Conductor Mei-Ann Chen.

In Wednesday’s (11/29) I Care If You Listen, Christine S. Escobar writes, “Growing up in Taiwan in the 1980s, Mei-Ann Chen studied violin and piano. But when she started playing in orchestras, she began to understand the role of the conductor—a role she knew she wanted more than any other … ‘I realized that I could use body language to help communicate with others [through music], and I saw that that was the language for me,’ she recalls…. Chen has since established a celebrated conducting career and is in demand internationally across Europe, Asia, and the Americas. But her primary post is with the Chicago Sinfonietta; she has served as the orchestra’s music director since 2011, and her contract was recently extended through ​​the end of the 2028-2029 season. Since its founding in 1987 by the late Maestro Paul Freeman, the Chicago Sinfonietta has made it their mission to champion diversity, equity, and inclusion through innovative programming: a mission that remains quite unique among U.S. orchestras…. The Sinfonietta’s mission is one that Chen seeks to fulfill alongside President and CEO Blake-Anthony Johnson. She credits Johnson for establishing a brand-new collaboration with KultureCity to create sensory-friendly concerts, and the Sinfonietta is also continuing their ‘Pay What You Can’ program … making classical concerts accessible to more people.”