Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Chicago Sinfonietta: 8-min. Video, “20 Years of Musical Excellence”

The home page of the Chicago Sinfonietta features an excellent overview of the ensemble in an 8-minute online video, “20 Years of Musical Excellence”. Musical excerpts from the Sinfonietta's performances play in the background as Founder and Music Director Paul Freeman and performers briefly say what the Chicago Sinfonietta's first 20 years have meant to them. Dr. Freeman recalls that he sat in segregated balconies while growing up in Richmond, Virginia, and made a firm resolution that if he ever had something to do with classical music, he would ensure that it was open to everyone.

Maestro Freeman also recounts an airport encounter in Atlanta with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who asked him what he was doing there. Freeman replied that he had come to be guest conductor of the Atlanta Symphony. Dr. King described the world of classical music as “the last bastion of elitism”, according to Freeman. The Maestro says he has felt since then that diversifying classical music was his personal mission. The video touches lightly on the exceptional achievements of the Chicago Sinfonietta, including the most integrated orchestra in the country, with diversity reflected in repertoire as well as in personnel and audiences. The orchestra has made 13 CDs, including an African Heritage Symphonic Series on Chicago's nonprofit classical music label, Cedille Records, and has made a number of tours to Europe and elsewhere.

[Paul Freeman is profiled at AfriClassical.com]

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Chicago+Sinfonietta" rel="tag">Chicago Sinfonietta
online+video" rel="tag">online video
Sinfonietta+video" rel="tag">Sinfonietta video
Musical+Excellence" rel="tag">Musical Excellence
Black+Conductor" rel="tag">Black Conductor

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