CIVIC ORCHESTRA OF CHICAGO CELEBRATES 95TH ANNIVERSARY WITH FREE PERFORMANCES AT SYMPHONY CENTER AND ACROSS CHICAGO News Release

 

The Civic Orchestra of Chicago has announced the full slate of performances for its 2013/14 season, which also marks the 95th anniversary of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra  Association’s (CSOA) prestigious training ensemble for young, pre-professional musicians—the only one affiliated with a major American symphony orchestra.

Here is a clip of The Civic Orchestra last season--

 

 

To both celebrate this anniversary and look forward to its upcoming centennial, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago (the Civic) presents a season that celebrates imagination, innovation and collaboration—qualities that the Civic has embodied since it was founded in 1919 by then Music Director Frederick Stock and that it continues to enhance today under the leadership of CSO Music Director Riccardo Muti, CSO Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant Yo-Yo Ma, and Civic Orchestra Principal Conductor Cliff Colnot.

 

 

At the center of the 2013/14 anniversary season are the Civic Orchestra’s free performances at Symphony Center. Highlights of the Symphony Center concerts include:

  • the season-opening Shostakovich program led by Cliff Colnot on October 7
  • an in-depth, season-long exploration of Strauss’ Don Quixote with conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto and Yo-Yo Ma that culminates in a performance on April 7
  • a second collaboration with Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center featuring operatic masterworks on May 19
  • a program showcasing works for winds, brass and percussion on January 21
  • Civic podium debuts from Nicholas McGegan, Rei Hotoda and Brandon Keith Brown.
  • a special Civic performance of Beyond the Score: Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 with Jaap van Zweden to close the Civic season on June 4

In addition to the regular concert series, the Civic will also participate in three special events at Symphony Center in 2013/14:

  • In October, the Civic is featured as part of the CSOA’s annual Hallowed Haunts family concert on Saturday, October 26.  This is the only Civic concert for which there is an admission charge.
  • Continuing his mission to inspire the next generation of musicians, CSO Music Director Riccardo Muti leads the Civic Orchestra in a free open rehearsal at Symphony Center on Sunday, March 23. This rehearsal (details will be available this fall) offers a unique and compelling opportunity for the public to observe Maestro Muti working with young musicians.
  • The Civic is also planning a special free celebration of its 95th anniversary on Saturday, March 29 at Symphony Center. Tickets and program details will be available this fall.

Keep your eyes and ears open for special unexpected performances as well like their flash mob performance of the 4th and 5th Movements of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony filmed in the Shops at North Bridge Mall on Michigan Ave. in Chicago.

 

 

The Civic Orchestra has always embodied the values of what the CSOA now calls Citizen Musicianship: actions—for example, performing, teaching, advocating, or volunteering—that generously use or promote the power of music to contribute to our culture, our communities, and the lives of others. This season, the Civic introduces the new Citizen Musician Fellowship program—a season-long series of activities to cultivate collaboration, flexibility, imagination and innovation in Civic musicians—giving them the tools to adapt to a changing musical landscape while maintaining their commitment to artistic excellence. Under the guidance of Yo-Yo Ma, eight Civic members will participate in an intensive one-year pilot program, working with music programs in the Chicago Public Schools and community organizations, engaging in musical entrepreneurship training with successful Chicago-based ensembles, and developing their own community activities and projects that celebrate the transformative power of music. The Citizen Musician Fellows will be mentored by members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and other professionals who have created innovative careers in music. This pilot program will serve as the testing ground for the future development of a two-year Citizen Musician Fellowshipcurriculum.

 

 

The Civic Orchestra also exemplifies its commitment to Citizen Musicianshipby continuing its longstanding tradition of offering free performances in neighborhoods throughout Chicago. The full Civic Orchestra returns to the South Shore Cultural Center for the seventh consecutive year on Sunday, March 16. Ensembles of Civic musicians will also offer interactive chamber music performances at Chicago Park District sites around the city from January through May 2014 as part of the In the Park with Civic program.

