The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association Announces the 2014/15 Season of its MusicNOW Series

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association Announces the 2014/15 Season of its MusicNOW Series

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association announces the 2014/15 season programming for its acclaimed MusicNOW contemporary music series-dedicated to showcasing contemporary music through an innovative concert experience. Uniquely curated by CSO Mead Composers-In-Residence Mason Bates and Anna Clyne, the annual, four-concert series in 2014/15 presents a range of work from major musical figures such as Pierre Boulez and established contemporary talents such as John Luther Adams and Michael Gordon. Programs are performed by members of the CSO and guest artists led by MusicNOW principal conductor Cliff Colnot and guest conductors, which this year includes James Feddeck, winner of the 2013 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award.

The 2014/15 MusicNOW Concerts take place Mondays (September 29, 2014; January 19, March 23 and June 1, 2015) at 7 p.m. at the Harris Theater (205 E. Randolph) and include pre- and post-concert DJ sets by illmeasures, projected program notes with video introductions by featured composers and the opportunity to meet with the CSO musicians and composers immediately following the concert in a casual, lounge-style setting.

Bates and Clyne, who mark their final season with the CSO in 2014/15 after being named to their artistic role by Music Director Riccardo Muti in 2010, collaborate on the vision for the programming and experience for each of the four MusicNOW programs. In one of the season's program highlights they create an intimate concert celebration honoring the 90th birthday of composer, conductor, mentor and innovator Pierre Boulez, the CSO's Helen Regenstein Conductor Emeritus, on the March 23 program Boulez's Workshop.

The MusicNOW season launches on Monday, September 29, 2014 at 7 p.m. The program features the powerful electro-acoustic work, SynchroniCities, by Chicago-based composer Anthony Cheung and Light is Calling, a multimedia work by filmmaker Bill Morrison and Michael Gordon, a founding member of Bang on a Can. Completing the program is the visceral sinfonietta for 12 players, The Rise of Exotic Computing, by Mason Bates and an ambient pastoral piece, The Wind in High Places, by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams.

The cornerstone of the second program in the MusicNOW series on Monday, January 19, 2015 at 7 p.m. is the stunning score for the acclaimed film, There Will Be Blood, composed by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood. Also scheduled is Anna Clyne's poignant work A Wonderful Day, which incorporates performances by Chicago street musicians. The electro-acoustic percussion trio 120 bpm by Dan Trueman and Ai limiti della note for solo viola by Salvatore Sciarrino complete the program.

Inspired by the CSO's exploration of Scriabin's work in the 2014/15 season and the composer's fascination with the "color" of music, DJ Justin Reed and lighting designer Todd Clark create Hommage à Scriabin that will greet audience members upon arrival at the January 19 concert.

The season continues with a concert celebration honoring the 90th birthday innovator/conductor/composer and mentor Pierre Boulez in Boulez's Workshop on Monday, March 23, 2015 at 7 p.m. The program's featured work is his seminal chamber work for 11 instruments, Dérive 2, alongside Mason Bates' virtuosic Indigo Workshop for solo piano and the world-premiere of Postponeless Creature by Anna Clyne, commissioned for MusicNOW by the CSO. Clyne's composition is the latest in a series of settings of the enigmatic poetry of Emily Dickinson featuring vocalists from the Chicago Symphony Chorus.

On Monday, June 1, 2015 at 7 p.m., the final MusicNOW concert of the season highlights the work of Chicago pianist and composer Myra Melford and avante garde icon John Zorn. Melford, the recent recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, performs a set of her own compositions including The Whole Tree Gone from her acclaimed 2010 acoustic jazz release of the same name. Selections from Zorn's epic Goetia for solo violin, Esa-Pekka Salonen'sDichtomie for piano and the Octet by Chicago composer Marc Mellits complete the evening's program. Cinema Libertad, one of Chicago's cutting-edge interactive theater troupes, set the scene with engaging visual elements created especially for this program.

Program and Ticket Details

Tickets for all MusicNOW concerts can be purchased by phone at 800-223-7114 or 312-294?3000; online at, or at the Symphony Center box office: 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60604.

Subscriptions for the four-concert MusicNOW series are on sale now and are $72. There is also a $28, four-concert student subscription available with valid student ID. Single tickets for all CSO 2014/15 concerts go on sale August 8, 2014.

