Chicago Sinfonietta Announces 2016-2017 Season
Season highlights include:
A unique Día de los Muertos concert featuring silent films provided by Chicago Film Archives,
First-ever program dedicated to LGBTQ composers and musicians,
Chicago Premieres by Carlos Rafael Rivera and Jennifer Higdon,
plus collaborations with Emmy-nominated Anderson & Roe Piano Duo, Clayton Stephenson,
Marcus Roberts Trio, Sara Davis Buechner, young musicians from across Chicago and more!
CHICAGO –Chicago Sinfonietta, the nation’s most diverse orchestra dedicated to pushing artistic boundaries, announces programming for its 2016-2017 season entitled Chromatic – a colorful and inclusive season showcasing a full spectrum of voices and identities expressed through the universal language of music. Under the leadership of Music Director Mei-Ann Chen, the Sinfonietta’s season includes five subscription concerts that move beyond the pure classical cannon and encompass music styles from around the globe and across the eras from Hispanic and gospel to orchestral variations of pop culture favorites and Broadway hits with works by Beethoven, Gershwin, Bernstein, Michael Jackson, Coldplay, and more accompanied by film and world renowned guest artists. In addition, Chicago Sinfonietta will play at the Ravinia Festival as a first time headliner and returns to Cantigny Park for a free summer concert.
Highlights of the 2016-2017 season include a first-time collaboration with Chicago Film Archives presenting classical works set to silent film to celebrate the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead including the Chicago Premieres of Popol-Vuh and PizziCuban Polka by contemporary composer Carlos Rafael Rivera; an entire evening-length program honoring LGBTQ artists and composers including works by Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award-winning composer Jennifer Higdon plus the return of popular tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. featuring young musicians from across Chicago playing alongside the orchestra. Featured artists throughout the season also include guest conductor Michael Morgan of the Oakland Symphony and performances from Emmy Award-nominated Anderson & Roe Piano Duo, award-winning piano prodigy Clayton Stephenson, internationally acclaimed pianist Sara Davis Buechner, world renowned jazz musicians the Marcus Roberts Trio, the Chicago-based Allegrezza Singers and Roosevelt University Conservatory Choir.
“In my 6th season as the music director, Chicago Sinfonietta continues to explore the wide range of varieties and dynamism in our programming offerings with outstanding guest artists,” said Mei-Ann Chen. “From the versatile Anderson & Roe Piano Duo in the opening program, to the rare collection of the Chicago Film Archives in Day of the Dead, the Roosevelt University Conservatory Choir joining us on Beethoven’s monumental Ode to Joy in the annual Tribute to Dr. King, the unique celebration on LGBTQ artists and composers, to the amazing Marcus Roberts Trio’s improvisations based on Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in the final program. It is a season not to be missed.”
The Sinfonietta performs its five subscription concerts in the western suburbs as well as in Chicago. The Sinfonietta’s suburban home is the Wentz Concert Hall of North Central College, 171 E. Chicago Avenue in Naperville, while downtown Chicago concerts take place in Orchestra Hall of Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Avenue. The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert will be presented a third time at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Boulevard in Skokie. Chicago Sinfonietta’s concert at the 2016 Ravinia Festival will take place at Ravinia Pavilion, 200 Ravinia Park Rd, Highland Park, IL with its free summer concert on August 4 held at Cantigny Park, 1S151 S Winfield Rd, Wheaton, IL. Before each show and at intermission, Chicago Sinfonietta audience members will have the opportunity to participate in interactive activities in conjunction with each concert’s theme.
