Experience the Past, and Imagine the Future with Chicago Sinfonietta
Announcing the organization's first ever virtual gala - a celebration of defiantly different music


"The Chicago Sinfonietta will present two online concerts and one live concert for its 2020-21 season.

Each program will feature a commissioned world premiere, all by African American composers."


Mei-Ann Chen talks Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship and career


"Success for Marlea Simpson will be when the entire field functions like the Chicago Sinfonietta, where the African American musician has served as principal violist since 2014."

Chicago Sinfonietta Principal Violist praises the orchestra in this Sun-TImes article.


Classically Speaking Presents Conductors In Conversation - Mei-Ann Chen guests with 3 other colleagues - JoAnn Falletta, Buffalo Philharmonic; Jeri Lynne Johnson, Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, Alondra de la Parra Queensland Symphony Orchestra in Australia.

Tune in to Classically Speaking's  Facebook Live or via YouTube at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, August 17.



“Any time you get recognition from the League of American Orchestras,” said Chicago Sinfonietta music director Mei-Ann Chen, whose contract was extended in May through the 2023-24 season, “it’s a national validation of the work that we’re doing and it’s always welcome. Our work has been pioneering in terms of national efforts of diversity in our country for symphony orchestras.”


Read the Chicago Tribune article.


The Board of the Chicago Sinfonietta has unanimously elected to extend Music Director Mei-Ann Chen's contract through the 2023-24 season, another three years. Since 2011, Mei-Ann Chen has served the Chicago area as Music Director of the award-winning 33-year old orchestra. During her tenure, she has redefined orchestra programming and strongly positioned the organization at the forefront of bold, innovative initiatives.

Only the second Music Director in the history of the nation's most diverse orchestra, following in the footsteps of its founder, the late Maestro Paul Freeman, under Chen's tenure the Sinfonietta has received an ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming , was named "The city's hippest orchestra" by the Chicago Tribune, expanded the successful and groundbreaking Project Inclusion Fellowship Program, and received the prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions and the Spirit of Innovation Award by the Chicago Innovation Awards.



Blake-Anthony Johnson will begin his tenure as Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Sinfonietta effective June 1st 2020. Welcome!


Don't miss ROCO's bright 2020-21 season, their 16th Season: "Color and Light" ROCO’s 16th season features illuminating musical collaborations exploring global soundscapes, presenting ten commissions, in three series of concerts showcasing the ensemble’s flexible model.


Visit the video section of the website to hear/see Mei-Ann Chen's virtual video with members of the Chicago Sinfonietta.


Jennifer Higdon speaks with the Recording Academy about how to succeed as a woman in theis male-dominated industry. A fascinating read.  Mei-Ann has worked with many of the women mentioned in the article.


View her video here.


"The Chicago Sinfonietta, which is 47 percent female, we’re told, plays superbly under Mei-Ann Chen, and the engineering is up to the high standards of the house. This is music well worth getting to know, and more importantly, worthy of repetition, and hence well worth collecting." -David Hurwitz (review excerpt)


Conductor Mei-Ann Chen is honored  to serve on the jury for 2021 MALKO Competition!  A former winner of the prestigious event, "Winning the 2005 MALKO Competition opened doors I never thought possible."

For more details about the competion please click on the link below.



A Sonic Art Exhibition March 7 and 9

SCHOENBERG Find Rothko (2006)
Courtney BRYAN Syzygy (World Premiere)
Jennifer Koh, violin
MUSSORGSKY/RAVEL Pictures at an Exhibition


Read Aristic Director of recreation-GROSSES ORCHESTER GRAZ Matthew Huber's statement last season announcing Mei-Ann Chen's new position with the orchestra. Chen begins her official duties this week.  Statement can be read  here.


Mei-Ann Chen will open the 20/21 season for the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra at the Concertgebouw with Beethoven 5. Read about the program here.


"As soon as conductor Mei-Ann Chen entered the stage, a smile spread throughout the orchestra. And of course she is an energizing catalyst on the podium, perfect on Valentines Day." (translation) Gävle Symfoniorkester Feb. 14, 2020 concert, Camilla Dahl, MittMedie


Congratulations to Producer Blanton Alspaugh, Grammy winner for Producer of the Year, Classical!  He produced ROCO's Visions Take Flight CD, which Mei-Ann conducted.


Read the Chicago Tribune's review of the Chicago Sinfonietta's Martin Luther King Tribute Concert here.


Mei-Ann chats with Becky Nystedt of WFMT about the upcoming 2020 Chicago Sinfonietta MLK Concerts.


Conductor Mei-Ann Chen returns to the DSO with a program featuring Suite No. 1 from Bizet's spellbinding opera Carmen. Cellist Sterling Elliott (National Sphinx Competition Winner) is featured soloist in Lalo's Cello Concerto in D Minor.


Residentie Orkest spoke with Mei-Ann prior to the Decembe 13 concert about"dark" versus "light" music: can dark music elevate us as much as cheerful? Read the piece here.


Mei-Ann returns to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Jan. 9, 10 & 12 with a program featuring Suite No. 1 from Bizet's spellbinding opera Carmen. Cellist Sterling Elliott (National Sphinx Competition Winner) is featured soloist in Lalo's Cello Concerto in D Minor. Per


Mei-Ann leads Tucson Symphony in Tubalicious
with David Morgan, tuba, Feb 1 and 2- Don't miss this energetic concert!
Coleridge-Taylor: African Suite: Danse nègre
Vaughan Williams: The Wasps Overture
Vaughan Williams: Concerto for Tuba
Elgar: Enigma Variations


Maestra Chen leads the Residentie Orkest in "WARM WINTER NIGHTS" featuring Grieg's Piano Concerto with pianist Nelson Goerner at The Hague and then in TivoliVredenburg on Dec. 15th


Mei-Ann Chen makes her BBC Symphony Orchestra debut November 28 with a  BBC Radio 3 Afternoon Concert recorded live at the Maida Vale Studios for future broadcast.


Mei-Ann chats with Tim Mangan of VoiceofOC about Florence Price in advance of November 14 - 16 concerts in Orange County


Mei-Ann conducts  Swedish violinist Johan Dalene in Thomas Adès violin concerto Concentric Paths with the Symphony Orchestra of Norrlands Operan in December. She also leads the premiere of Swedish composer Tobias Broström's orchestral interpretation of Melanie Bonis's Suite Orientale,  Stravinsky's Ballet Pulcinella Suite, and Brahms's  Haydn Variations.

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