Project W - Works by Diverse Women Composers
Cedille Records
Released: March 8, 2019
Catalog Num: CDR 90000 185 -Available for pre-order now

To Be Released in March 2019

Pre-order now! CDs and downloads ship March 8

Project W – Works by Diverse Women Composers

Chicago SinfoniettaClarice AssadJennifer HigdonJessie MontgomeryMei-Ann ChenReena Esmail


Florence Price (1887-1953)

Dances in the Canebrakes (9:28)



Sin Fronteras (13:27)



Coincident Dances (11:40)


REENA ESMAIL (b. 1983)

Charukeshi Bandish (2:58)


REENA ESMAIL (b. 1983)

#metoo (13:02)



Dance Card (23:07)

Conductor Mei-Ann Chen and the Chicago Sinfonietta — the adventurous, MacArthur Award-winning orchestra that champions racial, ethnic, and gender diversity in classical music — give world-premiere recordings of newly commissioned American works by Jennifer Higdon, Clarice Assad, Jessie Montgomery, and Reena Esmail on Project W: Works by Diverse Women Composers, the capstone project of its 30th anniversary season.

Higdon, winner of a Pulitzer Prize and two Grammy Awards, invites listeners to luxuriate in the beauty of a virtuosic string orchestra with Dance Card, a five-moment suite that San Francisco Classical Voice praised for its “pleasurable sounds” and “intellectual heft.” Assad is a Grammy-nominated, Brazilian-American composer and performer. Her Sin Fronteras (Without Borders) lives up to its title with an exotic blend of musical influences from throughout the Americas. Juilliard-trained African-American composer Montgomery, a violinist member of the acclaimed Catalyst Quartet and a collaborator with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad Ensemble, imbues her Coincident Dances with the frenetic energy and multicultural sound worlds of her native New York City. Esmail, an Indian-American graduate of Juilliard and the Yale School of Music, draws from Western and Hindustani (north Indian) classical music for #metoo, a composition rooted in her own personal experiences.

Founded by pioneering African-American conductor Paul Freeman (1936–2015), the Chicago Sinfonietta also presents the first-ever recording William Grant Still’s orchestral arrangement of Florence Price’s buoyant, lyrical Dances in the Canebrakes.

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ROCO: Visions Take Flight
Innova Recordings
Released: November 16, 2018
Catalog Num: #1 016


Visions from Another World
1 I. Ronde fantastique
2 II. Funeral Cortège of the Silkworm
3 III. The Spinning Ballerina
4 Teen Murti

5 I. Gathering at Gretna Green
6 II. Gliding over Algiers
7 III. Swarming Rome
1 Jabberwocky

Concerto for Chamber Orchestra
2 I. Epigraph
3 II. Variations
4 III. Ostinato
5 Anthem of Hope "Houston Strong"

12 Songs, 1 Hour, 27 Minutes
Released: November 16, 2018
℗ 2018 Innova

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Delights and Dances - Cedille
Cedille Records
Released: June 1, 2013
Catalog Num: CDR 90000 141

Dances and Delights

Chicago Sinfonietta Harlem Quartet Mei-Ann Chen


Delights & Dances for String Quartet and String Orchestra (13:03)*


Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra (20:49)


“Saibei Dance” from Saibei Suite No. 2 (4:08)


West Side Story Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra (25:47)*

*World Premiere Recording(s)

Delights & Dances, the Chicago Sinfonietta’s first recording with its new music director, award-winning conductor Mei-Ann Chen, does what this singular ensemble does best: it captivates listeners of all ages and diverse ethnic backgrounds through irresistible music and superb musicianship. On Delights & Dances, the Chicago Sinfonietta, a standard-bearer for racial diversity in the orchestral world, works its magic through a one-of-kind program featuring music for string quartet and orchestra, with guest artist, the Harlem Quartet.

The album takes its title from Michael Abels’ witty, soulful, and infectiously rhythmic Delights & Dances, which receives its world premiere recording. The greatly admired contemporary African-American composer wrote the work for the Harlem Quartet, an ensemble of first-place laureates of the Sphinx Competition for outstanding young black and Latino string players. A New York Times review of the work’s 2007 premiere, presented at Carnegie Hall, described the piece as “an energetic arrangement . . . which incorporates jazz, blues, bluegrass and Latin dance elements” — and which the Harlem Quartet “played with panache.”


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