Chicago Sinfonietta’s 2016-2017 Season
Chicago Sinfonietta Plays Ravinia
Thursday, June 16, 2016 – 8pm – Ravinia Pavilion
Chicago Sinfonietta; Mei-Ann Chen, Music Director and Conductor; Clinard Dance Theatre, flamenco dance; Highland Park High School Marching Band; Waubonsie Valley High School Mosaic Choir
|HANDEL||Water Music Suite|
|Janger (Balinese folk song)|
Chicago Sinfonietta returns to the Ravinia Festival as a first time headliner to present an evening length program of the orchestra’s “greatest hits” and most popular guest artists. The concert begins with William Grant Still’s infectious Festive Overture followed by George Frideric Handel’s highly spirited Water Music Suite. Then, Waubonsie Valley High School’s incredible Mosaic Choir joins the orchestra for the remainder of the concert starting with the Balinese folk song Janger and Grammy Award-winning Richard Smallwood’s gospel work Total Praise. Percussive rhythms of dancing feet will take the stage next as Chicago-based flamenco troupe Clinard Dance Theatre joins the orchestra to pair contemporary flamenco movement with Alexander Borodin’s popular Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances before a grand finale of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture featuring the Highland Park High School Marching Band.
Chicago Sinfonietta Plays Cantigny Park
Thursday, August 4, 2016 – 7:30pm – Cantigny Park
Chicago Sinfonietta; Mei-Ann Chen, Music Director and Conductor; Waubonsie Valley High School Mosaic Choir
|IVES||Variations on America|
Chicago Sinfonietta returns to Cantigny Park for the third summer in row to present a free, festive and fun-filled program celebrating Americana. The program begins fittingly with Charles Ives’ famous work Variations on America followed by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Aaron Copland’s Shaker Variations and Lincoln Portraits. Then, Waubonsie Valley High School’s Mosaic Choir joins the orchestra for Alexander Borodin’s Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances before a grand finale of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.
Generous sponsorship of this concert is provided by Cantigny Park, Molex, WDCD, Daily Harold, and Morgan Stanley.
Concert I: Unhinged
Saturday, September 17, 2016 – 8:00pm – Wentz Concert Hall
Monday, September 19, 2016 – 7:30pm – Symphony Center
Chicago Sinfonietta; Mei-Ann Chen, Music Director and Conductor; Anderson & Roe, piano duo; Clayton Stephenson, piano
|GLINKA||Russlan and Ludmilla|
|GERSHWIN||I Got Rhythm Variations|
|POULENC||Concerto for Two Pianos in D minor|
|COLDPLAY||Viva La Vida|
Called “the most dynamic piano duo of this generation”, the incredible Emmy Award-nominated Anderson & Roe Piano Duo will join forces with award-winning piano prodigy Clayton Stephenson for a star-studded concert that will push the instrument to the absolute limit and celebrate the piano’s wide versatility. The program kicks off the season with Glinka’s Fairy-tale opera Russlan and Ludmilla followed by Stravinsky’s mischievous Petrushka featuring both guest stars, and concludes with Anderson & Roe joining the orchestra for Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean featured on their Billboard chart-topping album “When Words Fade”. Gershwin’s iconic jazz standard I Got Rhythm featuring Clayton Stephenson kicks off the second half of the program and concludes with Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos in D minor and Coldplay’s popular Viva La Vida featuring Anderson & Roe.
This concert is generously sponsored by Korn Ferry.
Concert II: Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)
Saturday, October 29, 2016 – 8:00pm – Wentz Concert Hall
Monday, October 31, 2016 – 7:30pm – Symphony Center
Chicago Sinfonietta; Mei-Ann Chen, Music Director and Conductor; film provided by Chicago Film Archives
|MUSSORGSKY||Night On Bald Mountain|
|SAINT SAENS||Danse Macabre|
|GALINDO||Sones de Mariachi|
Chicago Sinfonietta captures loss and regeneration through evocative music and stunning, rarely scene silent films provided by Chicago Film Archives in the 7th annual Día de los Muertos concert honoring the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead. This Sinfonietta favorite begins with Golijov’s passionate Last Round inspired by tango composer, Astor Piazzolla and Beethoven’s tremendous Coriolan. Darkness dances across the screen next with an early version of Night on Bald Mountain (made famous by Disney’s Fantasia) and Saint Saens’ Danse Macabre set to a spooky 1922 film of the same name. Then lightness takes the floor with the Chicago Premieres of contemporary composer Carlos Rafael Rivera’s reinterpretation of the ancient Mayan creation story Popol-Vuh and the infectious PizziCuban Polka. This celebration of life includes with Sones de Mariachi, Galindo’s tribute to indigenous Mexican composition.
