Sunday, October 9, 2016

Chicago Sinfonietta: Classical Works & Silent Film With Chicago Film Archives To Celebrate DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS: THE DANCE OF LIFE AND DEATH Oct. 29 & 31

Carlos Rafael Rivera

Featuring two Chicago Premieres by contemporary composer Carlos Rafael Rivera plus rare screenings of Night on Bald Mountain and Danse Macabre

Wentz Concert Hall, Naperville – October 29
Symphony Center, Chicago – October 31

CHICAGO (October 4, 2016)Chicago Sinfonietta, led by Music Director Mei-Ann Chen, explores themes of loss, transformation, humor, and celebration through evocative music and quirky silent films provided by Chicago Film Archives in the 7th annual Día de los Muertos concert honoring the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead. Chicago Sinfonietta performs Día de los Muertos twice: first, in the western suburbs at Wentz Concert Hall of North Central College, Saturday, October 29, and then again in its downtown Chicago home venue of Symphony Center, Monday, October 31, 2016

This annual favorite concert begins with Golijov’s passionate Last Round inspired by tango composer, Astor Piazzolla and continues with Beethoven’s tremendous Coriolan. Darkness dances across the screen next with an early version of Night on Bald Mountain (made famous by Disney’s Fantasia) and Saint Saëns’ Danse Macabre set to the eerie 1922 film of the same name. Then lightness takes the floor with Chicago Premieres of contemporary composer Carlos Rafael Rivera’s reinterpretation of the ancient Mayan creation story Popol-Vuh and the infectious PizziCuban Polka. This celebration of life concludes with Sones de Mariachi, Galindo’s tribute to indigenous Mexican folk songs.

"This will be an interesting exploration of repertoire connected to the theme of life and death for our annual Día de los Muertos concert,” said Chen. “Combining both new and well-known works, with the aid of films, this program will take our audiences on a unique sonic journey."

Audience members at both performances are encouraged to dress up in Día de los Muertos-inspired traditional dress and makeup to participate in a best-dressed contest with prizes. The night will also include marigold-making, a community ofrenda, and more.  Halloween costumes are also welcome for children and the young at heart.

In conjunction with this concert, the West Suburban Friends of Chicago Sinfonietta will host their 2nd annual Día de los Muertos celebration to raise critical funds for the Sinfonietta’s concert season and community performances in the western suburbs. This unique event will include a delicious Mexican food buffet with beer, wine, and signature cocktails to celebrate loved ones lost. The family friendly event will feature live music, traditional Day of the Dead-inspired dress and face painting, a photo booth, candle light procession, crafting stations, and silent auction stocked with enticing packages all to benefit Chicago Sinfonietta’s work in the Naperville and Aurora communities.

This year’s Día de los Muertos concert is sponsored in part by Nicor with media support from Telemundo and Hoy. Community partners for this year’s concert include Naperville Sister Cities and the National Museum of Mexican Art.

Title:                Chicago Sinfonietta presents Día de los Muertos: The Dance of Life and Death

Dates:               Saturday, October 29 at 8:00pm at Wentz Concert Hall of North Central College
Monday, October 31 at 7:30pm at Orchestra Hall of Symphony Center

Tickets:            Single tickets range 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 at 312-236-3681 ext. 2 or online at

Last Round
Night On Bald Mountain
Danse Macabre
PizziCuban Polka
Sones de Mariachi

Mei-Ann Chen, conductor
Chicago Film Archives, silent film   

Tickets for the pre-concert dinner event at Wentz Concert Hall start at $50 for ticket holders and $100 dollars for both a concert ticket and event admission; a family package is available. Tickets can be purchased via phone at 312.284.1559 or online at   
Now in 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. Led by Music Director Mei-Ann Chen since 2011, 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

Chicago Sinfonietta is grateful to its season sponsors including Cedar Concepts, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Southwest Airlines, Fairmont Hotel, Hotel Arista and NBC5. Chicago Sinfonietta also thanks its season media sponsors including WXRT, Chicago and Naperville Magazines, and Chicago Reader.

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By Chicago Sinfonietta (@chi_sinfonietta

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