News
  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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