This concert is generously sponsored by Nicor and Telemundo.
Concert III: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert
Saturday, January 14, 2017 – 8:00pm – North Shore Center for the Performing Arts
Sunday, January 15, 2017 – 3:00pm – Wentz Concert Hall
Monday, January 16, 2017 – 7:30pm – Symphony Center
Chicago Sinfonietta; Mei-Ann Chen, Music Director and Conductor; Roosevelt University Conservatory Choir; soloist from Civic Orchestra of Chicago, violin; Young Musicians from People’s Music School, Merit School of Music, Midwest Young Artists, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra
|WILLIAMS||Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis|
|VIVALDI||Concerto for 4 violins and Cello Opus 3 No. 10 B minor Opus|
|BEETHOVEN||Ode to Joy|
Dr. King understood his work would take generations to effect real change. He envisioned us walking forward, hand in hand, side by side. Chicago Sinfonietta pays homage to his vision with the return of the MLK Tribute Concert with a never-before-seen performance featuring young musicians from every corner of the city playing “side by side” with the orchestra. This annual favorite will highlight the next generation of diverse musicians being developed right here in Chicago and celebrates our city’s intergenerational dedication to the messages of Dr. King – brotherhood, justice, equity, peace, and love. The tribute concert begins with William’s masterpiece Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis followed by Vivaldi’s rhythmic and intense Concerto for 4 violins and Cello Opus 3 No. 10 B minor Opus featuring young violin soloist from Civic Orchestra of Chicago. This transformational and uplifting concert ends with an epic performance of Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. featuring Roosevelt University Conservatory Choir.
Chicago Sinfonietta will make its North Shore Center for the Performing Arts debut with a special performance of the 2017 MLK Tribute Concert before returning to home venues Wentz Concert Hall and Symphony Center.
This concert is generously sponsored by Exelon and Hyatt, and Molex.
Concert IV: More than a Letter
Saturday, March 25, 2017 – 8:00pm – Wentz Concert Hall
Monday, March 27, 2017 – 7:30pm – Symphony Center
Chicago Sinfonietta; Michael Morgan, Guest Conductor; Sara Davis Buechner, piano; Allegrezza Singers
|RACHMANINOFF||Variations on a Theme by Paganini|
|CONTE||Elegy for Matthew|
|BERNSTEIN||Quintet from West Side Story|
For nearly 30 years, Chicago Sinfonietta has led the field of symphonic music in the area of diversity and inclusion, making intentional strides towards racial, cultural, and gender equity in the art form. In More than a Letter, the Sinfonietta expands its efforts by shining a light on LGBTQ composers and musicians to explore gender identity and sexuality as they intersect with art, voice, and personal experience, as well as challenge labels of any kind. Lead by guest conductor Michael Morgan of the Oakland Symphony, the program begins with Leonard Bernstein’s clever and vibrant Candide Overture followed by Sergei Rachmaninoff’s tour-de-force Variations on a Theme by Paganini featuring internationally acclaimed pianist Sara Davis Buechner. The second half kicks off with the Chicago Premiere of Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award-winning composer Jennifer Higdon’s Peachtree Street and concludes with Allegrezza Singers joining in for David Conte’s Elegy for Matthew, written in honor of Matthew Shepard, a young, gay man killed in Laramie, Wyoming along with Bernstein’s Quintet from West Side Story and Somewhere.
This concert is generously sponsored by Aon and Hyatt.
