Celebrating the Legacy of Maestro Paul Freeman all Season Long

Chicago Sinfonietta dedicates our entire 2015-16 season to the memory and legacy of Founder and Music Director, Maestro Paul Freeman. Since his passing in July of this year, much has been written and shared about Maestro Freeman and his lifelong dedication to music and the rich diversity of human achievement. Throughout our season, we will continue to honor Paul through special events, the collection and sharing of 1,000 personal memories, stories, photographs and videos and of course through the Sinfonietta’s music, including the dedication of several of Maestro Freeman’s favorite pieces and two world premiere pieces composed in his honor.

Below you can learn more about the ways you can join us in celebrating Paul’s incredible contributions to music and our community. We encourage you to check back often as we will add and update this list of activities frequently and offer a variety of ways for you to share your memories and embrace a spirit of celebration around Maestro Freeman all season long!

Oct 17 Paul Freeman: The Global Maestro Remembered

Join us as we honor and remember Maestro Paul Freeman through music, special guest speakers and more. This event is free and open to the public and attendees will be invited to remember Paul through participation in our 1,000 Stories Project, contributing to a collaborative artwork made in Paul's memory and embracing the beauty of some of Paul's favorite pieces of music.

Paul Freeman: The Global Maestro Remembered
Community Memorial Event

Saturday, October 17th
@ 11AM-12:30PM

Lund Auditorium
Dominican University
7900 Division St.
River Forest, IL 60305

Learn More


Starting in September and continuing through June 2016, our “1,000 Stories Project” will actively collect memories and stories about Maestro Freeman through video booths at our concerts, personal interviews with musicians, social media and more. There are lots of ways to share your memories with us to help us reach our goal of 1,000 stories by our Ball in June!

  • Post on Social Media using #MaestroFreemanStories: Share your memories with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and tag your story with the hashtag #MaestroFreemanStories. We will collect your quotes, photos and videos throughout the year and share them online and at concerts and events!

  • Email memories to freemanstories@chicagosinfonietta.org: Send us an email to share your memories, photos, videos and more!

  • Mail in memories: Send us a letter, a postcard, a photocopy, an old program – anything you want to contribute! Simply drop your story in the mail to us at:

  • Chicago Sinfonietta
    RE: Maestro Freeman Stories
    70 E Lake St, Suite 1430
    Chicago, IL 60601

  • Concert Video Booths: At every concert this season, we will have video booths set up for you to step up and share your short story about Paul and the Sinfonietta. Videos collected throughout the year will be used to create a special tribute premiered at our Ball in June!
  • 2015/16 Calendar of Events

    Concert 1: Tap In. Turn Up.

    Oct 3 @ 8:00 pm, Wentz Concert Hall
    Oct 5 @ at 7:30 pm, Symphony Center

    Share your memories in our first "1,000 Stories Project" video booth. We will also begin the concert with a special musical dedication to Maestro Freeman.

    Concert 2: Día de los Muertos

    Nov 1 @ 3:00 pm, Wentz Concert Hall
    Nov 2 @ at 7:30 pm, Symphony Center

    Featuring the world premiere of Ofrendas: Mictecacihuatl, Lady of the Underworld, a new work composed by Elbio Barilari in Paul’s memory. Attendees are also invited to contribute to an ofrenda created in Paul's honor.

    Concert 3: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert

    Jan 17 @ 3:00 pm, Wentz Concert Hall
    Jan 18 @ at 7:30 pm, Symphony Center

    Featuring the Apostolic Church of God Choir, with whom Maestro Freeman frequently collaborated, this concert will honor and celebrate Paul with moving performances tributes from our guest artists and of course Paul’s signature closing piece, We Shall Overcome.

    Arts & Diversity Reception Celebrating Paul Freeman

    January 18th, 2016 @ 5:30PM
    Symphony Center

    Our annual Arts & Diversity Reception will be dedicated to Paul's incredible legacy. At this event, we will bring together citywide leaders in the field of Diversity & Inclusion to honor Maestro Freeman’s dedication and commitment to creating an orchestra that represented the broad community it served.

    Concert 4: BYOB: Bring Your Own Beat

    Mar 12 @ 8:00 pm, Wentz Concert Hall
    Mar 14 @ at 7:30 pm, Symphony Center

    This concert will feature Pataruco: Concerto for Venezuelan Maracas and Orchestra, debuted by Paul, and Estancia Dances, one of his favorite works. We will shine a light on the history of Project Inclusion and Paul’s dedication to education and development for young musicians with Project Inclusion Conducting Fellow, Roger Kalia serving as a guest conductor for a piece at this concert.

    Concert 5: Cosmic Convergence

    May 21 @ 8:00 pm, Wentz Concert Hall
    May 23 @ at 7:30 pm, Symphony Center

    Featuring the world premiere of a new work composed by Michael Abels, inspired by, and dedicated to Paul. We will also premiere the result of our "1,000 Stories Project" and have a special surprise "astronomical" dedication.

    2016 Chicago Sinfonietta Ball

    June 4th, 2016

    The culminating event in our Season of Celebration, our annual Ball will honor Maestro Freeman’s life, legacy and incredible contributions to our community and the larger landscape of orchestral music. The evening will include special performances led by Project Inclusion conductors as well as videos celebrating Paul’s life.