Part of the Muti era with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has been the 5-year dialogue between the orchestra and two resident composers, Anna Clyne and Mason Bates. They’ve cooked up new music for the orchestra to play at subscription concerts and on tours. They’ve written chamber works for individuals in the orchestra; they’ve also brought in other living composers. Both Anna Clyne and Mason Bates have roots in the traditional Classical music world, but actually move in different circles from the one at Symphony Center.
The new music scene is a parallel universe. A number of musicians have their feet in both, but the audiences can be pretty different; tapping into that world, whether it’s with beer and pizza, or strobes and house music, has been the mandate of these composers-in-residence; bringing a contemporary edge to the culture at 220 South Michigan Avenue.
Conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen is in the midst of a two-week residency with the CSO. He’s leading the orchestra in a piece called Rewind by Anna Clyne, coupled with Sibelius and Bartok. One performance remains of Rewind (Tuesday, April 8).
Listen to Anna Clyne talking about her piece Rewind and her evolution as a composer.
Leonard Slatkin will conduct a series of concerts with a Violin Concerto by Mason Bates and soloist Anne Akiko Meyers starting April 17. Then on May 7, the two composers present the final concert in the MusicNow series at the Harris Theater, a contemporary music series of chamber works played by members of the CSO with Hysterica Dance Company. Anna Clyne has a piece on that concert as well; beer and pizza follow.