Concert V: Rightness in the Rhythm
Friday, May 12, 2017 – 8:00pm – Wentz Concert Hall
Monday, May 15, 2017 – 7:30pm – Symphony Center
Chicago Sinfonietta; Mei-Ann Chen; Marcus Roberts Trio, jazz trio
|ABELS||Variations on Swing Low Sweet Chariot|
|GERSHWIN||An American in Paris|
|GERSHWIN||Rhapsody in Blue|
Chicago Sinfonietta’s final concert of the season celebrates more than a century of music exploring the connection between jazz and symphony from ragtime to Broadway and beyond. This upbeat performance begins with ragtime pianist Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha followed by Abels’ Variations on Swing Low Sweet Chariot and concludes with Gershwin’s widely popular An American in Paris. Just as this season began with virtuosic piano performances, the second half of the program comes full circle with a final flurry of incandescent playing courtesy of world-renowned Marcus Roberts Trio featuring their own spin on another Gershwin favorite, Rhapsody in Blue injected with improvisation, making it unique every time it is performed.
Season subscription discount packages are now available and entitle the buyer to a full range of exclusive membership benefits, including: ticket exchange or replacement privileges; discounts on additional single ticket purchases; a “Bring a Friend for Free” pass to the concert of one’s choice; priority seating; and access to exclusive subscriber offers from local partners. 2016-2017 Season subscriptions are on sale now with flexible options to fit everyone including Pick-3 and Pick-4 packages, multiple price points and even $50 full season subscriptions for students.
Single tickets go on sale July 1, 2016 with prices ranging from $18-$60 for concerts at Symphony Center and $48-$60 for concerts at Wentz Concert Hall, with special $10 pricing available for students at both concerts. Tickets can be purchased by calling Chicago Sinfonietta at 312-236-3681 ext. 2 or online at www.chicagosinfonietta.org.
Tickets to Chicago Sinfonietta’s performance at the Ravinia Festival are on sale now and available for purchase at https://www.ravinia.org/
About the Sinfonietta
Entering its 29th season, Chicago Sinfonietta has pushed artistic boundaries to provide an alternative way of hearing, seeing and thinking about a symphony orchestra and is dedicated to promoting diversity, inclusion, racial and cultural equity in the arts. Each concert experience blends inventive new works with classical masterworks, each from a diverse array of voices, to entertain, transform and inspire. In 2016, Chicago Sinfonietta was the proud recipient of John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions (MACEI). This award recognizes exceptional organizations that are key contributors in their fields. Learn more at www.chicagosinfonietta.org.
Chicago Sinfonietta is grateful to its supporters including: The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, Alphawood Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Cedar Concepts, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Southwest Airlines, Hotel Arista, Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park, Naperville’s SECA fund, Paul M. Angell Foundation, Chicago Magazine, Naperville Magazine, Chicago Reader, 93.1 WXRT, WBEZ, Chicago Woman, Rolling Out, Illinois Arts Council and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Chicago Sinfonietta is also grateful to its event sponsors Exelon, Nicor, Aon, Hyatt, Molex, Morgan Stanley, ABC7, Telemundo, Hoy and Windy City Times.
About Mei-Ann Chen
Innovation, passionate and dynamism are the hallmarks of conductor Mei-Ann Chen. Recently named Artistic Director and Conductor for the 2016 National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra Summer Festival, and one of Music America’s 2015 Top 30 Influencers, she has served as Music Director of Chicago Sinfonietta since 2011, and of the Memphis Symphony (2010 – 2016) infusing both orchestras with energy, enthusiasm and high-level music-making, galvanizing their audiences and communities alike. A sought-after guest conductor, Ms. Chen’s reputation as a compelling communicator has resulted in growing popularity with orchestras both nationally and internationally. Distinguished orchestras and opera companies with whom she has guested internationally include Sweden’s Gothenburg Symphony and Norrlands Opera, the BBC Scottish Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony, Austria’s Grosses Orchester Graz, and Brazil’s São Paulo Symphony and Minas Gerais Philharmonic, Denmark’s Danish National Symphony and other principal orchestras, Germany’s Badische Staatskapelle Karlsruhe, Finland’s Tampere Philharmonic the Netherlands Philharmonic, Norway’s Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Trondheim Symphony, and Taiwan’s National Symphony. North American guest engagements include the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Colorado, Detroit, Fort Worth, Houston, Nashville, Oregon, Pacific, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, and the National Symphony in Washington, D.C., among others.
For more information on Chicago Sinfonietta, please visit www.chicagosinfonietta.org.
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