A Winter Playlist

January 13, 2022


Experience A Winter Playlist featuring violinist, Bella Hristova, guest conductor, Kazem Abdullah, and the ICO.



Contact: Dana Stone

Main: 317-940-9607


Indianapolis-(January 13, 2023) Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra (ICO) is preparing for its upcoming 2022-2023 season concert: A Winter Playlist. This concert features a guest violinist and a guest conductor. Conductor and Indiana native, Kazem Abdullah, will captivate audiences with new, rediscovered, and timeless music. Audiences will experience the Indiana premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain Suite and a re-discovered masterpiece; Louise Farrenc’s Symphony No. 3. International Violin Competition of Indianapolis laureate, Bella Hristova, will delight audiences with Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2, Op. 63 in g minor.


The ICO is honored to premiere Higdon’s, Cold Mountain Suite, for the first time in Indiana as part of her consortium with New Music for America (NMFA). This commission is a result of Higdon’s first opera, Cold Mountain, winning the prestigious International Opera Award for Best World Premiere in 2016. This was the first American opera to do so in the award’s history.


Featured Artists

Kazem Abdullah (Conductor) currently lives in Nürnberg, Germany and is excited to return to his birthplace in Indiana. Abdullah’s family has called Indiana home for generations, and he is thrilled to return to Indy after a ten-year performance hiatus. Kazem began his music studies at age ten when his school music education program provided an opportunity to choose an instrument to study. He played many instruments as a child including bassoon, viola, oboe, flute, piano, and most intently, clarinet. Abdullah fell in love with conducting because it allowed him to combine his interests in orchestral and baroque music with opera. He studied conducting at the Interlochen Arts Academy, University of Southern California, and Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. He accepted his first professional conducting position with the Los Angeles Opera.

Abdullah was Music and Artistic Director of the Sinfonieorchester Aachen in the City of Aachen, Germany from 2012 to 2017. Kazem believes the best way to keep classical music relevant is to connect with present day audiences by premiering new works and increasing exposure to “unearthed masterpieces”.

Bella Hristova (Violin) is a Bulgarian-born violinist known for her passionate and powerful performances, beautiful sound, and compelling command of her instrument. She is a 2006 laureate of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis and the recipient of numerous prizes around the world including the Avery Fischer Career Grant, Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and the Michael Hill International Violin Competition. She has performed extensively as a soloist with many orchestras and has performed recitals at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Boston’s Isabella Gardner Museum, and The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. “Bella Unaccompanied,” Ms. Hristova’s recording on Tonegold Records, features works by Corigliano, Kevin Puts, Piazzolla, Milstein, and Bach. Bella is also a committed proponent of new music. Hristova began violin studies at the age of six in her native Bulgaria. She studied with Ida Kavafian at the Curtis Institute of Music and received her Artist Diploma with Jaime Laredo at Indiana University. Ms. Hristova lives in Philadelphia with her husband and their four cats. She performs on a 1655 Nicolò Amati violin.

Jennifer Higdon (Composer), Pulitzer Prize and three-time Grammy winner, is one of the most performed living American composers working today. She taught herself to play flute at the age of 15, began formal musical studies at 18, and composition at the age of 21. Her works range in genres from orchestral, chamber, and wind ensemble, to vocal, choral, and opera. Cold Mountain, her first opera, won the prestigious International Opera Award for Best World Premiere in 2016 and was the first American opera to do so in the award’s history. Higdon is the recent recipient of Northwestern University’s prestigious Nemmers Prize for music composition and the UT Austin EM King Award. She has received additional honors from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Pew Fellowship in the Arts, the American Academy of Arts & Letters, and more. Commissions have come from a wide range of performers: from the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony to The President’s Own Marine Band; from the Tokyo String Quartet to Eighth Blackbird, as well as individual artists. She received a bachelor’s degree in music from Bowling Green State University, an Artist Diploma from The Curtis Institute of Music, an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and was inducted into the American Philosophical Society. Higdon makes her living from commissions and serves as composer-in-residence with various orchestras throughout the country. Her works are recorded on over 80 CDs.


Concert Details

Saturday, January 28th, 2023, 7:30 PM

Schrott Center for the Arts: 610 W. 46th St., Indianapolis, IN 46208

Single Tickets: $35-40

Duet Pack (2) $65-$75, Chamber Choice (4) at $120-$140

Buy online at www.icomusic.org or call us at 317-940-9607


Concert Program

Jennifer Higdon – Cold Mountain Suite
Prokofiev – Violin Concerto No. 2, Op. 63 in g minor
     Bella Hristova, Violin

Louise Farrenc – Symphony No. 3


Music Director, Matthew Kraemer, will continue to bring both innovative and classic programming to the ICO this season. Kraemer states, “The ICO’s 2022-2023 season consists of superb music spanning almost 350 years and representing 11 different countries, featuring works by five living composers, three female composers, and celebrating two composer anniversaries.”  Kraemer is particularly excited for three projects long delayed due to the pandemic: Jennifer Higdon’s consortium commission (1.28.23), the 1931 classic film Frankenstein, and Beethoven’s monumental opera Fidelio.” Audiences will return to Schrott Center for the Arts at full capacity to fully immerse themselves in ICO’s Intimate-Classic-Original experience once again.

A four-ticket Chamber Choice pack, a two-ticket Duet pack, and single tickets are on sale NOW. Each package includes exclusive benefits such as complimentary access to season compilation videos, free ticket exchanges, lost ticket replacement, priority seating, and personalized customer service. Ticket packages offer savings on prices and ticket fees.




About the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra:  Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra (ICO) advances and promotes music composed for the small orchestra through professional concert performances and educational programs. Comprised of 34 professional musicians, the ICO presents an annual concert series and provides orchestral accompaniment for key local arts and education groups. Led by Matthew Kraemer as Music Director and Conductor, the ICO proudly serves as professional orchestra-in-residence at the Schrott Center for the Arts, Butler Arts Center.

As a champion for new music, the ICO annually conducts a national competition for the composition of new works and serves as the resident orchestra for the Indiana State University Contemporary Music Festival. Joshua Thompson currently serves as the ICO’s Creative Partner-in-Residence. A weekly ICO radio broadcast airs on WFYI 90.1 FM. The ICO offers a full range of educational programs for ages pre-K through adult, with free appearances throughout Indianapolis.




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