experience, Khemia Ensemble is dedicated to reflecting broader perspectives in contemporary classical chamber music. With its dynamic instrumentation (soprano, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, two percussion), Khemia’s unique sound world encompasses the presentation of new classical music with a mix of acoustic chamber works, multimedia, and multi-genre influences.

Khemia has been featured in venues and festivals including National Sawdust (Brooklyn NY), the Mizzou International Composers Festival (Columbia MO), Strange Beautiful Music (Detroit MI), New Music Gathering (Bowling Green OH), Latin IS America (East Lansing MI), the Missouri Summer Composition Institute, and the Biennial New Music Festival (Córdoba, Argentina). Passionate artist educators, Khemia has held residencies at more than a dozen universities in North and South America. The ensemble’s eight members also hold faculty positions at seven academic institutions across the United States including Tennessee Tech University, University of Arkansas, University of Georgia, University of Missouri, University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Utah State University, and Utah Valley University.

Committed to expanding the chamber music repertoire, Khemia has commissioned and premiered over 60 works by professional, collegiate, and high school composers. Recent collaborators include Nicolas Lell Benavides, David Biedenbender, Stefan Freund, Phillip Sink, and Nina Shekhar. Khemia’s sophomore album, INTERSECTIONS, can be streamed on Ravello Records.

Khemia Ensemble is Amy Petrongelli (soprano), Mary Matthews (flute), Thiago Ancelmo (clarinet), Er-Gene Kahng (violin), Eli Lara (cello), Annie Jeng (piano), Shane Jones (percussion), & Chelsea Tinsler Jones (percussion).

Albums

Intersections

Release Date: December 9, 2022
Catalog Number: RR8081
21st Century
Chamber
Vocal Music
Piano
Violin
Voice
INTERSECTIONS from the dynamic chamber group Khemia Ensemble invites listeners to meditate on the confluence of beginnings, endings, and the hope and grief that can accompany those events. With intersections of acoustic chamber music, electronics, and multi-genre influences, the album features a stinging commentary on microagressions (Sink’s Bite!), a tumultuous mother/daughter relationship (Freund’s Song of Persephone), a tender lullaby dedicated to his newborn son, rooted in a family ritual of planting a cottonwood tree (Benavides’ Little Cloud), an exploration of memory inspired by Yayoi Kusama’s infinity rooms (Biedenbender’s in a field of stars), and an assertion of identity through Bollywood melodies and American pop sensibilities (Shekhar’s Don’t Beat a Word). By showcasing commissioned music by five living composers, Khemia Ensemble demonstrates their commitment to reflecting broader perspectives in contemporary classical chamber music.
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