Civic at Symphony Center (free except for Hallowed Haunts)

  • The 95th Civic season begins on Monday, October 7 at 8 p.m. with Principal Conductor Cliff Colnot leading an all-Shostakovich program. Opening the program is the composer’s symphonic poem October, which was written in 1967 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution—one of the many “official” compositions he was compelled to write. Paired with this rarely performed work is the Fifteenth Symphony, Shostakovich’s final symphonic work that showcases his breadth as a composer. This focus on Shostakovich begins the season-long build up to the CSO’s Truth to Power festival in May and June 2014, which will highlight works by Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Britten. 
  • Since 2002, the Civic has been featured in the annual Hallowed Haunts concert, which brings families to Symphony Center for a fun-filled afternoon of music. On Saturday, October 26 at 3 p.m., conductor Brandon Keith Brown leads the Civic in a concert that focuses on the Mexican tradition El Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead featuring the Latin Grammy-nominated Mexican folkloric group, Sones de México Ensemble. This program is being planned in collaboration with the National Museum of Mexican Art. This is the only Civic concert for which there is an admission charge. Doors open an hour and a half before the concert for children to partake in festive preconcert activities. Hallowed Haunts is recommended for children ages 5 and up.
  • On Tuesday, November 19 at 8 p.m., up-and-coming Japanese conductor Rei Hotoda makes her Civic debut leading Britten’s Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes in honor of the Britten centennial and in anticipation of the Truth to Power festival. Also on the program is Beethoven’s masterful and revolutionary Symphony No. 3 (Eroica), considered a milestone in the development of the symphonic form that also foreshadows the music of the Romantic era.
  • The Civic Orchestra’s wind, brass and percussion sections give a concert-length showcase on Tuesday, January 21 at 8 p.m. with the aptly titled “No Strings Attached.” Civic Orchestra Principal Conductor Cliff Colnot leads Copland’s magisterial Fanfare for the Common Man, Stravinsky’s Symphonies of Wind Instruments and Messiaen’s Oiseaux exotiques featuring guest pianist Winston Choi. The program will also include new arrangements of famous orchestral excerpts by Colnot, who in addition to his busy conducting career is a noted arranger and orchestrator. 
  • Nicholas McGegan, music director of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, makes his Civic debut with a program of works for a reduced ensemble that evokes the intimacy of chamber music on Monday, February 17 at 8 p.m. The program includes Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3 and Brahms’ Serenade No. 1. In addition to his concentration on the Baroque era, McGegan has written extensively about Brahms’ music and he led Brahms’ two Serenades with the Philhamonia Baroque on period-accurate instruments for a recording released in December 2012. 
  • CSO Music Director Riccardo Muti, considered one of the preeminent conductors of our day, leads the Civic Orchestra of Chicago in a free, open rehearsal on Sunday, March 23 at 7 p.m. Tickets for this special opportunity to see Maestro Muti work with young musicians will be available in the fall; full repertoire details also to be announced.
  • Save the date! In honor of its 95th season, the Civic hosts a special anniversary celebration and performance on Saturday, March 29 at 3 p.m. Complete details will be available later this fall.
  • CSO Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant Yo-Yo Ma returns to perform with the Civic Orchestra for the culmination of this season’s year-long artistic challenge for the musicians of the Civic Orchestra. Last season, Ma challenged the orchestra to perform Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony without conductor, and they succeeded with flying colors in a riveting concert. On Monday, April 7 at 8 p.m., the Civic and Ma again join forces with Ma’s close friend and collaborator Carlos Miguel Prieto leading a program that will offer a rich exploration of Strauss’ Don Quixote.
  • In May 2012, the Civic and its counterpart from across the Loop, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center, collaborated for the first time. This season, these two prestigious training programs reunite for a special performance of operatic masterworks. On Monday, May 19 at 8 p.m., singers from The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center will appear alongside the Civic Orchestra, led by conductor Michael Christie, music director of the Minnesota Opera who served as an apprentice conductor of the CSO under former music director Daniel Barenboim. This concert offers the unique opportunity to see the next generation of stars from the orchestral and operatic worlds together on stage at Symphony Center.
  • The Civic Orchestra closes its 2013/14 season with the return of conductor Jaap van Zweden on Wednesday, June 4 at 8 p.m. Music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Musical America’s 2012 Conductor of the Year, van Zweden is leading the CSO’s Truth to Power festival, which explores the music of Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Britten. As part of the festival, the Civic Orchestra gives a special performance of the Beyond the Score exploration of Prokofiev’s powerful Symphony No. 5. Composed in just over a month in the summer of 1944, as the tides of World War II were changing, the symphony was intended as a “hymn to a free and happy Man.”

