Project W - Works by Diverse Women Composers
Released: March 8, 2019
Catalog Num: CDR 90000 185 -Available for pre-order now
Chicago Sinfonietta, Mei-Ann Chen, Clarice Assad, Jennifer Higdon, Jessie Montgomery, Reena Esmail.
FLORENCE PRICE (1887-1953)
CLARICE ASSAD (b. 1978)
JESSIE MONTGOMERY (b. 1981)
REENA ESMAIL (b. 1983)
REENA ESMAIL (b. 1983)
JENNIFER HIGDON (b. 1962)
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.
ROCO: Visions Take Flight
Released: November 16, 2018
Catalog Num: #1 016
ROCO, Mei-Ann Chen
12 Songs, 1 Hour, 27 Minutes
Click here for link to recording on Innova Recordings, the label of the American Composers Forum.
Click here for CD booklet.
Delights and Dances - Cedille
Released: June 1, 2013
Catalog Num: CDR 90000 141
Chicago Sinfonietta, Mei-Ann Chen, Harlem Quartet
LEONARD BERNSTEIN arr. RANDALL CRAIG FLEISCHER
*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.”