In conjunction with its Project W initiative which makes bold steps for gender equity in classical music, Chicago Sinfonietta announces performances of Hear Me Roar at Wentz Concert Hall in Naperville, IL (March 11, 2018, 3pm) and at Symphony Center, Chicago (March 12, 2018, 7:30pm). This performance is the fourth of five Main Stage programs throughout the Sinfonietta’s 30th Anniversary Season. Maestro Mei-Ann Chen, who is Music Director of Chicago Sinfonietta, will conduct. Chicago Sinfonietta is Chicago’s professional orchestra dedicated to modeling and promoting diversity, inclusion, and both racial and cultural equity in the arts.
This timely and topical program includes new works Dance Card by recent Grammy winner Jennifer Higdon as well as #MeToo by Reena Esmail, both commissioned as part of Sinfonietta’s Project W initiative. Featured instrumentalists include Carol Dylan, violin; Karen Nelson, violin; Marlea Simpson, viola; and Ann Griffin, cello. Hear Me Roar falls right after International Women’s Day (March 8) and within Women’s History Month (March).
The Program includes:
Dances in the Canebrakes by Florence B. Price
Dance Card by Jennifer Higdon (Chicago Premiere)
#MeToo by Reena Esmail (World Premiere)
Symphony in F sharp minor, Op. 41 by Dora Pejačević (Chicago Premiere)
The concert will be performed at Wentz Concert Hall, North Central College, 171 E. Chicago Ave, Naperville, IL on Sunday, March 11 at 3pm; and at Symphony Center, 220 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL on Monday, March 12 at 7:30pm.
Tickets range from $20-$99 for concerts at Symphony Center and $49-$62 for concerts at North Central College with special $10 pricing available for students at both concerts.
Ticket holders are invited pre-show and during intermission to experience activities with Girls Rock! Chicago and YWCA. These activities are presented as part of BRIDGE – Chicago Sinfonietta’s audience engagement thematic concert programming established to break social, racial, and economic barriers within the symphonic experience.
“Hear Me Roar” takes Chicago Sinfonietta into uncharted repertoire with two major new commissions among three Chicago Premieres” says Music Director Chen. She continues: “the entire program is comprised of incredible works created by women composers – both past and present. While Jennifer Higdon and Reena Esmail represent the new generation of composers who are making symphonic history with every piece they compose, Florence Price and Dora Pejačević wrote music that has literally become the hidden gem of the orchestral repertoire as very few music lovers know their music well. With less than 2% of the symphonic repertoire annually performed by American professional orchestras being works written by women, the Chicago Sinfonietta has hit the national radar championing for one of the most underrepresented minorities in the classical music world – the women who expressed their life experiences through the musical voices of symphony orchestras.”
About Chicago Sinfonietta
Since 1987, Chicago Sinfonietta has been a defiantly different kind of orchestra. The orchestra was founded by Maestro Paul Freeman to address the disconnect between the utter lack of diversity in orchestras and the vibrant, nuanced, communities for which they play. For nearly 30 years, we have made it our mission to represent the city of Chicago, reflecting that vibrancy on stage and in our programming, making classical music accessible for anyone.
Chicago Sinfonietta is grateful to its season sponsors including Aon, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Southwest Airlines, Fairmont Hotel, Hotel Indigo and NBC5. Chicago Sinfonietta also thanks its BRIDGE Audience Engagement sponsor Macy’s, as well as its season media sponsors including Chicago Tribune, Chicago magazine, Naperville magazine, and WBEZ.
About Project W: Chicago Sinfonietta’s 30th anniversary season is making a statement: Women Rule. With 43% of the season’s works composed by women and a seventh year on the podium for Maestro Mei-Ann Chen, the Sinfonietta is making a play for gender equity in classical music. When Chicago Sinfonietta took the stage to kick off its 30th anniversary season, the first notes played by the orchestra weren’t Mozart or Beethoven; they were written by Jesse Montgomery. One of four works by women composers commissioned by the orchestra for the 2017/2018 as part of Project W, it was a fitting beginning for a season that, in total, is made up of 43% of works composed by women. Clarice Assad, Jennifer Higdon, and Reena Esmail will also premiere works as part of the organization’s season-long project. The works will also be recorded and released as the orchestra’s 16th album in 2019. NOTE: A standalone press release will be available for Project W.
One of the ways in which Chicago Sinfonietta addresses classical music’s diversity challenge is with Project Inclusion, a program serving diverse, emerging musicians, conductors and arts administrators celebrates 10 years and continues to lead the field. With the recent appointments of Deanna Tham (Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra) and Alejandro Gómez Guillén (Fort Worth Symphony), Chicago Sinfonietta’s success rate for placing graduates of their Project Inclusion Conducting Freeman Fellowship has risen to almost 90%. In a field where non-white conductors account for just 21% of all appointments in the nation (and where they are leading orchestras with, on average, less than 5% musicians of color), this program is leading the field when it comes to addressing classical music’s diversity challenge.