Before all Civic Orchestra concerts at Symphony Center, audience members can learn about that evening’s program in free guided conversations, led by guest speakers and musical experts. The conversations begin 90 minutes prior to the performance in Grainger Ballroom.

All Civic Orchestra of Chicago concerts at Symphony Center—except for the yearly Hallowed Haunts family concerts—are free, but tickets are required. Seating is general admission, and there is a nonrefundable $2 per-ticket service fee for all concerts. Hallowed Haunts tickets range from $10 to $60. Tickets for all Civic Orchestra performances at Symphony Center can be reserved by calling the CSO Box Office at 800-223-7114 or 312-294-3000. For more information about the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, visit cso.org/civic.

Civic in the Community (free)

  • On Sunday, March 16 at 3 p.m., the Civic Orchestra makes its seventh consecutive appearance at the South Shore Cultural Center in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood. This concert is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Complete program details will be announced at a later date. This concert is offered through a partnership with the Advisory Council of the South Shore Cultural Center and the Chicago Park District.
  • Chamber ensembles from the Civic Orchestra present many free concerts in neighborhoods across Chicago, as part of the MusiCorps community engagement program. The MusiCorps: In the Park with Civic series—free, interactive chamber concerts for families with children ages 5 and up—take place in Chicago Park District sites across Chicago. See the listings at the end of this release for specific performance locations, dates and times; ensembles and repertoire will be announced at a later date.

All Civic in the Community performances are free, and no tickets are required. For more information about MusiCorps: In the Park with Civic concerts, please visit cso.org/MusiCorps or call 312-294-3803.

Civic Orchestra Supporters

Major support for the Civic Orchestra of Chicago is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Robert and Joanna Crown Income Charitable Fund, Mr. and Mrs. Paul C. Gignilliat, Loretta N. Julian, The Negaunee Foundation, and Barbara and Barre Seid Foundation.

The March 10 concert is offered through a partnership with the Advisory Council of the South Shore Cultural Center and the Chicago Park District.

MusiCorps: In the Park with Civic is presented through a partnership with the Chicago Park District.

About the Civic Orchestra of Chicago (cso.org/civic)

Since 1919, young adult artists have sought to develop their talents and to prepare for careers as professional musicians through membership in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago (the Civic).  The Civic was founded by the second music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO), Frederick Stock. It is the only training orchestra of its kind affiliated with a major orchestra in the U.S.

The Civic is part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA). Through the CSOA’s Institute for Learning, Access, and Training, the Civic offers promising career-bound musicians unique access to the musical resources of the CSOA, including hands-on training with CSO musicians and conductors such as the world-renowned music director of the CSO, Riccardo Muti. Under the guidance of Cliff Colnot, principal conductor of the Civic, as well as Yo-Yo Ma, the CSOA’s Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant, Civic musicians develop as exceptional orchestral players and engaged Citizen Musicians, cultivating their ability to succeed in the rapidly evolving world of music in the 21st century. More than 15 percent of the current members of the CSO are Civic alumni; more than 700 Civic alumni are currently active leaders in the field of music.

The Civic Orchestra is committed to presenting concerts at no charge to the public. In addition to the critically acclaimed live concerts at Symphony Center, Civic performances can be heard locally on WFMT (98.7 FM) and in national radio broadcasts. These broadcasts are made possible through a generous gift from the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.

