The Chicago Sinfonietta will celebrate the global influence of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s message with two performances of their Annual Tribute Concert featuring Grammy Award-winning vocalist Eric Owens and Metropolitan Opera principal clarinetist Anthony McGill. The concerts will take place at Wentz Concert Hall in Naperville and at Symphony Center in Chicago.
Under the baton of music director Mei-Ann Chen, the Sinfonietta will take a musical journey through America, Africa, and the Pacific Islands. The performance will open with music by Chicago composer Florence Price, who was the first African-American woman to have a work performed by a major orchestra.
Eric Owens, a bass-baritone best known for lead roles with major opera companies around the United States, will make his conductorial debut with Samuel Barber's Adagio. Owens will also sing I'm a Soldier (Spiritual Suite) by Chicagoan Lena McClin. The former Chicago public high school music teacher has written over 400 compositions including the cantata Free at Last, which was premiered by the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.
Metropolitan Opera principal clarinetist Anthony McGill will perform Aaron Copland's Clarinet Concerto. McGill, who grew up in Chicago's Chatham neighborhood, performed at President Barack Obama's first inauguration in a chamber ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, and Gabriela Montero.
Other works on the performance will include Ghanian drummer Obo Addy's Wawshishijay (originally composed for the Kronos Quartet) and gospels and spirituals from around the world song by the Mosaic Choir from Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora
The performances will take place on Sunday, Jan. 20th at 3:00 pm at Wentz Concert Hall in Naperville and on Monday, Jan. 21st at 7:30 pm at Symphony Center in Chicago. Tickets are available at chicagosinfonietta.org or by calling 312-284-1554.