Friday, May 27, 2016

Chicago Sinfonietta Ball on June 4 Celebrates the Legacy of Maestro Paul Freeman with Guest Conductors Roderick Cox, Kalena Bovell and Deanna Tham

Paul Freeman
Roderick Cox
Kalena Bovell

Deanna Tham

Chicago Sinfonietta Ball 2016
Maestro's Legacy: Today. Tomorrow. Forever.
6 p.m., Saturday, June 4, 2016
Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park Hotel
200 N. Columbus Drive, Chicago, IL 60661

Chicago Sinfonietta will host its annual Ball on Saturday, June 4 at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park Hotel. This year's theme is "Maestro's Legacy...Today. Tomorrow. Forever." The event will celebrate the legacy of the Sinfonietta's late founder and true pioneer, Maestro Paul Freeman, who founded the Sinfonietta in 1987, retired in 2011 and passed away in 2015 at the age of 79. 

The Ball will feature a cocktail reception, three-course gourmet dinner, a $10,000 raffle, live auction and paddle raise to support education programs and a signature performance by the orchestra, under the baton of Chicago Sinfonietta Project Inclusion Conducting Fellows Roderick Cox, Kalena Bovell and Deanne Tham, with a special performance by the Wendy Clinard Dance Company, plus other guest artists. The evening will conclude with a post-performance cocktail celebration and dance party.  

Individual tickets are priced at $400. Sponsorships opportunities are priced at $1,250 for a Duet Sponsorship to $15,000 for a Fortissimo Table Sponsorship. Tickets can be purchased online at For the latest news about the 2016 Chicago Sinfonietta Ball, please visit the Ball's online newsroom at

"We are proud to dedicate this year's annual ball to the life and legacy of Maestro Freeman," said Sinfonietta Ball Civic Chair, Dr. Greta Pope Wimp. "He was a true visionary who changed the landscape of classical music in the United States and beyond. He offered opportunity for a diverse community of musicians and composers to contribute their immense talents to one of the finest and most creative orchestras in the world." 

The musical program will include a repertoire of compositions that were especially meaningful to Maestro Freeman: 

  • La Forza Del Destino: Overture by Giuseppe Verdi, conducted by Roderick Cox
  • Slavonic Dances #8 in Gm, Opus 46 by Antonin Dvorak, conducted by Deanna Tham
  • Last Round by Osvaldo Golijov, conducted by Kalena Bovell
  • Lyric for Strings by George Walker, conducted by Roderick Cox
  • Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances by Alexander Borodin, featuring the Wendy Clinard Dance Company, conducted by Roderick Cox
  • Abels by Paul Freeman, conducted by Roderick Cox 
The event's Corporate Chair is Linda Boasmond of Cedar Concepts Corporation and the Civic Chair is Dr. Greta Pope Wimp. The Honorary Chairs are the Betty and Edward Gardner Family. Cedar Concepts Corporation is the Title Sponsor of the Chicago Sinfonietta Ball. Each year Chicago Sinfonietta hosts more than 550 guests from among Chicago's top corporations and private supporters to raise much needed critical support for the Sinfonietta's innovative concert season and expansive education outreach programs.

Under the direction of Music Director Maestro Mei-Ann Chen and Executive Director Jim Hirsch, Chicago Sinfonietta has continued Maestro Freeman's mission of providing exciting opportunities for minority musicians while showcasing the range of musical expression that is present in the many symphonic musical traditions of the world. For more information about the Chicago Sinfonietta Ball and to make reservations or arrange sponsorship, please contact Courtney Perkins, Director of Development and Operations for Chicago Sinfonietta at (312) 284-1559 or by email at For more information, please visit

About Roderick Cox
Roderick Cox was awarded a Project Inclusion Conducting Fellowship with Mei-Ann Chen and Chicago Sinfonietta in 2014, and guest conducted with the Sinfonietta in 2015. He assumed the Minnesota Orchestra's assistant conductor position in June 2015, and serves in a range of capacities, including conducting Young People's Concerts, family programs, special events, and outdoor community concerts, while also serving as cover conductor for many classical subscription and Live at Orchestra Hall concert performances. In addition, he serves as a keylink to the community, participating in engagement activities, school visits and collaborations with other Minnesota arts and cultural institutions. Previously, Mr. Cox served two years as the Assistant Conductor of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra.

A Georgia native, Roderick was awarded the prestigious Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize from the Aspen Music Festival in 2013, which led to a return to the festival as a conducting fellow and national recognition. He has also held prestigious fellowships with the Chicago Sinfonietta as a part of the Project Inclusion Program, and the Chautauqua Music Festival's David Effron Conducting Fellowship. Highlights for the 2015/2016 season include guest conducting performances with the National Symphony Orchestra, Florida Orchestra, Macon Symphony Orchestra, and Chicago Sinfonietta.

Roderick collaborated with the world-renowned soprano, Jessye Norman in March 2016 as a part of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra annual Classical Roots gala event. In 2013 Mr. Cox was one of four conductors selected by the League of American Orchestras to conduct the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra under the guidance of its music director, David Robertson. In both 2013 and 2014 he was chosen as a fellow for the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival, and the next year was a semi-finalist for the Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview. For two consecutive summers he was named by Marin Alsop to attend the Conductors Guild Conductor/Composer Training Workshop at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. He was recently featured in an interview, along with his performance of Brahms' Symphony No. 2, on American Public Media's Performance Today with Fred Child.  

Mr. Cox earned a master of music degree in conducting from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. His conducting teachers have been Mallory Thompson and Victor Yampolsky, Robert Spano, Larry Rachleff, Mei-Ann Chen and Adrian Gnam. In 2009 he received a bachelor of music degree in music education from Columbus State University's Schwob School of Music, graduating summa cum laude. 

