- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 4, 2016

CHICAGO (AP) - A city more closely associated with jazz and blues fests can now boast a major contemporary classical-music festival.

Organizers say the six-day festival that starts Wednesday in Chicago will feature more than 80 composers, 300 musicians and over 50 world premieres at venues city-wide.

The Ear Taxi Festival is the brainchild of former composer-in-residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Augusta Read Thomas. She says the festival name derives from an image that came to her of cabs driving out of Beethoven’s ears. She likens the festival’s multiple daily concerts to taxi rides for your ears.

Performers range from professionals to up-and-coming amateurs. Organizers say most participating musicians either live in or have ties to Chicago.

The festival’s backed by the city of Chicago and, among others, the University of Chicago.

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