Review: Chicago focus for Sinfonietta premiere

Posted on: June 12, 2013

In Monday’s (6/10) Chicago Sun Times, Andrew Patner writes, “There’s a lot of talk these days by major symphony orchestras and opera companies about community engagement.” Few can do more with regard to community-focused musical enterprise, writes Patner, “than the Chicago Sinfonietta. For its season closer this weekend, the Sinfonietta gave concerts (at Wentz Concert Hall at North Central College in Naperville and at Orchestra Hall in downtown Chicago) that looked at the idea of cities in music.… Central to the program was ‘ChiScape,’ a four-movement work curated by Pulitzer Prize-winner and composition professor Jennifer Higdon, along with the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Four solid young composers”—Armando Bayolo, Vivian Fung, Jonathan Bailey Holland, and Chris Rogerson—“were each paired with a great modern Chicago building or structure and asked to write a five-minute movement.… Music director Mei-Ann Chen and the Sinfonietta played each movement as if it were a standard of the old-core rep.” Also on the program were works by Johann Strauss, Jr., Duke Ellington, Michael Daugherty, and Higdon’s 2002 “river sings a song to trees.” “One young ticket¬holder approached an elder with the shout, ‘I loved this. Every minute. And this was my first time ever!’ ”

Posted June 12, 2013