April 2014


Chicago Sinfonietta

Bit of Broadway: Conversation with Randall Fleischer on West Side Story Concerto

Jun 12, 2012

Arrangers have the difficult task of interpreting music for different ensembles and music groups. Hearing things on such an individualized level, and then having the weight of someone’s else’s composition (and maybe even the fame and familiarity of the music) on your shoulders, makes it a real challenge, and also a thrill when an arrangement is completed successfully and creatively.

Later this week, Chicago Sinfonietta performs Passion. Tragedy. Love. Sure there is a bit of Mendelssohn and some newer pieces, but there is also a little Bernstein.  I got the chance to talk to Randall Fleischer about his interpretation and arrangement of West Side Story for the Harlem Quartet. The concert will be the premiere of the West Side Story Concerto.

Energy & Enthusiasm: Conversation with Mei-Ann Chen of Chicago Sinfonietta

Feb 2, 2012

Celebrating her first season with the Chicago Sinfonietta as the new music director Mei-Ann Chen sat down with Chicago Classical Music to chat about her first season, goals with the organization and favorite things in Chicago.

Your conducting style is so intensely energetic and vibrant as compared to other conductors I’ve seen. Where does all that energy come from? How did you develop such a unique style?
It’s a combination of all my experiences. I worked with the oldest youth orchestra in the country, the Portland Youth Orchestra.  The most precious thing that I took away from that experience was that those children make music from the heart. They don’t know hardship yet and make music in the purest form: they simply make music because they love it.  The energy that they had has remained with me and their love for music reminds me why I wanted to be a musician to start.

Social Media – Is Anybody Out There?

Wed, 8/3/2011 - 1:27pm — Jim Hirsch
Aug 3, 2011

Okay, I accept the fact that social media is a fundamental part of how we as individuals (and the institutions we work for) communicate with and engage segments of our audience. I’m so convinced of this that I even began using Twitter a month or so ago and already have over forty brave souls who are following along @JimHirsch1953.

Do You Remember?

Tue, 7/19/2011 - 2:32pm — Jim Hirsch
Jul 19, 2011

Those of you who have been regular users of this site for the last few years may remember that I used to write a quasi-regular blog about the Chicago classical music scene. I have been absent for quite a while and apologize for not posting anything recently. Hey, things have been busy here at the Chicago Sinfonietta.

Since I last blogged we have said goodbye to our Founder and only Music Director, Paul Freeman, introduced our new Music Director, Mei-Ann Chen, and are now getting ready for our second ever performance at Millennium Park scheduled for Sunday, August 14th at 6:30 pm in a concert entitled, “Hello Chicago.” Plus, we have been working hard to keep our heads above water like everyone else in this crazy field of ours. Still, I should have written….or at least called.

Making a List, Checking It Twice….

Dec 11, 2009

Our good friend Drew McManus sent me an invitation to list the four holiday songs/pieces I enjoy the most and the least, the four holiday concerts (live) I enjoyed the most and the least, and the four holiday CDs in I enjoy the most and least at his website Adaptistration

Anyone who has read my posts here knows that I love making lists, and I signed right on to Drew’s wonderful site and left my choices.  But why should I have all the fun?  I invite all of you to visit Adaptistration and give your 2 cents worth. Rather than actually follow Drew’s suggestions, I added my favorite holiday movies to my list and took a few swipes at various artists along the way – all in good fun (and good cheer, of course!).