The Chicago Sinfonietta takes pride in its multiethnic roster and eclectic, offbeat programming, and after five years in the business it is thriving as a niche player--arguably one in a handful of successful new ensembles nationwide. Come November it will go on tour in Germany, a rite of passage designed to trumpet its growing renown. The formula of the sinfonietta's success includes its founder Paul Freeman, a talented and tireless maestro whose penchnt for highlighting unusual works is unmatched (in the Chicago area anyway). This bill of fare is a typical example: other than Rossini's La gazza ladra OVerture, the rest all comes from the outer reaches of the orchestral repertoire. Topping the list, in terms of novelty, is Morton Gould's Tap Dance Concerto (1952), which features a dancer (in this case, Lane Alexander) tapping to a procession of changing rhythms. Also high stepping in nature is Kodaly's seldom-performed Dances of Galanta. The other 20th-century peices are Pulitzer-winner Ellen Zwilich's energetic Variations for Strings (1984) and Barber's lushly lyrical Capricorn Concerto. Derek Han, a young Chinese American pianist, will solo in Mendelssohn's delectable but empty-headed Piano Concerto no. 1. The Gould concerto will be performed in the Orchestra Hall appearance; it will be substituted by the Barber concerto in the Rosary college program. Sunday, 2:30 PM, Rosary College, 7900 W. Division, Rover Forest; Wednesday, 7:30 PM, Orchestra Hall, 220 S. Michigan. 708-366-1062.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Yancey Hughes.