The season opens on October 1 with the world premiere of David Baker's Concertino for Cell Phones, which "incorporates audience participation." Opening night also features Van Cliburn gold medalist Alexander Kobrin performing Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 2, and Sphinx competition winner violinist Melissa White playing Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1.
In conjunction with the Chicago Humanities Festival, the orchestra will present the world premiere of Buffalo Soldiers, created in honor of the famed all-black regiments who served in the Civil War. The work is composed by war veteran James Kimo Williams and has lyrics by General Colin Powell.
The Sinfonietta's annual tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. will include the Adagietto from Mahler's Symphony No. 5. Later in the season, Christopher Parkening will play Elmer Bernstein's Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra, then join baritone Jubilant Sykes to perform Negro spirituals.
All concerts will be led by Paul Freeman, the Sinfonietta's founding music director.
Jim Hirsch, executive director of the Chicago Sinfonietta, said, "In our 20th-anniversary season, we believe that we have pushed the envelope and, once again, fulfilled our mission to provide bold and exciting symphonic programming to the community."
The Sinfonietta bills itself as the "nation's most diverse orchestra"; it specializes in new works by minority composers as well as the Classical and Romantic repertoire.