Chicago Sinfonietta
The Chicago Sinfonietta is an American orchestra based in Chicago, Illinois. The stated mission of the orchestra is to "serve as a national model for inclusiveness and innovation in classical music" and to "help America become a true cultural democracy, in which everyone can share fully in its cultural resources and in which all can contribute to it cultural richness." The group has sometimes billed itself as "The Nation's Most Diverse Orchestra."

The orchestra was founded in 1987 under the guidance of Music Director Paul Freeman
Paul Freeman (conductor)
Paul Freeman is an African American conductor.Born in Richmond, Virginia, Freeman earned bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees from the Eastman School of Music. A Fulbright Scholarship enabled him to study for two years at the Berlin University of the Arts...

. In its first decade, the group made several tours of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, and other overseas destinations. In that time, guest performers included the Vienna Boys Choir, Ben Vereen
Ben Vereen
Ben Vereen is an American actor, dancer, and singer who has appeared in numerous Broadway theatre shows. Vereen graduated from Manhattan's High School of Performing Arts.- Early years :...

, and Marian McPartland
Marian McPartland
Margaret Marian McPartland, OBE is an English-born jazz pianist, composer, writer, and the host of Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz on National Public Radio, NPR.-Early life:...

. In its second decade the group has released three new recordings and performed with guests including Poi Dog Pondering
Poi Dog Pondering
Poi Dog Pondering is an American musical group, noted for its cross-pollination of diverse musical genres, including various forms of acoustic folk music, and electronic music. Founded in Hawaii in 1985, the band moved to Austin, Texas in 1987, where they recorded their first three albums...

, Howard Levy
Howard Levy
Howard Levy is a Grammy Award–winning, American harmonicist, pianist, composer, and producer....

, Rachel Barton Pine
Rachel Barton Pine
Rachel Barton Pine is a violinist from Chicago. Considered a child prodigy at the violin, she started playing at the age of 3 and a half. She played at many renowned venues as a child and teenager...

, Orbert Davis
Orbert Davis
Orbert Davis is an American jazz trumpeter and bandleader.- Biography :Davis was born in Chicago and raised in Momence, Illinois. He began playing trumpet around the age of ten, but was not formally instructed until Charles Danish, an elementary school teacher, found him a trumpet teacher and drove...

, and the Apostolic Church of God Choir.

Music Director Dr.Paul Freeman was the co-host of the National Public Radio program, The Global Maestro and conducted the Czech National Symphony Orchestra
Czech National Symphony Orchestra
Czech National Symphony Orchestra is a symphony orchestra in Prague in the Czech Republic. It was established in 1993 by trumpet player Jan Hasenöhrl...

. Dr. Freeman founded the Chicago Sinfonietta after not finding enough conducting opportunities for African American conductors, instrumentalists and composers. With the announcement of Paul Freeman’s planned retirement in 2011, the organization conducted a two-year international search that resulted in the 2010 announcement of Mei-Ann Chen’s appointment as Music Director. Maestro Freeman’s final season culminated with a national broadcast of his final performance on WFMT 98.7 FM that also featured Maestro Chen as co-conductor for the evening. Maestro Chen’s tenure as Music Director was formally introduced to the city on August 14, 2011 with a free concert in Millennium Park celebrating the diversity of Chicago’s neighborhoods and people.

The 2011-2012 Season is the first under the baton of Mei-Ann Chen.

In keeping with its "vision of inclusiveness," the orchestra has sought to develop future musicians and audience through an outreach program entitled "Audience Matters." Working with the Chicago Public Schools, this initiative offers music programming and subsidized tickets to the orchestra's performances to students in underserved Chicago neighborhoods.

The orchestra regularly performs in Chicago’s Orchestra Hall
Orchestra Hall
Orchestra Hall may refer to:*Symphony Center, home of Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Illinois*Orchestra Hall *Orchestra Hall...

 at Symphony Center
Symphony Center
Symphony Center is a music complex located at 220 South Michigan Avenue in the Loop area of Chicago, Illinois. Home to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Sinfonietta, Symphony Center includes the 2,522-seat Orchestra Hall, which dates from 1904; Buntrock Hall, a rehearsal and...

 and has been, since its founding in 1987, the orchestra-in-residence at Dominican University
Dominican University (Illinois)
Dominican University is a coeducational, comprehensive, Catholic institution of higher education and research in River Forest, Illinois. Affiliated with the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters, it offers bachelor's and master's degrees and certificate programs...

. The orchestra also performs with the Joffrey Ballet
Joffrey Ballet
The Joffrey Ballet is a dance company in Chicago, Illinois, founded in 1956. From 1995 to 2004, the company was known as The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago. The company regularly performs classical ballets including Romeo & Juliet and The Nutcracker, while balancing those classics with pioneering modern...

. Members of the orchestra include Paul Zafer, Ricardo Castaneda, Matthew Mantell, Emily Lewis Mantell, Robert Everson, Karl E. H. Seigfried
Karl E. H. Seigfried
Karl E. H. Seigfried is a German-American jazz, rock, and classical bassist, guitarist, composer, bandleader, writer and educator based in Chicago....

, Faye Seeman, Todd Matthews, Phyllis Sanders, Robert Fisher
Robert Fisher
Robert Fisher may refer to:* Robert M. Fisher , American artist* Robert Fisher , American writer on play The Impossible Years* Robert J. Fisher , American business manager and director of Gap Inc...

, Becky Coffman, and William Porter
William Porter
William Franklin Porter II was an American athlete, winner of 110 metre hurdles at the 1948 Summer Olympics....

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