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Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra performs in Palos Heights


Palos Heights is among five US cities where the new composition “Kiskadee” was performed.

The Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert of Sierra, Gershwin & Tchaikovsky on February 24 at Trinity Christian College’s Ozinga Chapel features the work of 2022 Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation Orchestral Commission recipient Arlene Sierra.

“The Virginia Toulmin Foundation has worked with the League of American Orchestras and the American Composers Orchestra to commission women composers to write new works that are premiered and performed across the country,” said London-based Sierra.

“The program addresses two long-standing problems in classical music: 1. Women make up approximately 10 percent of composers whose works are currently performed, and 2. Newly commissioned works are rarely performed a second or more times after their premieres.”

Detroit Symphony Orchestra and conductor Kevin John Edusei premiered “Kiskadee” in October

The Louisiana Philharmonic and its music director Matthew Kraemer performed the piece in January.

Sierra, who was nominated for a Latin Grammy, said, “Thanks to the Toulmin program, my work ‘Kiskadee’ will perform multiple times with the Detroit, Louisiana, Illinois, Wheeling and Dallas symphonies in the 2023-24 and 2024-25 seasons.” Award for best classical contemporary composition for “Moler”.

“This is my first work with the Illinois Philharmonic, who applied to be part of the current tour of new works commissioned by Toulmin.

“Many of my recent works use bird songs, and it is the call of the kiskadee that opens this piece as a sort of fanfare. “I wanted to write something full of energy that showed what a good orchestra can do while giving a strong start to a full musical program.”

The concert, directed by Stilian Kirov, also includes George Gershwin’s “Concerto in F” featuring world-famous pianist Sean Chen and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet” Overture-Fantasy.

“As a composer of new music, I always like to have my work performed alongside standard orchestral repertoire. The combination of different eras of classical music with a new piece gives a great insight into where we are and where we are going,” said Sierra.

“I enjoyed playing Gershwin’s ‘Three Preludes’ as a young pianist, and I have always admired his work as an American composer who pushed the boundaries of his time. Tchaikovsky was also a great innovator. Even though it is a romantic period, it always manages to impress and delight, especially the orchestration.

“Kiskadee” is a sequel to Sierra’s books “Bird Symphony” (2021)” and “Birds and Insects, Book 3” (2023), who is also a professor of music composition at Cardiff University.

“Part of a larger series of works based on ideas from the natural world, the mechanics and processes of nature form the basis of my approach to composition rather than offering simple reflection or meditation,” said Sierra, who first began composing through this medium. electronic music.

“The study uses transcription of the kiskadee’s call as well as transcription of sounds from the environment.”

Sierra and Chen, who teaches at DePaul University and will do the same at the University of Chicago, will host a free pre-concert lecture at 6:30 p.m.

VanderCook College of Music presents a free performance in the Grand Lobby at 7 p.m.

Sierra, Gershwin and Tchaikovsky

When: 24 February 19:30

Where: Trinity Christian College’s Ozinga Chapel, 6601 W. College Drive, Palos Heights

Tickets: $15-$84; $37 We Choose (cash only)

Information: 708-481-7774; ipomusic.org

Jessi Virtusio is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.


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