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) – The Chicago Composers Orchestra returns to the Garfield Park Conservatory, located at 300 N. Central Park Avenue in Chicago, to present the second concert of its season on Wednesday, January 9 at 6:30 p.m. Featuring Lawrence Axelrod’s world premiere for solo bass clarinet (J. Lawrie Bloom) and several pieces exploring the spatial boundaries of music (including Byron Au Yong’s Occupy Orchestra), the concert is free for the public to enjoy a truly unique experience amidst lush plant life.
Chicago-based composer Lawrence Axelrod has had his works performed by The Lincoln Trio, The Duo Ahlert/Schwab, the Ensemble JungeMusik Berlin and The Verdi String Quartet in recent seasons. The San Jose Symphony premiered his Cassandra Speaks for orchestra and tape, and he has received grants from Chorus America, Meet the Composer and Arts International. He is a founder and past chairperson of the Chicago Composers’ Consortium as well as a member of CUBE.
‘Amidst Lush Plantlife,’ the CCO will premiere Mr. Axelrod’s Pos Metaphonos, a concerto for solo bass clarinet featuring renowned clarinetist and Chicago Symphony Orchestra member J. Lawrie Bloom. Mr. Bloom has been a member of the CSO since 1980 when he was invited to join by Sir Georg Solti. Since that time he has toured extensively, appeared on all CSO recordings that include bass clarinet, and soloed with the orchestra. Mr. Bloom also performs with several other area orchestras including the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, the Chicago Philharmonic, and the Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra.
The program will literally explore the boundaries of the concert experience with two pieces inviting audience members to enjoy the space directly alongside the musicians. Seattle-based composer Byron Au Yong will premiere his Occupy Orchestra, where listeners will encounter musicians throughout the Conservatory playing ‘street variations’ as they slowly converge into the formal concert setting.
Mr. Au Yong’s past projects have included Kidnapping Water performed in 64 waterways throughout the Pacific Northwest. CCO co-founder Brian Baxter will premiere his Spring Song, a soundscape using materials from Felix Mendelssohn’s Song Without Words, op. 62, no. 6; music that Garfield Park Conservatory landscape architect Jens Jensen claimed as inspiration for the design of the Fern Room more than 100 years ago.
The program also includes the premiere of Bludgeon Me by Chicago-based composer Chris Fischer-Lochhead, a frequent collaborator with Chicago-area CCO Presents Free Garfield Park Concert Featuring Lawrence Axelrod and J. Lawrie Bloom 2 alternative music ensembles such as the Grant Wallace Band and the SissyEared Mollycoddles, and The Image Maker by New York-based composer Bruce Saylor, a former composer-in-residence at Lyric Opera of Chicago.
“We’re thrilled to return to the Garfield Park Conservatory, where we presented a transcendent concert last December, to further explore this incredible space and discover new ways to deliver a contemporary concert experience,” says CCO cofounder and featured composer Brian Baxter.
Conductor 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 to lead 40 of the most talented young professional musicians in the area. 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.
“Our previous experience at the Conservatory introduced the CCO to a new audience and really expanded our community,” says CCO co-founder Randall West. “We’re looking forward to re-engaging with this community and hopefully meeting a lot of new people.”
Tickets to the Chicago Composers Orchestra’s ‘Amidst Lush Plantlife’ Concert on January 9 at the Garfield Park Conservatory are FREE. Please visit www.chicagocomposersorchestra.org for bios and program notes.
For media inquiries, please contact Michael Crowley at Michael.Crowley@chicagocomposersorchestra.org
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