"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."
New alliance for my management, Opus 3 Artists.
Read release on Opus 3 website.
"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."
"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
Chicago Sinfonietta's Groundbreaking Program,
Project Inclusion welcomes 2020-21 Fellows
Number of awarded Fellowships largest in program's 13-year history
Antoine T. Clark to serve as Chicago Sinfonietta 2020-21 Assistant Conductor
Michelle Isaac to serve as new Project Inclusion Composers Freeman Fellow
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.
"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