Percussive rhythms of dancing feet will punctuate the sounds of classical works in the Chicago Sinfonietta’s season opener Tap in. Turn Up., featuring Chicago-based flamenco troupe Clinard Dance Theatre and acclaimed Washington, D.C based tap-prodigy Cartier Williams. The concert also marks the first event in a yearlong celebration of the Sinfonietta’s founder Paul Freeman, who passed away in July.  Entitled "Paul Freeman: Season of Celebration," this series of events will honor the memory of Maestro Freeman through gatherings and musical tributes including a special “moment of sound” at the top of Tap in, Turn Up.

This global twist on classical masterworks will begin with Grammy Award nominee Roberto Sierra’s  Fandangos paired with contemporary flamenco movement followed by excerpts from Stravinsky’s The Firebird Suite accompanied by the staccato rhythms of tap dancing. All of the dancers will then unite in a performance set to Alexander Borodin’s Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances to conclude the first half of the concert. In a grand finale, the entire orchestra will join together in a sultry Arabian Nights performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade.

“What better way to start our 2015-16 season than with a concert that celebrates the beauty of rhythm both aurally and visually?” noted the Chicago Sinfonietta’s music director Mei-Ann Chen. “Tap in. Turn Up. offers a new way of hearing, and viewing, well-loved classical works, and highlights the creative continuity to be found across the arts..”

In keeping with the concert’s rhythmic theme, before the performance and at intermission, audiences will have an opportunity to learn simple tap steps and body percussion from members of the acclaimed Chicago Human Rhythm Project.

Additionally, audience members will be encouraged to step into a video booth set up during intermission and after the concert to share a story about Maestro Freeman and the Sinfonietta as part of its “1,000 Stories Project”. Throughout the year, the videos will be collected and used to create a special tribute to premiere at Chicago Sinfonietta’s annual Ball in June of 2016. Maestro Freeman will continue to be celebrated with special events and musical dedication throughout the season—including two world premiere works created in his memory.

The Chicago Sinfonietta will perform Tap In. Turn Up.twice: first, in the western suburbs at Wentz Concert Hall of North Central College, Naperville, Saturday, October 3 at 8 pm, and then again in its downtown Chicago home venue of Symphony Center, Monday, October 5 at 7:30 pm.  

​For tickets or for more information, call 312-236-5429 or visit

Chicago Sinfonietta to Tap In, and Turn Up in Launch of Tribute Season Honoring Founder Paul Freeman

Tap prodigy Cartier Williams will be in residence as part of the Chicago Sinfonietta's season opener, Tap in Turn Up, October 3 and 5.