MusicNOW concerts for the 2014/15 season take place on Mondays at 7 p.m. at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance located at 205 E. Randolph in Chicago.

Discounted student tickets for select concerts can be purchased, subject to availability, online in advance or at the box office on the day of the concert. For group rates, please call 312-294-3040.

Artists, programs and prices are subject to change.


Monday, September 29, 2014 at 7 p.m.
James Feddeck, conductor

CHEUNG SynchroniCities
GORDON Light is Calling
ADAMS The Wind in High Places
BATES The Rise of Exotic Computing

There Will Be Blood

Monday, January 19, 2015 at 7 p.m.

REED/CLARK Hommage à Scriabin
TRUMAN 120bpm
SCIARRINO Ai limiti della notte
CLYNE A Wonderful Day
GREENWOOD Suite from There Will Be Blood

Boulez's Workshop

Monday, March 23, 2015 at 7 p.m.
Cliff Colnot, conductor

CLYNE Postponeless Creature
MusicNOW commission; world premiere
BATES Indigo Workshop
BOULEZ Dérive 2

Myra Melford & John Zorn

Monday, June 1, 2015 at 7 p.m.
Cliff Colnot, conductor
Myra Melford, piano

SALONEN Dichotomie
ZORN Selections from Goetia
MELFORD The Whole Tree Gone

About Pierre Boulez
Appointed the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Helen Regenstein Conductor Emeritus in 2006, Pierre Boulez is a composer, conductor, tireless advocate for new music and one of the most important musical and intellectual figures of our time. Boulez was named principal guest conductor of the CSO in March 1995, only the third person to hold that title in the Orchestra's history. An eloquent and passionate advocate of the music of the 20th and 21st centuries, Boulez has become one of Chicago's most popular conductors in his annual residencies with the Orchestra.

Born in 1925 in Montbrison, France, Pierre Boulez initially trained in mathematics and later pursued studies in piano, composition and choral conducting at the Paris Conservatory. In 1954, he founded the Concerts du Petit Marigny, one of the first concert series entirely dedicated to the performance of modern music. Throughout the next decade, he was much involved with musical analysis, and he taught in Darmstadt and at Basel University. In 1963, he was a visiting professor at Harvard University, and in 1976 he became a professor at the Collège de France.

Boulez began his conducting career in 1958 with the Südwestfunk Orchestra in Baden-Baden, Germany. His reputation as a leading musician brought him to the attention of George Szell, who invited him to conduct in the United States for the first time with the Cleveland Orchestra in 1965; he subsequently held posts there as principal guest conductor and musical advisor from 1969 until 1972. In 1971, he became chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and that same year he succeeded Leonard Bernstein as music director of the New York Philharmonic, a position he held until 1977. His positions with these orchestras garnered him an international reputation as a foremost interpreter of music by Berg, Webern and Schoenberg as well as Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky and Wagner.

His difference of opinion about state intervention in the arts in France, as espoused by André Malraux, led Boulez into voluntary exile for several years. He returned in triumph in 1974, when the government under President Georges Pompidou, decided to build a music research center at the Pompidou Centre and invited Boulez to be its creator and director. From the Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) sprang the creation of a major and permanent instrumental group, the Ensemble Intercontemporain, one of the world's finest contemporary music ensembles, which Boulez has conducted in France, as well as on extended tours abroad. In 1991, Boulez resigned as conductor of the Ensemble Intercontemporain, while continuing as its president. Boulez is also cofounder of Cité de la Musique, a music center in Paris created in 1995.

Boulez's many awards and honors include honorary doctorates from Leeds, Cambridge, Basel and Oxford universities, among others; Commander of the British Empire; Knight of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany; and the 2009 Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy.

He has won 26 Grammy Awards since 1967; eight of those were with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, including best performance and best album awards for Bartók's The Wooden Prince, Cantata profana and Concerto for Orchestra, as well best performances for Mahler's Ninth Symphony; Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle; and Varèse'sAmériques, Arcana, Déserts and Ionisation. Pierre Boulez first appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on subscription concerts in February 1969 conducting Debussy's Jeux, Bartók's First Piano Concerto with Daniel Barenboim, Webern's Passacaglia and Six Pieces for Orchestra, and Messiaen's Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum.

