The holidays are such a "feel good" time of the year. And for organizations like the Chicago Sinfonietta, this is an important time for raising funds to underwrite our programs for the rest of the year.
The Sinfonietta is blessed to have three "Friends" groups who support our work on an ongoing basis. Last Saturday the South Side Friends of the Chicago Sinfonietta hosted their lovely, annual Magical Holiday Breakfast fundraiser that was once again emceed by CBS-2 weatherman, Steve Baskerville. Over two-hundred people attended this early morning event held in Navy Pier's Crystal Garden that featured a performance by members of the Chicago Sinfonietta. Thanks to the hard work of the South Side Friends, the event met its financial goals.
All of our organizations depend on the work of people like our "Friends" groups. I want to thank all of you who volunteer your time for our organizations, and invite those of you who don't to join us!
This will be my last entry for 2006 but look for guest bloggers in this space for the next few weeks. Have a safe and wonderful holiday season, and thank you for participating in this site!
The Chicago Chamber Musicians received an unexpected gift yesterday afternoon, when we learned that our recently-released Mozart recording (on the Summit Records label) has been nominated for a GRAMMY for Best Chamber Music Performance! While we’re pulling for the win, we are thrilled to be one of just five finalists in the category – and honored to be the only classical artist from Chicago to be nominated this year.
By now many of you have heard the exciting news that the CSO will be on the airwaves again, thanks to a major gift from BP. That’s awesome news for those of us who have so missed their “live” presence on the radio and major presence on the CD format these past 5 years. Retrospectives are nice, but the living breathing CSO of 2006 has so much to offer.
What I find as exciting as the news about the reinstated radio series is the new initiative, CSO Resounds, funded by Boeing. The new in-house recording label debuts in spring 2007 with CDs and digital downloads of the CSO’s recent performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 3. The recordings and digital downloads will be made available shortly following orchestra performances – so 21st century. The CDs will be sold at many traditional retail outlets, and the CDs and digital downloads will be both be available at www.cso.org, iTunes, www.amazon.com and via a wide array of additional distribution channels. Very cool.
Over the next three years the CSO will self-produce at least six new CD releases with all upcoming releases selected from live recordings of CSO concerts. In addition, three to four digital-only releases will be issued per year. I cannot wait until mid 2007 when the initial schedule of recording releases will be announced. Way to go, CSO.
Blogs on chicagoclassicalmusic.org are not really conducive to discussing the political and social issues that continues to plague the Middle East and parts of the rest of the world. The recently announced performance of Daniel Barenboim's Arab-Israeli West-Eastern Divan Orchestra at the Harris Theater changes that - at least for this week.
West-Eastern Divan is a 78-member youth orchestra (ages 14 to 25) composed of Israelis playing alongside Arabs from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Tunisia. Barenboim, an Argentine-born Israeli, co-founded the orchestra in 1999 with his friend, U.S.-based Palestinian author Edward Said, who died in 2003. They were inspired by a shared belief that music increases understanding and improves communication between divergent groups and points of view.
"The West-Eastern Divan is not a project for peace. It is a fight against ignorance," according to Maestro Barenboim. "I know people will say I'm just a naive musician and that I am making empty gestures that won't change anything in the Middle East," he added, "but what about those who believe that dropping bombs and firing rockets are the solution? I ask you - who is the more naive?"
Maestro Barenboim will lead the orchestra on Sunday, December 17th at 2 p.m. and will perform:
Beethoven: Leonore Overture N.3 OP 72a
Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat, K.297b
(Sinfonia Concertante for Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon & Orchestra)
Brahms: Symphony No.1
Tickets are on sale now. For more information visit the Harris Theatre website.