Music Director Riccardo Muti opens the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s (CSO) 2013/14 season with a free community concert in Cicero’s historic Chodl Auditorium on Wednesday, September 18 at 7 p.m.

This community concert officially begins the CSO’s celebration of Verdi’s bicentennial with a number of works by the famed Italian composer. Soprano Barbara Frittoli, seen in this video clip in a prior performance of Verdi's work at Teatro La Fenice



and bass-baritone Luca Dall’Amico are the soloists for two excerpts from Verdi’s La forza del destino.


Luca Dall' Amico is seen performing this work under Muti's baton previously at the 2011 Ravenna Festival



Verdi’s “Va, pensiero” from Nabucco—the anthem of the historic Italian unification movement—will be performed by a community chorus comprised of members of the Morton East High School Choir, men of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, and other amateur musicians from across Chicagoland. The program also includes the Overture from Verdi’s Nabucco and Brahms’ Symphony No. 2.

This concert is the CSO’s first appearance in Cicero. Chodl Auditorium was built in 1925 in the Beaux-Arts style to function as both a theater and gymnasium for what was then called Morton High School. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 and is one of the largest non-commercial, proscenium-style theaters in the Chicago area.

The concert is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Tickets are available now through the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at 312-294-3000 or 800‑223‑7114; online at; or in-person at the Symphony Center Box Office (220 S. Michigan Ave.).

In addition to this community concert, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association’s (CSOA) celebration of Verdi’s bicentennial includes an array of concerts and community activities featuring Music Director Riccardo Muti and the CSO and Chorus. The celebration culminates in the Verdi 200th Birthday Spectacular: a one-night only performance of Verdi’s Requiem featuring Maestro Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus at Symphony Center on Thursday, October 10 at 7:30 p.m. CDT.

Though the concert at Symphony Center is sold out, the performance will be shown on the new state-of-the-art LED screen at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park in downtown Chicago, where it will be carried live. The Requiem performance will also be offered live and on demand worldwide via free live video webcast. It will be streamed on Thursday, October 10 beginning at 7:30 p.m. CDT (-5 GMT). Online, the Requiem performance can be viewed live and on demand at

Inspired by the dedication of Maestro Muti and the CSO to provide live concert music to the widest possible audience, the tradition of opening the season with a free community concert began with the start of Maestro Muti’s tenure as music director in 2010, when the free CSO concert in Millennium Park drew an audience of more than 25,000 to welcome the Muti to Chicago. In 2011, Muti and the CSO performed at the Apostolic Church of God on the South Side, for an overflow audience of nearly 5,000. A return to Millennium Park in 2012 for Orff’s Carmina Burana captivated an audience of more then 7,000 despite pouring rain throughout the performance.

This concert is offered as part of the CSOA’s Citizen Musician Initiative, which includes a number of youth, community and education programs that use and promote the power of music to contribute to our culture, our communities, and the lives of others.

Bank of America is the Global Sponsor of the CSO. The appearance of the music director is made possible in part by a generous gift from the Zell Family Foundation.

About Riccardo Muti (
Riccardo Muti, born in Naples, Italy, is one of the preeminent conductors of our day. In 2010, when he became the tenth music director of the world-renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO), he had more than forty years of experience at the helm of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence (1968-80); the Philharmonia Orchestra in London (1972-82); the Philadelphia Orchestra (1980-1992); and Teatro alla Scala in Milan (1986-2005). He continues to be in demand as a guest conductor for other great orchestras and opera houses: the Berlin Philharmonic; the Vienna Philharmonic; the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; the Vienna State Opera; the Royal Opera House in London; the Metropolitan Opera in New York City; and many others. He is an honorary member of the Vienna Philharmonic, which gave him its Golden Ring as a special sign of esteem and affection. He also is honorary director for life of the Rome Opera.

Muti has received innumerable honors from Italy, the United States, France, Germany, Austria, Great Britain, Israel, Spain, Russia, Sweden, and the Vatican as well as more than 20 honorary degrees from universities around the world. Passionate about teaching young musicians, Muti founded the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra in 2004. Through Le vie dell’Amicizia (The Paths of Friendship), a project of the Ravenna Festival in Italy, he has conducted in many of the world’s most troubled areas in order to bring attention to and advocate for civic and social issues. In Chicago and around the globe, Muti demonstrates his strong commitment to sharing classical music broadly by regularly offering free concerts and rehearsals to the public and by performing in schools, prisons, and other community venues.

Riccardo Muti’s vast catalog of recordings, numbering in the hundreds, ranges from the traditional symphonic and operatic repertoires to contemporary works. He also has written two books, Verdi, l’italiano (published in Italian and German) and Riccardo Muti: An Autobiography: First the Music, Then the Words, which has been published in several languages.

About the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (
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, our communities, and the lives of others. 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 information follows:



Community Concert
Morton East High School
2423 S. Austin, Cicero

Wednesday, September 18, 2013, 7 p.m.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Riccardo Muti
, conductor
Barbara Frittoli
, soprano (Leonora)
Luca Dall'Amico, bass-baritone (Padre Guardiano)
Men of the Chicago Symphony Chorus
Duain Wolfe
, chorus director

BRAHMS   Symphony No. 2
VERDI   Pace, pace, mio Dio! from La forza del destino
VERDI   Act 2 Finale from La forza del destino
VERDI   Va, pensiero from Nabucco
VERDI   Overture to Nabucco

Tickets: This performance is free and open to the public, but ticketsare required.

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