Chicago’s Civitas Ensemble presents a spectrum of new instrumental works by living Chinese composers, each with a unique perspective on Western and Far Eastern musical sensibilities. Spearheaded by Shanghai-born violinist Yuan-Qing Yu, a Civitas founding member and assistant concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Jin Yin (“Golden Tone”) comprises world-premiere recordings of works by Yao Chen, Vivian Fung, and Lu Pei, plus specially made new arrangements of pieces from Zhou Long and Chen Yi.
This album of world-premiere recordings features solo and duo piano music spanning nearly the entire career of Prix de Rome and Pulitzer Prize winning composer Leo Sowerby (1895–1968), one of the most distinctive American voices of the early and mid-20th century. Recorded in 1997 in Chicago, where Sowerby spent the bulk of his student and professional life, the album is being released at mid-price with support from the Leo Sowerby Foundation.
Grammy Award-winning, Chicago-based percussion quartet Third Coast Percussion teams up with influential, genre-defying multi-instrumentalist, record producer, songwriter, singer, and composer Devonté Hynes (aka Blood Orange) for an album of imaginative, evocative instrumental music created as the live soundtrack for choreography by the adventurous Hubbard Street Dance Chicago company.
Violinist Jennifer Koh’s Limitless, based on her groundbreaking recital project of the same name, bridges the modern divide between composer and instrumentalist, celebrates artistic collaboration, and revives the grand tradition of composers performing their own music.The album features world-premiere recordings of Koh-commissioned duets by a diverse roster of highly accomplished contemporary composers, which she performs with the composers themselves.
The Grammy Award-winning Pacifica Quartet and multiple Grammy-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin join forces for an
uncommon album of music for strings and guitar from the Baroque to the mid-20th century. Souvenirs of Spain & Italy is the first joint recording by these renowned artists and marks Isbin’s Cedille Records debut.
Black Oak Ensemble, a string trio boasting three of Chicago’s most enterprising and dynamic chamber musicians, makes its recording debut with Silenced Voices, an album of intriguing works by six promising, early 20th century Jewish composers originally from Austria-Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and the Netherlands. One survived World War II as a member of the Dutch resistance, the others perished in concentration camps and elsewhere in Nazi-occupied Europe.
Two-time Grammy Award-nominated harpsichordist Jory Vinikour joins the Chicago Philharmonic, “one of the country’s finest symphonic orchestras” (Chicago Tribune), and its artistic director Scott Speck in a program of 20th-century harpsichord concertos spanning more than six decades.
Anthony McGill, the New York Philharmonic’s principal clarinetist, and brother Demarre McGill, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra’s principle flutist, return to a beloved training ground, the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras (CYSO), for an album of works for flute, clarinet, and orchestra featuring world-premiere recordings of specially commissioned duo concertos.
Grammy Award-winner Alex Klein, former principal oboist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, performs sonatas that signify the oboe’s 20th-century reemergence as a brilliant solo instrument.
Conductor Mei-Ann Chen and the Chicago Sinfonietta — the adventurous, MacArthur Award-winning orchestra that champions racial, ethnic, and gender diversity in classical music — give world-premiere recordings of newly commissioned American works by Jennifer Higdon, Clarice Assad, Jessie Montgomery, and Reena Esmail on Project W: Works by Diverse Women Composers, the capstone project of its 30th anniversary season.
Dmitri Shostakovich’s long-lost Impromptu for Viola and Piano, Op. 33, recently unearthed in the Moscow State Archives, receives its world-premiere recording on Matthew Lipman’s Ascent, the acclaimed young American violist’s solo debut album, featuring, in the artist’s words, “music enraptured by flights of fantasy.”
Musical America's 2016 Instrumentalist of the Year, Jennifer Koh, pays tribute to Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho with an all-Saariaho program. The album features the composer's celebrated Graal théâtre concerto plus four chamber works featuring violin. Guest artists include the Variation Trio, pianist Nicolas Hodges, and cellist Anssi Karttunen.
Violinist Rachel Barton Pine headlines a groundbreaking album of blues-influenced classical works for violin by 20th and 21st Black composers.
Nicole Cabell and Alyson Cambridge, acclaimed sopranos and close friends, record together for the first time on an album of opera duets by Mozart, Offenbach, Humperdinck, and Delibes and specially commissioned duet arrangements of classical songs, folk tunes, and African-American spirituals.
Thomas Hampson makes his Cedille Records debut with a program of songs by five composers of the early 20th century associated with the city of Chicago: Ernst Bacon, Florence Price, John Alden Carpenter, Margaret Bonds, and Louis Campbell-Tipton.