About Mason Bates (
Mason Bates writes music that fuses innovative orchestral writing, imaginative narrative forms, the harmonies of jazz and the rhythms of techno. Along with Anna Clyne, Bates was appointed by Music Director Riccardo Muti as one of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Mead Composers-in-Residence beginning in the 2010/11 season, an appointment that has been extended through the 2014/15 season. Bates and Clyne have transformed the Chicago Symphony's MusicNOW series into an imaginative concert experience drawing huge crowds, with cinematic program notes and immersive stagecraft. Another new take on new music is Mercury Soul, which embeds sets of classical music into a fluid evening of DJing and immersive stagecraft. A collaboration with director Anne Paterson and Maestro Benjamin Shwartz, it has been performed at Chicago's Metro with members of the CSO, as well as in spaces from commercial clubs to Frank Gehry-designed concert halls.

Performances of Bates's works can be heard across the country. The San Francisco Symphony has paired his three largest works-Alternative Energy, Liquid Interface, and The B-Sides-with pieces by Beethoven for the "Beethoven & Bates Festival." Alternative Energy also appears on programs at the Cabrillo Festival and the Hartford and Tucson Symphonies. In December 2013, Carbide & Carbon, had its world premiere on the CSO's MusicNOW series, which marked the third world-premiere of a MusicNOW commission since he became composer-in-residence. A new violin concerto for Anne Akiko Meyers and the Pittsburgh Symphony premiered in December 2012 under the baton of Leonard Slatkin and will have its first CSO performance in April 2014.

Bates was raised in Virginia and earned degrees in music composition and English from the Columbia-Julliard program in New York City. He worked with Edmund Campion at the University of California, Berkeley, where the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies became an important influence on his approach to electro-acoustic composition. Awards include the Rome and Berlin Prizes, a Charles Ives scholarship and fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Jacob Druckman Memorial Prize from Aspen Music Festival, ASCAP and BMI awards, and fellowships from Tanglewood, Creative Capital and the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Heinz Medal in the Humanities.

About Anna Clyne (
London-born Anna Clyne is a composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic music, combining resonant soundscapes with propelling textures that weave, morph, and collide in dramatic explosions. Her work, described as "dazzlingly inventive" by Time Out New York, often includes collaborations with cutting edge artists. Along with Mason Bates, she was appointed one of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Mead Composers-in-Residence by Music Director Riccardo Muti in the 2010/11 season, and will continue in that role through the 2014/15 season, during which time she will continue her work on the MusicNOW series and other projects with various partners throughout Chicago. An avid advocate for music education, Clyne teaches composition workshops for local young composers and incarcerated youth as part of the CSO's Citizen Musician Initiative, and served as the director of the New York Youth Symphony's award-winning program for young composers "Making Score" from 2008 to 2010. Clyne was also recently a guest composer at the 2011 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, and resident composer at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in 2010, 2011, and 2013.

Clyne's double concerto Prince of Clouds, a CSO co-commission, received its Chicago premiere in December 2012. Clyne has had two pieces commissioned by the CSO's MusicNOW series: Spangled Unicorn (premiered in 2011) andAs Sudden Shut (premiered in 2013). In August 2013, Clyne's Masquerade, commissioned by BBC Radio 3, had its world premiere on the Last Night of the Proms by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop. Other premieres in 2013 include Clyne's The Violin and The Lost Thought. Her other commissions include works for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, Houston Ballet, London Sinfonietta, Southbank Centre, ETHEL, Bang on a Can, Metropolis Ensemble, American Composers Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Clyne's work has been championed by some of the world's finest conductors, including Pablo Heras-Casado, George Manahan, Jeffrey Milarsky, Leonard Slatkin, Alan Pierson, Andre de Ridder, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Osmo Vänskä, as well as by Alex Ross of The New Yorker, who curated performances of her work with the Seattle Chamber Players and the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

As a passionate collaborator, Clyne has worked with many of today's most inventive and pioneering artists, including choreographers Nicolo Fonte/Houston Ballet (USA), Kitty McNamee/Hysterica Dance Company (USA), Matthew Neenan/BalletX (USA), Pascal Rekoert/Flexicurve (Holland); musician Björk (Iceland); painter, Y.J.Cho (Taiwan); artist, Josh Dorman (USA); sound artists Jody Elff (USA), Jeremy Flower (USA); filmmaker Michael Bates (Australia), visual artists Joshua Bryan (UK/Japan), Luke Dubois (USA), Jon Niborg Speier, (USA), Rokhshad Nourdeh (France), Joshue Ott/Superdraw (USA) and writers Tom Bolt (USA) and Scott Jacobson of The Daily Show (USA).

