Anna Clyne: New Work Commissioned

Today’s composer you should know was inspired by an announcement I just read on the New York Times arts blog about the upcoming season at the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, which has a fantastic reputation of performing a diverse repertoire.  And the 2014-2015 year won’t disappoint in that regard—they will be debuting a new work by British composer Anna Clyne. Clyne, who is currently serving as the Chicago Symphony’s Mead Composer-In-Residence through the 2013-2014 season, has been widely performed and won multiple awards.  Her website has fabulous sound files of her work—be sure to stop by and have a listen, or have a…

Music by Florence Price Featured by the Chicago Symphony and Others: A Conversation with Conductor Mei-Ann Chen

Mei-Ann Chen is Music Director of the Memphis Symphony and the Chicago Sinfonietta.  Earlier this year she guest-conducted with the San Diego Symphony, and on May 9 she made her subscription debut with the Chicago Symphony.  This is four orchestras and their audiences to whom she has introduced the music of Florence Price. A few weeks ago she was kind enough to take a few moments from her busy schedule and talk with me about how this all came about. Liane Curtis:  I just recently discovered what you are doing when I saw they were going to play the “Mississippi…

Making Waves with the Mississippi River Suite: Mei Ann Chen Brings Florence Price's Music to Chicago Symphony

Acclaimed conductor Mei-Ann Chen is just completing her first year as Music Director of the Chicago Sinfonietta.  And Thursday she made her debut as a guest conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra‘s subscription series.  She made quite a  “splash” with Florence Price’s Mississippi River Suite—the press has been filled with praise for the inspired leadership she brings to this work. The Chicago Tribune’s John von Rhein enthuses that “Chen clearly believes in the musical merits of ‘Mississippi River,’ and she succeeded in transferring her admiration to the orchestra”—and the audiences as well!  Dating from 1934, ” the suite is attractive, tuneful, nostalgic, cannily scored, direct…

Florence Price and the Chicago Symphony Are Reunited—by Mei-Ann Chen

On the cusp of Black and Women’s History Months, we’re celebrating that 80 years after her orchestral debut Florence Beatrice Price is currently making a comeback on the concert stage—thanks in no small part to conductor Mei-Ann Chen. Chen, maestro of both the Memphis Symphony and the Chicago Sinfonietta performed Price’s The Oak as part of a January tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King on the occasion of national remembrances of his birthday. Then, in February, she took the podium to guest-conduct the San Diego Symphony in a performance of Price’s 30-minute tone poem Mississippi River. The latter serves as…