Project W: Works By Diverse Women Composers

Album cover art for upc 735131918527
Label: CED
Catalog: CDR 185
Format: COMPACT DISC

Chen, Mei-Ann; Chicago Sinfonietta; Esmail, Reena

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. Higdon, winner of a Pulitzer Prize and two Grammy Awards, invites listeners to luxuriate in the beauty of a virtuosic string orchestra with Dance Card, a five-moment suite that San Francisco Classical Voice praised for its “pleasurable sounds” and “intellectual heft.” Assad is a Grammy-nominated, Brazilian-American composer and performer. Her Sin Fronteras (Without Borders) lives up to its title with an exotic blend of musical influences from throughout the Americas. Juilliard-trained African-American composer Montgomery, a violinist member of the acclaimed Catalyst Quartet and a collaborator with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad Ensemble, imbues her Coincident Dances with the frenetic energy and multicultural sound worlds of her native New York City. Esmail, an Indian-American graduate of Juilliard and the Yale School of Music, draws from Western and Hindustani (north Indian) classical music for #metoo, a composition rooted in her own personal experiences. Founded by pioneering African-American conductor Paul Freeman (1936–2015), the Chicago Sinfonietta also presents the first-ever recording William Grant Still’s orchestral arrangement of Florence Price’s buoyant, lyrical Dances in the Canebrakes.

Price: $20.99