Kathryn J Allwine Bacasmot
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHICAGO COMPOSERS ORCHESTRA OPENS ITS FIFTH SEASON WITH AN EVENING OF PREMIERE PERFORMANCES: THE WORLD PREMIERE OF ORACLE HYSTERICAL & OPERA CABALʼS HECUBA, THE MIDWEST PREMIERE OF CHENʼS LULLABIES, AND THE FIRST LIVE PERFORMANCE OF AXELRODʼS BRANDENBURG FANTASIAS.
Chicago, Illinois (October 6, 2014) – Chicago Composers Orchestra (CCO) will open its fifth season with “Baroque Pop,” on Thursday, November 6, 2014, 8:30 p.m. at Constellation, 3111 N. Western Ave., Chicago. This program, says CCO co-Artistic Director Randall West, “…really pushes artistic boundaries, exploring the intersection of singer-songwriter, pop, and orchestra.” Featured on the program will be the world premiere of Hecuba, an album of songs based on the play by the great Greek tragedian Euripides, from the creative collaboration of Brad Balliett, Doug Balliett, Elliot Cole, and Majel Connery. In addition, CCO will present the Midwest premiere of Phyllis Chenʼs Lullabies, and a world premiere live performance of Lawrence Axelrodʼs Brandenburg Fantasias nos. 1 and 4.
Brian Baxter, CCO co-Artistic Director, notes, “Baroque Pop kicks off this season of unique collaborations with a bang. Our performance of Hecuba will bring a new and unique set of voices to your ears via the orchestra.” Together, Brad Balliett (bassoon), Doug Balliett (basses, gambas, and guitars), and Elliot Cole (voice and harmonium) constitute the composer-writer collective, Oracle Hysterical, that has “collaborated on literature-inspired music dramas since 2006.” Working with Opera Cabalʼs Executive & Artistic Director, Majel Connery (voice, autoharp) they are producing the album, Hecuba, that sonically walks the line between opera and pop. The world premiere will be the live performance backed by CCO. This is CCOʼs second time working with Cole, who in February, 2012, performed his “hip hop lecture” De Rerum with the orchestra.
The New York Times has praised pianist, toy pianist, and composer Phyllis Chen as “a dazzling performer who wrings novel sounds from the humble toy piano.” Lullabies for toy piano, music box, and electronics along with string orchestra, had its recent world premiere earlier this year in Boston. Chen remarks, “Iʼve always been intrigued by lullabies for they are unique songs with a universal function. People all across the world use lullabies to put their children to sleep through sung stories, reflecting their culture and times, whether true or made up. I have found the simplicity yet bitter sweetness of lullabies to remind me of the toy piano. Simultaneously simple and complex, these songs that have the sheen of purity and peace often carry shadows and doubts from the parent singing it.”
Also featured on the program will be the world premiere live performance of Lawrence Axelrodʼs, Brandenburg Fantasias nos. 1 and 4, which had, up to now, only been available on recording. These works take the famous Bach Brandenburg Concertos as their point of departure. In addition to his work as a composer, pianist, and conductor, Axelrod is a founder and past chairperson of the Chicago Composersʼ Consortium, as well as a member of CUBE.
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.
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.
Tickets for Baroque Pop are $15. Doors open at 8:00 p.m., performance begins at 8:30 p.m. This is an 18 and over show.
For inquiries, please email Kathryn J Allwine Bacasmot at
PRIOR PRESS RELEASES
December 18, 2013
Third Annual “Amidst Lush Plantlife” at Chicago’s 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 (December 18, 2013) – DOWNLOAD PRESS RELEASE
September 12, 2012
Wellspring by David Vayo Headlines Chicago Composers Orchestra Fourth Season Opening Concert. Also Featured, A World Premiere by Rob Deemer, and Works by Ian Dicke, Paul Kerekes.
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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
CHICAGO (December 20, 2012) DOWNLOAD PRESS RELEASE
August 22, 2012
“Popular Influence,” Chicago Composers Orchestra’s Third Season Kickoff Concert, To Feature Stacy Garrop’s Thunderwalker
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January 13, 2012
Midwest Premiere of Gabriel Prokofiev’s Bass Drum Concerto Featuring Joby Burgess Highlights Chicago Composers Orchestra Winter Concert
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May 3, 2011
Chicago Composers Orchestra Inaugural Season Culminates With Spring Concert, Featuring Entirely Chicago-based Composers
CHICAGO (May 3, 2011) DOWNLOAD PRESS RELEASE