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Chicago Sinfonietta


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Composer Hayden Wayne is an example of a new breed of mavericks whose formative experiences are rooted in the 60s and who now embrace music as a celebration of diversity and ethnic pride. Born to a musical showbiz family and largely self-taught, Wayne started out as a rock keyboardist--touring with Sly Stone, the Fifth Dimension, and Gladys Knight and the Pips--and also wrote commercial jingles and scored for film. Yet like many musicians in the pop field, such as the Police's Stewart Copeland, he yearns for respect as a classical composer, tackling "serious" subjects and forging a blend of idioms that he believes is unique. His compositions in this vein bear titles such as Funk (Symphony no. 4) and Rock-n-Roll (Piano Concerto no. 1). A hobby of his is studying tomes on orchestration by the likes of Rimsky-Korsakov. Not surprisingly, his Symphony no. 5 (aka Africa), whose third movement will be premiered locally in this program, has the ample scope and lush sound of a late-19th-century tone poem. Inspired by the rhythms of African tribal rites, this sprawling work is evocative yet luridly bombastic, a heavy-metal sensibility driving a montage of colorful tableaux. Also on the Sinfonietta's typically eclectic program is Ballad for Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Trio by pianist patriarch Ellis Marsalis, whose trio will also perform a medley of his arrangements of Duke Ellington tunes. More traditional fare is represented by Prokofiev's Symphony no. 1 and Vivaldi's Concerto Grosso in A. Paul Freeman conducts. Sunday, 2:30 PM, Rosary College, 7900 W. Division, River Forest. Monday, 7:30 PM, Orchestra Hall, 220 S. Michigan. 857-1062. TED SHEN

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