North Central College - Naperville, IL

Chicago Sinfonietta to make new west suburban home at Wentz Concert Hall

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April 7, 2011—North Central College and the Chicago Sinfonietta are pleased to announce a partnership to make the College’s Wentz Concert Hall the Sinfonietta’s new west suburban home.

The Chicago Sinfonietta—the nation’s most diverse symphony orchestra—will take residency at North Central’s Wentz Concert Hall and Fine Arts Center beginning with the 2011-2012 performing arts season.

“We were attracted to Naperville and the diversity of the community and performing in one of the finest performing arts venues in Illinois,” says Jim Hirsch, executive director of the Chicago Sinfonietta. “The musicians were blown away by the acoustics and aesthetic beauty of Wentz Concert Hall. It is a fantastic place to perform and hear a concert.”

The Sinfonietta’s season-opening concert on Sept. 24 in Wentz Concert Hall will be the debut of Mei-Ann Chen as the orchestra’s new music director. Chen will succeed Maestro Paul Freeman, who founded the orchestra in 1987 and who will retire at the end of the 2010-2011 season. Freeman will become music director emeritus.

“The Chicago Sinfonietta is an amazing orchestra,” says Brian Lynch, fine arts director at North Central College. “They use very non-traditional programming, and the audience is able to see a culture on stage with every performance.”

The Chicago Sinfonietta performed in Wentz Concert Hall during the College’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Week celebrations in 2010 and 2011. With the new partnership, the Chicago Sinfonietta will make four appearances at North Central College during the 2011-2012 season:

· Sept. 24, 2011: Guest soloist and former principal harpist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Ann Hobson Pilot joins the orchestra for a performance of An-Lun Huang’s “Saibei Dance.” The program includes Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and works by William Grant Still and John Williams.
· Nov. 5, 2011: Adler Planetarium astronomer and visual artist Dr. José Francisco Salgado collaborates with the Sinfonietta once again to design breath-taking visual accompaniments to Maurice Ravel’s “Daphnis et Chloé.” The program includes Michael Gandolfi’s “The Garden of Cosmic Speculation” and Richard Strauss’s “Also sprach Zarathustra,” made famous in Stanley Kubrich’s film “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
·  Jan. 15, 2012: The Sinfonietta continues its annual tradition of paying tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a selection of five works, including Michael Torke’s “Javelin.” Conductor Jeri Lynne Johnson joins Maestro Chen for Charles Ives’ “Central Park in the Dark.” The program features the world premiere of “Flight for Freedom” by the Sinfonietta’s own Nicole Mitchell, herself an internationally lauded composer and jazz flutist. The Apostolic Church of God Sanctuary Choir joins the Sinfonietta for a selection of gospel music and spirituals.
·  June 15, 2012: A narrator joins Maestro Chen leading the orchestra through excerpts of Felix Mendelssohn’s romantic “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The Sphinx-commissioned “Delights & Dances” by Michael Abels written for the esteemed Harlem Quartet continues the program. The season concludes with a world premiere arrangement for string quartet and orchestra by Randall Fleischer of Leonard Bernstein’s iconic musical “West Side Story.”

The Sinfonietta will continue to make its Chicago home at Symphony Center. Its previous suburban home was at Dominican University. Subscribers who choose to transfer their subscription to North Central College will become Charter Members of the Sinfonietta's residency at Wentz Concert Hall. Charter Members enjoy the distinct benefit of a subscription price that will never increase each year they renew.

Single tickets for the Sinfonietta’s 2011-2012 season go on sale Aug. 15, 2011 with prices ranging from $35 to $45 for concerts at Wentz Concert Hall and special $10 pricing available for students. Season subscription packages and single tickets can be purchased by calling the Sinfonietta's Box Office at 312-236-3681, ext. 2 or online at
Dedicated in 2008, the 605-seat Wentz Concert Hall features acoustics designed by the Talaske Group, acoustical consultants for Chicago’s critically acclaimed Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park.

The Chicago Sinfonietta, now in its 24th season, has a proud history of enriching the cultural, educational and social quality of life in Chicago while gaining significant recognition on the national and international stages. The Sinfonietta presents a full season of symphonic concerts as well as a Chamber Series, and has served as official orchestra of The Joffrey Ballet since 2003. The Sinfonietta is dedicated to the authentic performance of Classical, Romantic and Contemporary repertoire and excels at presenting imaginative new works by composers and soloists of color. Visit to learn more.

Founded in 1861 and celebrating its Sesquicentennial in 2011, North Central College is an independent, comprehensive college of the liberal arts and sciences that offers more than 55 undergraduate majors and graduate programming in six areas. Located in the Historic District of Naperville, Illinois—rated by Money magazine as among the nation’s “Best Places to Live”—North Central College is just 30 minutes from Chicago’s Loop. With more than 2,900 undergraduate and graduate students, North Central College is committed to academic excellence, a climate that emphasizes leadership, ethics, values and service, a curriculum that balances job-related knowledge with a liberal arts foundation and a caring environment with small classes. Visit to learn more.