FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THIRD ANNUAL “AMIDST LUSH PLANTLIFE” AT CHICAGOʼS GARFIELD PARK CONSERVATORY TO FEATURE WORKS BY JOHN LUTHER ADAMS AND GABRIEL PROKOFIEV. ALSO, THE WORLD PREMIERE OF OPEN ARMS BY KYONG MEE CHOI, AND MUSIC OF JAMES FALZONE, AND EDWARD SMALDONE.
Chicago, Illinois (December 18, 2013) – Chicago Composers Orchestra (CCO) presents its third annual “Amidst Lush Plantlife” concert on Sunday, January 19, 2014, at 3:00 p.m. at Garfield Park Conservatory, located at 300 N. Central Park Avenue in Chicago. Past performances in this series have been praised by New Music Box contributor Rob Deemer as “very successful” in showing “why new music concerts can be diverse in content, in venue, and in audience to great effect.”
Conceived as a way to take the orchestra out of the box and put it into an entirely different setting, “Amidst Lush Plantlife” invites audiences to engage with new music in the verdant surroundings of the Garfield Park Conservatory, in the midst of the Chicago mid-winter. “The CCO is thrilled to return to Garfield Park Conservatory to present daring new works that take full advantage of this unique Chicago landmark, including works that invite the performers and audience to move around the space,” remarks CCO co-Artistic Director, Randall West. “This is ‘orchestra’ like you’ve never experienced it.” The event is free, and will feature performances of music by American composer John Luther Adams, and British composer Gabriel Prokofiev. CCO continues to fulfill its mission to solicit and promote the work of Chicagoans by presenting works of two Chicago composers: the world premiere of Open Arms, by Kyong Mee Choi, which was commissioned by the organization, as well as a piece by composer and clarinetist James Falzone. A work by Edward Smaldone, who is based in upstate New York, will also be presented on the program.
John Luther Adams has been called “one of the most original musical thinkers of the new century” by Alex Ross (The New Yorker). CCO’s January concert will feature Adams’ The Far Country of Sleep (1988), which was composed in memory of the late Morton Feldman. Adams says of the work: “Although he was an unrepentant urbanite, Feldman’s music is, for me, haunted by the idea of the sublime landscape, imaginary or real. The title of this homage to him is borrowed from a poem by John Haines. It evokes in my mind both the distant dreamscapes of the Arctic and that ultimate wilderness, through which we all must pass.”
Gabriel Prokofiev composes music that both embraces and challenges western classical traditions, and has emerged at the forefront of a new approach to classical music. Prokofiev’s own distinctive sound is informed by his background as a producer of hip-hop, grime, and electro records, as well as his earlier involvement in electroacoustic music. His Concerto for Turntables was performed at the BBC Proms in August 2011 to critical acclaim. Spheres started as a sketch for a violin concerto, and evolved into a stand-alone piece for solo violin and strings. Maria Storm is the featured soloist for the January 19th performance.
Kyong Mee Choi has received several prestigious awards and grants and is an Associate Professor of Music Composition at Roosevelt University in Chicago where she teaches composition and electro-acoustic music. Open Arms, for orchestra and electronics, grew from the idea of embracing life fully, and saying farewell to life with full acceptance.
The New York Times has called James Falzone a “tremendously likable, alert, no-nonsense improvising clarinetist from Chicago. Taking its title and aesthetic sensibilities from a 17th century Haiku, in a world of one color…the sound of wind was adapted for CCO from its original version specifically for the Garfield Park Conservatory environment. The audience will walk amongst the performers, taking part in bringing the music to life.
Dr. Edward Smaldone’s The Beauty of Innuendo explores the beauty found in the memory of something that is not experienced directly. It takes its title from a line in Thirteen Way of Looking at a Blackbird, by Wallace Stevens: “I do not know which to prefer/ the beauty of inflections/or the beauty of innuendoes/ the blackbird whistling/or just after.” Smaldone is a Professor of Music, and the Director of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, City University of New York.
Music director Matthew Kasper, a conductor who has led orchestras at venues including the Pierre Monteux School, Queens College, Chicago College of Performing Arts and the CUNY New Music Festival, returns to the podium this season to lead a collection of the most talented and dedicated young professional musicians in the region. These musicians have performed with orchestras all over the Midwest including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as well as with various new music groups in the city including Dal Niente, Anaphora, and Palomar.
Chicago Composers Orchestra at Garfield Park Concert on January 19th, 2014 is FREE. Please visit www.chicagocomposersorchestra.org for more information.
The Chicago Composers Orchestra is dedicated to the performance and advocacy of orchestral music by living composers. The orchestra works to expand the art form and engage the Chicago community through innovative programming, low cost concerts, and a vibrant and welcoming concert atmosphere. It brings the best in contemporary orchestral music to its audiences by connecting with the next generation of emerging artists. In doing so, it seeks to reinvigorate the orchestra experience for performers, composers, and audiences alike, and to create a sense of excitement around contemporary orchestral music throughout Chicago.
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December 21, 2012
Chicago Composers Orchestra Presents FREE Garfield Park Conservatory Concert ‘Amidst Lush Plantlife,’ Featuring Composer Lawrence Axelrod and Clarinetist J. Lawrie Bloom
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