World Premiere and new arrangements of old works Open Chicago Sinfonietta’s 2020-21 Season

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COMMON GROUND: Collective Stories

Chicago Sinfonietta Marries the Past with the Present

in Opening Season Concert
Featuring World Premiere Commission
Sinfonietta Artist in Residence Kathryn Bostic

Chicago, IL – Chicago Sinfonietta opens the 2020-2021 season with a virtual concert premier that honors the pandemic’s heroes that have helped us all move forward and presents several firsts. In this unique time in the history of our country, and the world, we continue to seek a path to equity and justice through Common Ground.

“Common Ground is the perfect place to begin our 33rd season,” explains Music Director Mei-Ann Chen. “That which connects us, and brings us together, can help to unite us in a time where the world is being challenged. Community is this concert’s theme, and what better way to connect than through music from the past and present, and new arrangements of well-known and not as well-known, intimate chamber works?”

The October 17 concert opens with Copland’s historic Fanfare for the Common Man, dedicated to the pandemic’s heroes. Following is the first of Chicago Sinfonietta’s three commissions by African American composers for the 2020-2021 season, the world premiere of Sinfonietta Artist in Residence Kathryn Bostic’s Portrait of a Peaceful Warrior. Piazzolla’s rousing and crowd pleasing Libertango, reflecting our collective yearning for liberty during these challenging times, is next. With a respective nod to the past, and marking the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth, closing the concert is a new string arrangement by American composer Jeffrey Briggs of the composer’s beloved “Pathetique” Sonata for piano.

October 17, 2020 Season Opening Concert
“COMMON GROUND: Collective Stories”
Virtual Concert Premiere – 7:30 PM CT

Fanfare for the Common Man
Kathryn BOSTIC
Portrait of a Peaceful Warrior, Chicago Sinfonietta Commission, World Premiere
Enoch Mankayi SONTOGA / arr. Valerie COLEMAN
N’Kosi Sikeleli’ iAfrika’ (South African National Anthem)
Florence PRICE
Andante Moderato from String Quartet in G major
Astor PIAZZOLLA / arr. Jeff SCOTT
Libertango, for Woodwind Quintet
Ludwig van BEETHOVEEN / arr. Jeffrey L. BRIGGS
Movements from “Sonata Pathetique,” Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13
arranged for String Orchestra

The Artist in Residence is a new initiative introduced this season by Chicago Sinfonietta’s new Chief Executive Officer, Blake-Anthony Johnson, after learning that Maestra Chen wanted to explore a closer relationship with composers of color, especially during this time of myriad cancellations of new works due to the pandemic. It is just one of Chicago Sinfonietta’s many efforts to champion important voices while evolving the relationship between audience and artist. Designed with the intention of marrying current events, the organization’s institutional mission, and opportunities to explore new creative spaces, there is little input given to the artist prior to the residency, thus ensuring unique and honest artistic expression.

Kathryn Bostic composer
Composer and singer/songwriter Kathryn Bostic is known for her work on film, TV and live theater. A recipient of many fellowships and awards, her honors include the prestigious Sundance Time Warner Fellowship, Sundance Fellowship for Feature Film Scoring, Sundance / Skywalker Documentary Film Scoring and the BMI Conducting Fellowship. Kathryn served as Vice President of the Alliance for Women Film Composers from 2017-2019. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and Television Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Chicago Sinfonietta introduces Chicago Sinfonietta Membership this season, a new flexible subscription program.

Choose any one, two, or three virtual concerts to attend, and tune in for exclusive video content throughout the season. Chicago Sinfonietta proudly presents through its membership various offering ranging from interactive events to online classes taught by guest artists. (Note: Exclusive video content is now available.)

Pick One: $45
Pick Two: $65
Pick Three: $85

To order:
call the Box Office at (312) 284-1554,
email boxoffice
or order online at

One week prior to the virtual concert premiere date, patrons will receive a customized access link via email. Each concert will be made available for a 24-hour period.

Groundbreaking. Dynamic. Innovative. An acclaimed cultural leader and a powerful champion of diversity, equity and inclusion, the award-winning Chicago Sinfonietta was founded in 1987 by the late Maestro Paul Freeman to address diversity in orchestras. Dedicated to changing the face of classical music, and making classical music accessible to everyone, what began as a mission to represent the city of Chicago has evolved into an international position at the forefront of progressive change in the arts. Led by international conductor and Music Director Maestra Mei-Ann Chen since 2011, today Chicago Sinfonietta is a pioneering organization and positive influencer in the orchestral world, renowned for its defiantly different outlook, innovative and collaborative programming, and artistry of the highest caliber. The ensemble’s success has been recognized with numerous industry honors, including a 2020 League of American Orchestras Catalyst Award for Institutional Development and Anti-racism Training, a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions – the “genius award” for non-profit organizations, an ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, and a First Place Award for Programming of Contemporary Music.

Celebrated for its daring, cutting-edge programs ranging from its popular subscription concert series with guests of national and local renown, the organization’s commitment to parity and diversity for all is ubiquitous in its myriad education and community programs. Amongst them: Audience Matters, targeting 4th – 6th grade students in partnership with more than 23 CPS schools and nine Aurora schools; Student Ensembles with Excellence and Diversity (SEED) a mentoring program for talented high school musicians; and Residents Orchestrate, re-imagining the role that an orchestra can play in historically underserved Chicago neighborhoods. Its nationally recognized Project Inclusion Fellowships, with training and mentoring of young musicians in the areas of administration, orchestral and ensemble performance, conducting and now composition, is the largest and most successful of its kind. Through the above performances and initiatives, as well as various events, Chicago Sinfonietta continues to expand its mission and strengthen its leadership in the world of classical music, redefining the orchestra experience for today’s and future generations.

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