by Jennie Brown, Artistic Director, Picosa
What a thrill to launch Picosa during our inaugural 2014-2015 season! Embarking on a journey such as this with dear friends who also happen to be inspiring artists and consummate professionals is a true honor and joy.
By season’s close, we performed 24 concerts and workshops all over the Chicago area, including our concert season homes at both PianoForte Chicago and Mayslake Peabody Estate. Our season opened with our collaboration with Pulitzer Prize winner Shulamit Ran and our performance of Mirage for full ensemble. As she said at our first concert, “I was absolutely thrilled to be present as Picosa featured my work Mirage as the signature piece in their inaugural concert at Pianoforte Chicago. In the short time that I have come to know Picosa, I have been very impressed with the passion and commitment they bring to the entire endeavor, both musically and in terms of community engagement.”
We were also thrilled to premiere a new version of Augusta Read Thomas’ Scat, for which she transcribed the existing viola part to clarinet for Picosa. Of our work together, Thomas wrote, “The individual and collective ensemble playing by Picosa is brilliant, passionate, nuanced and musical. When I think of Picosa, I think of great musicians who perform with grace virtuosity, who are fantastic, generous citizens in their bringing music to underserved communities, and who are passionate about the music of living composers!”
Our partnership with Hesed House was an amazing source of inspiration for us, as we visited their children to host workshops for all ages, brought exposure to their cause, and contributed many donations of needed items and over $500 of financial support. Few things this season were as gratifying as seeing our vision of work with Hesed House fulfilled so beautifully.
Our upcoming season presents even more thrilling prospects. We wish all the best to our departing cellist, Christopher Ferrer, a dear friend, and we welcome Sara Sitzer. The direction of programming this season not only crosses boundaries of time, but also presents a global perspective including composers from Spain, Cambodia, Nigeria, Mexico, Iran, and more. We also look forward to presenting new works by Jonathon Kirk, our resident composer, for flute and electronics as well as for full ensemble in his new setting of the Ravel Piano Concerto in G Major, second movement. Additionally, our November concert showcases works by Joseph Schwantner in celebration of Innova’s release of my solo CD Looking Back — Flute Music of Joseph Schwantner which also features our pianist, Jeffrey Panko. Finally, we are excited to add a new regular venue to our season, Gottlieb Hall at the Merit School of Music. We look forward to having you join us for our performances, and as always, enjoy great refreshments and conversation at our receptions after every performance!
Please visit www.picosamusic.com for additional information.