Missy Mazzoli, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Mead Composer-in-Residence from 2018 to 2021.

“If Missy Mazzoli weren’t, well, Missy Mazzoli, hers might have been remembered as the Chicago Symphony residency that wasn’t,” writes Hannah Edgar in Wednesday’s (6/16) Chicago Tribune. “Her long-awaited CSO commission ‘Orpheus Undone’ was … a month from its premiere when COVID-19 vaporized the rest of the performing arts season. The pandemic also doomed two concerts she’d curated for the CSO’s contemporary series MusicNOW…. Even so, when Mazzoli’s residency formally concludes this month, her legacy will speak for itself, [resulting] in some of the most exhilarating, advocative programming to come out of MusicNOW in recent memory…. [Via the] CSOtv platform, Mazzoli and the artistic planning team were able to salvage some of the most feted works from the 2020 MusicNOW season [including] trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith’s never-before-heard ‘Delta Blues’ (1999) … flutist Nicole Mitchell’s world-premiere commission ‘Cult of Electromagnetic Connectivity’ [and] Courtney Bryan’s ‘Requiem.’ … Last year, Mazzoli felt her creative voice become even more daring…. ‘I had more time to sit with my ideas and let them get weirder and weirder.’ … ‘Orpheus Undone,’ Mazzoli’s CSO commission, will finally premiere … next spring, [but] ‘my … goal was to move the needle in a better direction for symphony orchestras everywhere.’ ”