About Kalena Bovell
Kalena Bovell was awarded a Project Inclusion Conducting Fellowship for Chicago Sinfonietta in 2015 and had the opportunity to work closely with music director Mei-Ann Chen for the 2015-2016 season. She is the 3rd place winner of the Prestigious American Prize in the college/university conducting division. Described as a young, vibrant, conductor and educator, her creativity, determination and humility towards classical and new music can be seen throughout her interpretations. 

Ms. Bovell is the Orchestra Director at the Loomis Chaffee School. She has been fortunate to work with many renowned conductors. She has served as the Assistant Conductor, on various masterworks concerts, to Carolyn Kuan, Music Director of the Hartford Symphony. She has also assisted guest conductors Bill Eddins and Gerard Schwarz. Ms. Bovell has studied with Maestro Donald Portnoy, Maurice Peress, Jorge Mester, Diane Witry, Peter Jaffe, Kenneth Kiesler and has received coachings by Michael Morgan, Rossen Milanov, Gerard Schwarz and Bill Eddins. 

As an advocate of contemporary music, Ms. Bovell has worked closely with Foot In The Door, the contemporary music ensemble at The Hartt School. In the Spring of 2013, she conducted the group in Eleanor Hovdas' Ariadne music as well as the premier of two new concerti; one for marimba and one for cello. Moreover, in her native home of California, she served as Assistant Conductor to the Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra where she led them in Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaaras' Cantus Arcticus. 

Through her dedication to service and education, Ms. Bovell has worked with various youth orchestras and ensembles in California to spread her passion for classical music. She served as the Assistant Conductor to the Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra for two seasons. In addition, she was the Assistant Conductor and Strings Coach for the Prelude Youth Orchestras whose aim was to provide the first orchestral experience for children. 

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Ca, Ms. Bovell is a graduate of Chapman University's Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music where she received a BM degree. She is also a graduate of University of Hartford's The Hartt School where she received a M.M. and a Graduate Professional Diploma in Instrumental Conducting. She was a student of Edward Cumming.

About Deanna Tham
Deanna Tham was awarded a Project Inclusion Fellowship with Mei-Ann Chen and Chicago Sinfonietta in 2015, and guest conducted with the Sinfonietta in October 2015, January 2016 and March 2016. She is currently the Music Director of the Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra in Boise, Idaho. She has studied with Carl Topilow at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Dr. Mallory Thompson at Northwestern University, and worked with other renown conductors such as Marin Alsop, James Ross, Victor Yampolsky, Kenneth Kiesler, and Richard Rosenberg. Previously, she was resident music director of the American Chamber Opera, based in Chicago. Her work with the company has included a groundbreaking semi-staged production of Mendelssohn's oratorio, Elijah, and Mozart's Don Giovanni, staged in English.  

Ms. Tham received her Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University in Horn Performance. 

About the Wendy Clinard Dance Company

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The Wendy Clinard Dance Company integrates dance and other artistic forms to focus on everyday concerns in a manner that's emotionally engaging and visually and musically tantalizing. Clinard Dance productions are developed over several years of research and subsequent artistic reconfiguration. The work has been described as "physically bold excursions" animated by a fierce intelligence. 

In 2014, Clinard Dance received a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's prestigious Chicago International Connections Fund. This newly-funded project involves working with artist Hrisihkesh Pawar of Pune, India, Founder and Artistic Director of the Hrishikesh Dance Company at the Centre of Contemporary Dance. Pawar set a choreography on the Clinard Dance company fall 2014. In early 2015, Wendy Clinard traveled to Pune to reciprocate. 

About Chicago Sinfonietta
Entering its 29th season, Chicago Sinfonietta has pushed artistic and social boundaries to provide an alternative way of hearing, seeing and thinking about a symphony orchestra. Each concert experience blends inventive new works with classical masterworks, each from a diverse array of voices, to entertain, transform and inspire. Learn more at

Chicago Sinfonietta is grateful to its season supporters including: The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Nicor, Pritzker Foundation, Chicago Magazine, Southwest Airlines, the Hotel Arista, the Fairmont Hotel, WXRT 93.1, Chicago Reader, Naperville's SECA fund, Naperville Magazine, the Illinois Arts Council and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

Chicago Sinfonietta is also grateful to its event sponsors Exelon, PWC, Aon, Hyatt, Macy's, Molex, ABC7, and Telemundo.  

About Mei-Ann Chen
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Innovation, passion and dynamism are the hallmarks of American conductor Mei-Ann Chen. Music Director of the Memphis Symphony since 2010 and of Chicago Sinfonietta since 2011, she has infused both orchestras with energy, enthusiasm and high-level music-making, galvanizing their audiences and communities alike. A sought-after guest conductor, Ms. Chen's reputation as a compelling communicator has resulted in growing popularity with orchestras both nationally and internationally.

Distinguished orchestras and opera companies with whom she has guested internationally include Sweden's Gothenburg Symphony and Norrlands Opera, the BBC Scottish Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony, Austria's Grosses Orchester Graz, and Brazil's São Paulo Symphony and Minas Gerais Philharmonic, Denmark's Danish National Symphony and other principal orchestras, Germany's Badische Staatskapelle Karlsruhe, Finland's Tampere Philharmonic the Netherlands Philharmonic, Norway's Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Trondheim Symphony, and Taiwan's National Symphony. 

North American guest engagements include the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Colorado, Detroit, Fort Worth, Houston, Nashville, Oregon, Pacific, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, and the National Symphony in Washington, D.C., among others. 

For more information on Chicago Sinfonietta, please visit

Comments by email:

1) Lovely post. Thank you Bill!  ~Kalena  [Kalena Bovell]

2) Thanks!!!  Cindy Kurman

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