“It’s a battle royale when the classically trained Chicago Sinfonietta goes head-to-head—or violin to electric guitar—with the avant-garde Mucca Pazza,” writes Annie Alleman in Friday’s (9/19) Chicago Sun-Times. “Conductor Mei-Ann Chen leads the Sinfonietta in [a] Sept. 20 show at Wentz Concert Hall at North Central College in Naperville. Joining the orchestra for the second half of the performance will be Chicago’s punk rock marching band Mucca Pazza.… Chen opens the season honoring the trailblazing spirit of Florence Price with Dances in the Canebrakes, before marching through tradition with works by Benjamin Britten and Ralph Vaughan Williams. And then the program takes a 180-degree turn, when the orchestra faces off against the punk marching band before culminating with Tchaikovsky’s Overture 1812.… So how does a respectable orchestra find itself throwing down with a marching band full of punks? Turns out, Chen listens to her patrons, her musicians and her board members when they make suggestions about music to perform or artists to collaborate with. One name that popped up over and over again was Mucca Pazza.… ‘I think it’s going to be a very fun and innovative way of pushing the envelope as [to] what collaboration could be between a punk marching band and an orchestra.’ ”

Posted September 23, 2014