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Spaces at the Art Institute frame MusicNOW as contemporary venture observes 20th year

May 13, 2018 – 10:16 am
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Review: The MusicNOW endeavor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is in the middle of a roaring spring expansion under the cultivating flair of composers-in-residence Samuel Adams and Elizabeth Ogonek. The latest MusicNOW shoot was an experiment within three different spaces at the rambling Art Institute of Chicago, including Chagall’s America Windows room. And that was preamble to the MusicNOW grand finale, featuring two world premieres, on May 21 at Orchestra Hall.

In three recipes for novel sounds, MusicNOW serves up appetizing concert-as-smorgasbord

May 10, 2016 – 10:06 pm
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Review: At its May 9 program at the Harris Theater titled “. . . Spring, Or Some Such Thing,” MusicNOW bundled three works for ensembles of fewer than 20 musicians — capped by Christopher Trapani’s flood- and hurricane-inspired song cycle “Waterlines” — into a nicely balanced, easy-to-digest dose of musical contemporaneity.

CSO’s ‘French Reveries and Passions’: Spirit and imagination set crown on a dream festival

May 24, 2015 – 12:09 am
Night falls on the final act of CSO's Pelléas et Mélisande by Debussy. (Todd Rosenberg)

Festival Review: It’s that time of the year when orchestras change their pace, kick back a bit and come a-bloom with new ideas in the spirit of the warming clime. Thus the New York Philharmonic celebrates its 50th season of Concerts in the Parks, the Cincinnati Symphony’s May Festival gets underway, the Boston Symphony is deep into its Pops concerts. But the place to be this season is in the Windy City, where the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is midway through an extravagant multidimensional festival “French Reveries & Passions.”

Composers’ imaginative new worlds of sound infuse MusicNOW concert with energy, flair

Oct 22, 2013 – 1:53 pm
Benedict Mason 'Delta River' at Chicago Symphony MusicNOW concert Oct. 21, 2013 (Todd Rosenberg)

Review: This just in from Chicago Symphony’s new music series: Benedict Mason’s multimedia “Delta River” with odd-lot Far East film, Donnacha Dennehy’s “Stainless Staining” for pianos of special resonance, and Anders Hillborg’s “Vaporized Tivoli,” which hints at a circus gone bad. ★★★★

Riccardo Muti, Chicago Symphony unleash alternative energy of Mason Bates, Anna Clyne

Feb 14, 2012 – 9:01 pm
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Feature: Chicago Symphony Orchestra performances in California and at Carnegie Hall will introduce new works by young resident composers Feb. 14-19 and Oct. 4.

Chicago Symphony MusicNOW opens season with ping-pong balls and rhythms a-tumble

Oct 19, 2011 – 5:34 pm
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Review: MusicNOW, the contemporary series of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, began its 2011-12 season alive with the music of ping-pong balls, marimba, country fiddle and eerie vocals. Composers converged from Dublin, Connecticut, Minnesota and London to hear their works performed.