Chicago Composers Orchestra to debut with new and familiar works

Posted on: August 17, 2010

“It’s not exactly the orchestral equivalent of a garage band,” writes Wynne Delacoma in Sunday’s (8/15) Chicago Sun Times. “When the Chicago Composers Orchestra gives its debut concert at 8 p.m. Thursday, it will be in the comfortable Merit School of Music’s Gottlieb Hall in the West Loop. … But in other important ways the group bears a strong resemblance to many fledging rock bands, or some of Chicago’s theater troupes, for that matter. A bunch of school friends enjoys working on artistic pursuits together; once school ends, they decide to keep the relationship going. Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts was the incubator for [conductor Matthew] Kasper and two composers, Randall West and Brian Baxter, who received their master’s degrees in composition at the college last year. (World premieres by both, along with new works by Chicago composers Garrett Byrnes and Eric Malmquist, are on Thursday’s program as well as Charles Ives’ haunting ‘The Unanswered Question.’) … Organizing an orchestral concert is a massive undertaking, and similar undertakings have come and gone over the years. The group is operating on a tiny budget, and the musicians are volunteering their time, according to Kasper.”

Posted August 17, 2010