Chicago Sinfonietta Celebrates Women's History Month with ECHO Featuring Three Premieres

Featuring the Chicago debut of violinist Amaryn Olmedam musician/composer Clarice Assad performing as hybrid human machine, and more.

By: Mar. 01, 2024
Chicago Sinfonietta Celebrates Women's History Month with ECHO Featuring Three Premieres
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Chicago Sinfonietta celebrates Women's History Month with an inspirational concert where technology and music merge in a dynamic performance highlighting the creativity and artistry of women in music.

Music Director Mei-Ann Chen stated, “March is Women's History Month, and at Chicago Sinfonietta, we are passionate about championing the creativity and talents of women and BIPOC composers and musicians. This performance highlights our continued commitment, with inspirational works by Florence Price and frequent Sinfonietta collaborator Clarice Assad, who performs her own piece. It's our pleasure to introduce you to Amaryn Olmeda in her Chicago debut. She is a rising violinist that you'll want to pay attention to.”

Featuring two Chicago premieres and a Sinfonietta premiere, ECHO begins with the Chicago premiere of a piece by Sinfonietta favorite composer Florence Price - her Concert Overture No. 2. Based on three spirituals, the work highlights her masterful musical voice. Providing counterpoint, Samuel Barber's rich, deep, neo-romantic voice is heard in his beloved Violin Concerto performed by one-to-watch violinist Amaryn Olmeda in her Chicago debut.

Chicago Sinfonietta's highly anticipated Chicago premiere of its co-commission with SPCO / ROCO / ACO, The Evolution of AI, by internationally acclaimed Chicagoan Clarice Assad centers on Artificial Intelligence and offers innovative sounds by one of today's celebrated multi-faceted female artists. Assad performs with a MIDI controlled electro-organic frame drum and a wearable device called Wave that is connected to a laptop, while wearing a special costume. Writes the artist, "'The Evolution of AI' is a contemporary musical composition that delves into the intricate interplay between human artistry and artificial intelligence. The piece invites the listener on a journey that explores and questions the boundaries of creativity and the profound implications of human and Artificial Intelligence collaboration. The work is for a chamber orchestra, electronics, and a human performer acting as a hybrid AI machine inside a musical experiment."

Said Vanessa Reed, President & CEO of New Music USA, "Now in its fourth year, New Music USA's Amplifying Voices program provides audiences with opportunities to discover compelling new works by some of today's most talented women and BIPOC composers. We are pleased to have Chicago Sinfonietta, a leader in equity, diversity, and inclusion in the symphonic field and whose values align with ours, as one of the 51 partner orchestras collaborating with us. I can't wait to hear their performance of Clarice Assad's inventive new piece."

The performance closes with the Sinfonietta premiere of Francis Poulenc's playful Les biches (The Does) Suite, which evocatively merges elements of neoclassical and jazz.


March 15, 2024 at 7:30 PM | Wentz Concert Hall

March 16, 2024 at 7:30 PM | Auditorium Theatre

Chicago Sinfonietta

Mei-Ann Chen, Music Director

Florence Price Concert Overture No. 2 (Chicago Premiere) 

Samuel Barber Violin Concerto 

with Amaryn Olmeda, Soloist (Chicago Debut) 

Clarice ASSAD The Evolution of AI (Chicago Premiere) (Co-commission with SPCO, ROCO, and American Composers Orchestra via New Music USA's Amplifying Voices)

Francis Poulenc Les biches (The Does) Suite (Chicago Sinfonietta Premiere) 

Tickets: to purchase tickets, click here

Amaryn Olmeda

Winner of first prize and the audience choice award at the 24th Annual Sphinx Competition, violinist Amaryn Olmeda is a rising star sought after for her bold and expressive performances as a soloist and collaborator. says of Olmeda, "...her commanding stage presence, infallible technique, and interpretive ability already rival that of international concert stage veterans."

Clarice Assad

A powerful communicator renowned for her musical scope and versatility, Brazilian-American Clarice Assad is a significant artistic voice in the classical, world music, pop, and jazz genres. The Grammy Award–nominated composer, celebrated pianist, inventive vocalist, and educator is acclaimed for her evocative colors, rich textures, and diverse stylistic range. With her talent sought-after by artists and organizations worldwide, the polyglot musician continues to attract new audiences both onstage and off.

Amplifying Voices

The co-commission of Clarice Assad's The Evolution of AI is part of New Music USA's Amplifying Voices program, which fosters collaboration and collective action between US orchestras and composers toward racial and gender equity in classical music. Amplifying Voices is powered by the Sphinx Venture Fund, with additional support from ASCAP, the Sorel Organization, the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, and The Wise Family Charitable Foundation.

Chicago Sinfonietta

hicago Sinfonietta is a source of community through music, ensuring and inspiring a continued investment in diversity and inclusivity in the genre of classical music to promote fairness and equity. Recognized as ground-breaking, dynamic, and daring, with core values built around being culturally responsive and advocates of inclusivity in all aspects of the 36-year-old organization's work, Chicago Sinfonietta's unrelenting commitment to being at the forefront of innovation drives its high standard of symphonic experiences. CS takes pride in leading by example with immersive audience engagement activities, impactful career development, education, and extensive community outreach programs.