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Civic Orchestra of Chicago 

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Thanks largely to the efforts of CSO composer in residence John Corigliano, the annual New Music Chicago spring festival features a concert of new orchestral scores for the first time. The Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the training orchestra of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, in recent years (again, thanks largely to Corigliano) has taken a committed stand on the performance of new music. The extraordinarily gifted Michael Morgan--recently named principal conductor of the Civic--will conduct the concert, which consists of the most eclectic and interesting program of the NMC festival. Purists may wince at the inclusion of an orchestral piece by Frank Zappa, but the piece, Dupree's Paradise, sufficiently impressed Pierre Boulez that he performed and recorded the work with his Ensemble InterContemporain. The performance of Corigliano's Fantasia on an Ostinato is a tribute to recently deceased Chicago pianist Sheldon Skolnick. Meanwhile, the late Lyric Opera composer in residence Lee Goldstein will be remembered in a performance of an aria from his The Fan, premiered here last June. Also included is music by local composers Mike Twomey, Marilyn Shrude, and Northwestern graduate student Narongrit Dhamabutra. Like all Civic concerts, this one is free, but tickets are required. There will also be a preconcert conversation with the composers beginning at 6:30 PM. Thursday, 8 PM, Orchestra Hall, 220 S. Michigan; 435-8122 or 477-1379.

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