News
Aug-2-2022

"Youthful enthusiasm apart, much of the concert’s success and appeal was due to Chen’s magnetic presence on the podium as much as the programming. The three works—Jessie Montgomery’s Soul Force, George Gershwin’s Concerto in F, and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances—provided ample opportunity for entire sections to shine and soloists to strut their stuff. It was not only a laudable educational project, but highly enjoyable and a lot of fun."

Jul-6-2022

The Northwest Sinfonietta (Tacoma, Washington) today announced the appointment of conductors Mei-Ann Chen and Jeffery Meyer as the two newest artistic partners of the orchestra beginning with the 2022-2023 season. They join award-winning Israeli conductor Yaniv Attar, who has been an artistic partner with the ensemble since 2018.

Northwest Sinfonietta board president Natalie Mayer stated, “I’m very excited about our artistic partnerships with Mei-Ann, Jeff and Yaniv. I can’t wait to see what these diverse conductors bring to our organization and audiences."

Concertmaster Denise Dillenbeck said, “Mei-Ann Chen’s work with us in the spring highlighted her incredible leadership, collaborative and exciting style, and skill with all kinds of music, from Mozart to modern day."

"Meeting Northwest Sinfonietta was literally love at first sight - making music with these wonderful musicians feels so familiar and inspiring, as if I have known them a long time! said Ms. Chen. "It is a unique honor to collaborate with fellow conductors Jeffery Meyer and Yaniv Attar as artistic partners, and to be part of a highly creative team that is driven to explore possibilities and innovations! I am excited to see the interesting collaborations and rewarding musical results of this special partnership!"

  Nov-20-2021

"Friday’s exciting season-opening concert in the Paramount Theatre, led by guest conductor Mei-Ann Chen, gave plenty of cause for optimism.

It wasn’t just that Chen, who rearranged her schedule to lead off a season’s worth of guest conductors, drew playing of such vitality and fervor from the orchestra. And it wasn’t just that the orchestra — which like so many other cultural institutions went through daunting, near-existential crises during the long dark months of the pandemic shutdown — has evidently emerged strong and resilient."

  Oct-31-2020

"The label [Cedille] has had a commitment not only to boosting local artists and musicians but artists and musicians of color. One Cedille regular has been the Chicago Sinfonietta, which is the most diverse orchestra in the United States."

  Oct-19-2020

"Most of this year’s planned tributes to Beethoven’s 250th birthday have been canceled due to the pandemic, so one welcomed the Sinfonietta’s contribution, which proved characteristically unorthodox. Rather than offer something wholly familiar, Chen led the Sinfonietta strings in Jeffrey L. Briggs' arrangement of two movements from Beethoven’s Piano Sonata Op. 13, “Pathetique.” This may have seemed like a bit of a stunt, in that this music is so inherently pianistic. But there were new pleasures to be drawn from this arrangement. In the adagio cantabile second movement (mistakenly identified onscreen as the third movement), Chen conjured considerable tenderness and introspection. And in the last movement, the conductor took a slower tempo than pianists usually do, giving the music a degree of grandeur it rarely receives.

The concert opened with Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” and included Valerie Coleman’s arrangement of the South African National Anthem. Both works proved the value of elegantly stated populism and underscored the Sinfonietta’s message of optimism in the face of global adversity."

Oct-12-2020

"The orchestra is continuing to build on a three-decades history of anti-racism and anti-sexism. At least one-third of its musicians, staff and board are people of color, making it a notable outlier in the orchestral world." -Kyle MacMillan, The Chicago Sun-Times

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