Sunday, August 28, 2016

Chicago Sinfonietta kicks off season with Stravinsky, Gershwin, Coldplay and more in piano-centric concert: UNHINGED with Piano Prodigy Clayton Stephenson

Clayton Stephenson

Featuring the Emmy-nominated Anderson & Roe Piano Duo and
piano prodigy Clayton Stephenson

Wentz Concert Hall, Naperville, September 17
Symphony Center, Chicago, September 19

CHICAGO –Chicago Sinfonietta kicks off its 2016-2017 season with the sounds of Stravinsky, Gershwin, Michael Jackson, Coldplay, and more in piano-centric concert Unhinged, featuring the Emmy Award-nominated Anderson & Roe Piano Duo and award winning piano prodigy Clayton Stephenson. The Sinfonietta performs Unhinged twice: first, in the western suburbs at Wentz Concert Hall of North Central College, Naperville, Saturday, September 17 at 8 pm, and then again in its downtown Chicago home venue of Symphony Center, Monday, September 19 at 7:30 pm.

Called “the most dynamic piano duo of this generation”, the famed Anderson & Roe will join forces with 17-year-old piano virtuoso Clayton Stephenson for an eclectic concert that will celebrate the piano’s wide versatility. The program begins with Glinka’s fairy-tale opera Russlan and Ludmilla followed by Stravinsky’s mischievous Petrushka featuring both guest stars, and concludes with Anderson & Roe performing their own piano-centric take on Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean featured on their Billboard chart-topping album When Words Fade. Gershwin’s iconic jazz standard I Got Rhythm featuring Clayton Stephenson kicks off the second half of the program and concludes with Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos in D minor and Coldplay’s popular Viva La Vida featuring Anderson & Roe joined by the Sinfonietta’s string sections.

"This will be a creative program celebrating the versatile role of the piano in ways that may be unexpected,” said Sinfonietta Music Director Mei-Ann Chen. “Not only will Unhinged present the piano traditionally as a solo instrument, but also the unique role it can be as a prominent orchestral instrument, plus all the fun it can produce through the multiple hands between our 3 soloists (and possibly with our audience's participation as well)."

During intermission, audience members will also have the opportunity to try their hand (and feet) at playing the piano with pop-up piano lessons, floor keyboards, and a display of deconstructed pianos that will let people experience the instrument from the inside out. 

Prior to the concert, Chicago Sinfonietta's Associate Board will host an annual fundraising event, Prelude: Black & White, to celebrate the start of their new season. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be served while attendees have the opportunity to play the piano, challenge their friends to oversized games, and take part in a silent auction and raffle. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at Orchestra Hall of Symphony Center. Tickets are priced at $35 for the reception only and $75 for the reception and season opening concert Unhinged. Guests are encouraged to dress in black and white to match the concert's featured instrument: the piano. Tickets are available for purchase by calling 312-284-1554 or online at

Title:                 Chicago Sinfonietta presents Unhinged

Dates:               Saturday, September 17 at 8:00 p.m. at Wentz Concert Hall of North Central College
Monday, September 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Orchestra Hall of Symphony Center
Tickets:            Single tickets are on sale now with prices ranging from $18-$60 for concerts at Symphony Center and $48-$60 for concerts at Wentz Concert Hall, with special $10 pricing available for students at both concerts. Tickets can be purchased by calling Chicago Sinfonietta’s box office at 312-284-1554 or online at


Russlan and Ludmilla
Billie Jean
I Got Rhythm Variations
Concerto for Two Pianos in D Minor
Viva La Vida
Mei-Ann Chen, conductor
Anderson & Roe Piano Duo
Clayton Stephenson, piano

About the Sinfonietta
Entering its 29th season, Chicago Sinfonietta has pushed artistic boundaries to provide an alternative way of hearing, seeing and thinking about a symphony orchestra and is dedicated to promoting diversity, inclusion, racial and cultural equity in the arts. Each concert experience blends inventive new works with classical masterworks, each from a diverse array of voices, to entertain, transform and inspire. In 2016, Chicago Sinfonietta was the proud recipient of John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions (MACEI). This award recognizes exceptional organizations that are key contributors in their fields. Learn more at

The Sinfonietta thanks it’s 2016-17 Season sponsors including the MacArthur Foundation, Joyce Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Alphawood Foundation, Pritzker Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Cedar Concepts, Southwest Airlines, the Fairmont Hotel, Hotel Arista, NBC-5, Chicago Magazine, Naperville Magazine, WXRT, Chicago Reader, PWC, and Macy’s. The Sinfonietta thanks its Community Partners PianoForte Foundation and the School of Performing Arts in Naperville. 

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1) By Chicago Sinfonietta (@chi_sinfonietta)

2) By Larry Flennoy (@LarryFlennoy) 

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