CSO MusicNOW & Curator-Composers Announced for ’24–25

By Keegan Morris and Adela Skowronski |

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composite image of photo portraits of two composers: DBR on the left and Jimmy López Bellido on the right

Daniel Bernard Roumain (L; Photo: Julieta Cervantes) & Jimmy López Bellido (R; Photo: Ashkan Image)

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW series returns for a 2024-2025 season, to be curated by two new appointees. Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) and Jimmy López Bellido have been named the orchestra’s Mead Composer-Curators.

The two artists are the inaugural Mead Composer-Curators. The corresponding position has previously been the Mead Composer-in-Residence. The residency is currently Jessie Montgomery’s (through the end of June 2024), and has previously been held by Mason Bates, John Corigliano, and Missy Mazzoli, among others.

This marks the 26th season of the CSO series, which focuses specifically on the works of contemporary and living composers. The MusicNOW slate features two concerts, both to be held at Symphony Center, with each composer programming one performance.

While the new Composer-Curator roles do not appear to carry mainstage commission expectations, the two artists will nonetheless remain active with the orchestra through the curation of two unique concert experiences.

Chicago-born DBR will kick off the CSO MusicNOW season on Sunday, November 24, 2024, with a program featuring works inspired by strength and change. With music by Brittany J. Green and Allison Loggins-Hull, the concert will also feature music by DBR: a violin concerto (featuring the composer as soloist) plus the world premiere of a work commissioned by for the CSO MusicNOW series.

Jimmy López Bellido will take the reins to curate a MusicNOW concert titled Inner Dialogues on Sunday, March 23rd, 2025. López Bellido’s program will feature works from a variety of contemporary composers, including Pierre Boulez, Quinn Mason, and Adam Schoenberg. Three of López Bellido’s works will also be on display at the spring concert. First is his work Aino, which received its US premiere in 2023 by the CSO and its now music director designate, Klaus Mäkelä. López Bellido’s opera Bel Canto had its world premiere in 2015 at Lyric Opera of Chicago.

This announcement represents the CSO’s third major artistic appointment this year: the orchestra named Daniil Trifonov its ’24-25 artist-in-residence in March, and it landed wunderkind Mäkelä as its next music director the next month.

For more information about the 2024-25 CSO MusicNOW series, visit cso.org.