About Cliff Colnot
In the past decade Cliff Colnot has emerged as a distinguished conductor and a musician of uncommon range. Recognized by the Chicago Tribune as "Chicagoan of the Year" in music, Colnot is one of few musicians to have studied orchestral repertory with Daniel Barenboim. Colnot has also served as assistant conductor for Barenboim's West-Eastern Divan Workshops for young musicians from Israel, Egypt, Syria, and other Middle Eastern countries. In addition, Colnot has worked extensively with Pierre Boulez and has served as assistant conductor to Boulez at the Lucerne Festival Academy. Colnot has been principal conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's contemporary MusicNOW series since its inception and is principal conductor of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, an orchestra he has conducted since 1994.

Also a master arranger, Colnot's orchestration of Shulamit Ran's Three Fantasy Pieces for Cello and Piano was recorded by the English Chamber Orchestra. He has also arranged works for the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and acclaimed soprano Julia Bentley. As a composer, Colnot has been commissioned to write works for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Percussion Scholarship Group and his orchestration of Duke Ellington's New World Coming was premiered by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Daniel Barenboim as piano soloist in 2000, and Colnot also arranged, conducted, and co-produced the CDTribute to Ellington featuring Barenboim at the piano.

About James Feddeck
Winner of the 2013 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, James Feddeck's career in North America has developed strongly following his last season when he served as Assistant Conductor with The Cleveland Orchestra. During his tenure there Feddeck conducted subscription concerts at Severance Hall, Blossom, and stepped in for Franz Welser-Möst in Cleveland's fully-staged production of Don Giovanni and in subscription performances of Carmina Burana, both to critical acclaim. He has also been a regular guest conductor at Houson, Atlanta and Indianapolis symphonies. This year, Feddeck has gone on to successful debuts with both the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and in the UK leading the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

In addition, to the Solti Award, Feddeck received the Aspen Conducting Prize in 2008, and was awarded the Robert J. Harth Conductor Prize in 2007. He was the unanimous winner of the Sixth Vakhtang Jordania International Conducting Competition and, at twenty-two, its youngest participant.

An accomplished organist, Feddeck has performed recitals throughout Europe and North America, has won competitions sponsored by the American Guild of Organists and has been featured on the nationally syndicated radio program Pipedreams. Feddeck studied oboe, piano, organ, and conducting at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, which recognized Feddeck as the first recipient of the Outstanding Young Alumni Award.

About the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) is consistently hailed as one of the greatest orchestras in the world. Its music director since 2010 is Riccardo Muti, one of the preeminent conductors of our day. The venerable Pierre Boulez is the CSO's Helen Regenstein Conductor Emeritus; celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma is the CSO's Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant. Composers Mason Bates and Anna Clyne are the CSO's Mead Composers-in-Residence.

The renowned musicians of the CSO annually perform more than 150 concerts, most at Symphony Center in downtown Chicago and, in the summer, at the suburban Ravinia Festival. The CSO also appears in other U.S. cities, and frequently tours internationally. Since its founding in 1891, the Orchestra has made 56 international tours, visiting 28 countries on five continents. At home and on tour, tickets are always in high demand and frequently sold out; occasional performances and rehearsals are free.

People around the globe enjoy the extraordinary sounds of the Orchestra and the Chorus through CSO Radio broadcasts and webcasts worldwide and through CSO Resound, a best-selling record label. Recordings by the CSO have won 62 Grammy Awards®. Through its Institute for Learning, Access, and Training, the CSO offers a variety of youth, community and education programs, all of which are based on the concept of Citizen Musicianship, using and promoting the power of music to contribute to our culture, our communities, and the lives of others.

The parent organization for the CSO is the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA). It also includes the acclaimed Chicago Symphony Chorus, conducted by Duain Wolfe, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, a training ensemble conducted by Cliff Colnot. Under the banner of a series entitled Symphony Center Presents, the CSOA also presents prestigious guest artists and ensembles from a variety of musical genres-classical, jazz, pop, world, and contemporary. Deborah F. Rutter, a highly regarded arts executive, is president of the CSOA.