 

 

About the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (cso.org)
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) is consistently hailed as one of the greatest orchestras in the world. Its music director since 2010 is Riccardo Muti, one of the preeminent conductors of our day. The venerable Pierre Boulez is the CSO’s Helen Regenstein Conductor Emeritus. The renowned musicians of the CSO annually perform more than 150 concerts, most at Symphony Center in downtown Chicago and, in the summer, at the suburban Ravinia Festival. The CSO also appears in other U.S. cities, and each year tours internationally. Since its founding in 1891, the Orchestra has made 56 international tours, visiting 28 countries on five continents. At home and on tour, tickets are always in high demand and frequently sold out; occasional performances and rehearsals are free.

The CSO is part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA), which also includes the acclaimed CSO Chorus; the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, a unique training orchestra; CSO Radio broadcasts and webcasts worldwide; and CSO Resound, a best-selling record label. Recordings by the CSO have won 62 Grammys, more than any other artist or ensemble. Through its Symphony Center Presents series, the CSOA offers dozens of performances each year by famous guest artists of jazz, contemporary, world, and classical music. Through its Institute for Learning, Access, and Training, the CSOA offers a variety of youth, community and education programs, all of which are based on the concept of Citizen Musicianship, using and promoting the power of music to contribute to our culture and our communities. Celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma is the CSOA’s Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant; Deborah F. Rutter, a highly regarded arts executive, is the CSOA’s president.

Complete program details follow:

The Civic Orchestra of Chicago
(Full-Orchestra Performances)

 Concerts are at Symphony Center (220 S. Michigan Ave.) except where noted. All Civic concerts (except for Hallowed Haunts) are free with a nonrefundable $2 per-ticket service free. Civic seating (except for Hallowed Haunts) is general admission. Tickets available by phone at 800-223-7114 or 312-294-3000; online at cso.org, or at the Symphony Center box office (220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60604). Artists, programs and prices are subject to change.

Civic Orchestra of Chicago                  Monday, October 7, 2013, 8 p.m.
                                                                     Cliff Colnot
, conductor

                                                                     SHOSTAKOVICH   October, Op. 131
                                                                     SHOSTAKOVICH   Symphony No. 15 in A Major, Op. 141
                                                                    
                                                                     Tickets: Free and open to the public, but tickets are required.

 Civic Orchestra of Chicago                 Saturday, October 26, 2013, 3 p.m.
Hallowed Haunts
                                     Civic Orchestra of Chicago     
                                                                     Brandon Keith Brown
, conductor
                                                                     Sones de México Ensemble

                                                                     BACH   Toccata in D Minor, BWV 565 (orch. Stokowski)
                                                                     STRAVINSKY   Infernal Dance of King Kastchei from The Firebird
                                                                    
FALLA   Ritual Fire Dance from El amor brujo
                                                                    
REVUELTAS   Noche de los Mayas from La noche de los Mayas
                                                                    
TRADITIONAL, ARR. PICHARDO   Higinia
                                                                     TRADITIONAL   La Muerte
                                                                     MONCAYO   Huapango
                                                                     BACH   Allegro from Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major, BWV 1048  

                                                                     Tickets: $10–$60

 Civic Orchestra of Chicago                Tuesday, November 19, 2013, 8 p.m.
                                                                    Civic Orchestra of Chicago
                                                                    Rei Hotoda
, conductor

                                                                    BRITTEN   Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes, Op. 33a
                                                                    BEETHOVEN   Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55 (Eroica)

                                                                    Tickets: Free and open to the public, but tickets are required.

Civic Orchestra of Chicago                
Tuesday, January 21, 2014, 8 p.m.
                                                                    Civic Orchestra of Chicago
                                                                    Cliff Colnot
, conductor
                                                                    Winston Choi, piano

                                                                    Program to include:
                                                                    COPLAND   Fanfare for the Common Man
                                                                    STRAVINSKY   Symphonies of Wind Instruments
                                                                    MESSIAEN   Oiseaux exotiques

                                                                    Tickets: Free and open to the public, but tickets are required.

