Works by Pulitzer Prize winner John Luther Adams, contemporary icons Pierre Boulez and Esa-Pekka Salonen, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood and avant-garde composer John Zorn have been announced for the 2014/15 season of MusicNOW, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association’s contemporary music series. The annual four-concert, Monday-night series is presented at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph. Led by MusicNOW principal conductor Cliff Colnot, the concerts are performed by members of the CSO, along with guest artists and conductors, and feature video projections, DJ sets and post-concert talks.
The season begins Sept. 29 and continues through Jan. 19, 2015; March 23, and June 1. Subscription tickets ($72 for the series) are on sale now at cso.org, by phone (312-294-3000 or 800-223-7114) or at the Symphony Center box office, 220 S. Michigan. Single tickets go on sale Aug. 8.
CSO Mead co-composers in residence Mason Bates and Anna Clyne, appointed in 2010 to their posts by CSO Music Director Riccardo Muti, return for their final season as curators for the series. To honor the 90th birthday of Boulez, the CSO’s Regenstein conductor emeritus as well as composer, conductor, music theorist and mentor, Bates and Clyne have created an intimate concert program called “Boulez’s Workshop” (March 23).
Sept. 29: an ambient pastoral piece titled The Wind in High Places by John Luther Adams; the electro-acoustic SynchroniCities by Chicago-based composer Anthony Cheung; Light Is Calling, a multimedia work by filmmaker Bill Morrison and composer Michael Gordon, a founding member of the experimental music collective Bang on a Can, and Bates’ sinfonietta for 12 players, The Rise of Exotic Computing. James Feddeck, winner of the 2013 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, will lead the concert.
Jan. 19, 2015: Greenwood’s suite from the film score “There Will Be Blood” (2007); Clyne’s A Wonderful Day, featuring performances by Chicago street musicians; Dan Trueman’s electro-acoustic percussion trio titled 120 bpm, and Salvatore Sciarrino’s Ai limiti della note for solo viola. Inspired by the CSO’s 2014/15 season focus on the works of Alexander Scriabin, DJ Justin Reed and lighting designer Todd Clark will create the multimedia presentation Hommage à Scriabin.
March 23: Boulez’s chamber work for 11 instruments, Dérive 2; Bates’ Indigo Workshop for solo piano, and the world premiere of Clyne’s Postponeless Creature, a CSO commission for MusicNOW. It also marks Clyne’s latest in a series of works inspired by the poetry of Emily Dickinson.
June 1: The season finale will showcase Chicago pianist-composer Myra Melford and avant-garde composer-instrumentalist John Zorn. Melford will perform her own compositions, including The Whole Tree Gone. Completing the program will be selections from Zorn’s Goetia for solo violin, Salonen’s Dichtomie for piano and Chicago composer Marc Mellits’ Octet. The Chicago film production group Cinema Libertad will create visual elements especially for this program.
PHOTO: Conductor Cristian Macelaru (left) asks composer Anders Hillborg to take a bow after a MusicNOW concert last fall. | Photo by Todd Rosenberg