Chicago’s Third Coast Baroque is shutting down

The Chicago classical music group Third Coast Baroque is calling quits, according to a statement Wednesday by executive director and co-founder Angela Young Smucker on its website. The statement was co-signed by artistic director and co-founder Rubén Dubrovsky, as well as director of community engagement and co-founder Nathalie Colas and board president James Klock.

The decision to shut down was attributed in part to financial challenges for the ensemble — challenges facing the entire Chicago arts community.

“As referenced in a recent DCASE study,” the statement read in part, “inflation and reduced grant funding, coupled with diminished ticket sales due to smaller audiences, have created a challenge for numerous arts organizations. TCB was not immune to these daunting challenges.”

The ensemble dedicated to Baroque music was founded in 2016. In a report at the time, then-Tribune music critic John von Rhein said the group had adventurous aspirations for a period instrument and vocal ensemble. “Thinking outside the Bachs, if you will.”

Last summer, the group planned a festival at Epiphany Center for the Arts, including a reprise of Third Coast Baroque’s very first program (“¡Sarabanda!”), though that festival was later canceled.

The statement expressed gratitude toward Third Coast Baroque supporters and fans, its board and leadership, and ensemble musicians Colas and Kaitlin Foley (sopranos), Paul Max Tipton (bass-baritone), Martin Davids (concertmaster, violin), Emi Tanabe and Wendy Benner (violins), Liz Hagen (viola), Anna Steinhoff (cello, viola da gamba), Jerry Fuller (violone), and Brandon Acker (lute, theorbo).

Update: This story has corrected information about last summer’s planned festival.