Civic Orchestra of Chicago               
Monday, February 17, 2014, 8 p.m.
                                                                   Civic Orchestra of Chicago
                                                                   Nicholas McGegan
, conductor
                                                   
                                                                   Program to include:
                                                                   BACH   Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1068
                                                                   BRAHMS   Serenade No. 1 in D Major, Op. 11

                                                                   Tickets: Free and open to the public, but tickets are required.

Civic Orchestra of Chicago                Sunday, March 16, 2014, 3 p.m.
South Shore Cultural Center                Civic Orchestra of Chicago
7059 S. South Shore Dr.                        Complete program details TBD

                                                                    Tickets: Free and open to the public; no tickets required.

Civic Orchestra of Chicago                 Sunday, March 23, 2014, 7 p.m.
Open Rehearsal                                      Civic Orchestra of Chicago
                                                                    Riccardo Muti
, conductor

                                                                    Tickets: Free and open to the public, but tickets are
                                                                    required and will be   available in later in 2013.  

Civic Orchestra of Chicago                 Saturday, March 29, 2014, 3 p.m.
                                                                    Civic @ 95 Celebration
                                                                    Complete program details TBD

                                                                    Tickets: Free and open to the public, but tickets are
                                                                    required and will be available in later in 2013.

Civic Orchestra of Chicago                Monday, April 7, 2014, 8 p.m.
                                                                   Civic Orchestra of Chicago
                                                                   Carlos Miguel Prieto
, conductor
                                                                   Yo-Yo Ma, cello

                                                                   Program to include:
                                                                   STRAUSS   Don Quixote, Op. 35

                                                                   Tickets: Free and open to the public, but tickets are required.

 Civic Orchestra of Chicago              Monday, May 19, 2014, 8 p.m.
                                                                  Civic Orchestra of Chicago
                                                                  Michael Christie
, conductor
                                                                  Members of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera
                                                                  Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago

                                                                  Tickets: Free and open to the public, but tickets are required.

 Civic Orchestra of Chicago              Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 8 p.m.
Truth to Power
                                      Civic Orchestra of Chicago
                                                                  Jaap van Zweden
, conductor
 
                                                                  Beyond the Score:
Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5
                                                                
                                                                 Tickets: Free and open to the public, but tickets are required.

MusiCorps: In the Park with Civic
(Chamber Concerts)

Ensembles and repertoire to be announced; no tickets are required. Watch cso.org/MusiCorps for details.

Homan Square, 3559 W. Arthington St.
Saturday, March 1, 2014, 1 p.m.
Saturday, April 5, 2014, 1 p.m.
Saturday, May 3, 2014, 1 p.m.
Saturday, June 7, 2014, 1 p.m.

Indian Boundary Park, 2500 W. Lunt Ave.
Sunday, January 12, 2014, 3 p.m.
Sunday, February 16, 2014, 3 p.m.
Sunday, March 9, 2014, 3 p.m.
Sunday, April 13, 2014, 3 p.m.

Kosciuszko Park, 2732 N. Avers Ave.
Saturday, January 25, 2014, 11 a.m.
Saturday, February 22, 2014, 11 a.m.
Saturday, March 22, 2014, 11 a.m.
Saturday, April 26, 2014, 11 a.m.

National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th St.
Sunday, January 19, 2014, 3 p.m.
Sunday, February 23 2014, 3 p.m.
Sunday, March 30, 2014, 3 p.m.
Sunday, April 27, 2014, 3 p.m.

North Park Village Nature Center, 5801 N. Pulaski Rd.
Saturday, January 11, 2014, 11 a.m.
Saturday, February 8, 2014, 11 a.m.
Saturday, March 15, 2014, 11 a.m.
Saturday, April 12, 2014, 11 a.m.

Washington Park Refectory
, 5531 S. Russell Dr.
Sunday, February 2, 2014, 3 p.m.
Sunday, March 2, 2014, 3 p.m.
Sunday, April 6, 2014, 3 p.m.
Sunday, May 4, 2014 3 p.m.

 

Photos: Todd Rosenberg

 

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