Jessie Montgomery settles in as Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s composer in residence

Posted on: October 27, 2021

“For the next three years, audiences will hear a new side to [New York-based composer Jessie Montgomery] as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Mead Composer-in-Residence—an appointment that not only promises an orchestral commission per season but also curatorial autonomy over MusicNOW, the CSO’s contemporary classical series,” writes Hannah Edgar in Tuesday’s (10/26) Chicago Tribune. “Montgomery unveils her first MusicNOW program at Symphony Center on Nov. 1, which is, fittingly, a New York/Chicago crossover event: Works by locally affiliated composers Nathalie Joachim, Ted Hearne, and Elijah Daniel Smith nestle next to Montgomery’s own New York-themed tributes, ‘Loisaida, My Love,’ her 2017 ode to the Lower East Side and neighborhood poet-activist Bimbo Rivas, and ‘Lunar Songs,’ an entrancing three-song cycle penned in 2019 to celebrate the centenary of … Leonard Bernstein.” In an interview, Montgomery discusses her current projects, which include commissioning a new work by Damien Geter to premiere at the CSO; her own string arrangement of Julius Eastman’s Gay Guerrilla; and creating “interesting instrumental combinations that haven’t been on the main stage.”