Splash Magazines

Chicago Symphony Orchestra 2014/2015 Season Preview - Music Director Maestro Muti's 5th Season Begins

By Chicago Splash Magazine Staff Writer

View the Full Article | Return to the Site


Tickets for all Chicago Symphony Orchestral Association-presented events in the 2014/15 season are now available online at the CSO website, by calling 312-294-3000 or by visiting the Symphony Center box office at 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60604.



Here is a summary of programming this upcoming season:



The Complete Symphonies of Tchaikovsky and a Celebration of Scriabin


Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) composed some of the most enduring orchestral and theatrical scores of the 19th century. He broke free from the predominant Russian nationalist movement and forged a musical style that merged native elements with Western compositional techniques—a style that resulted in great success both at home, as well as abroad. He was arguably the first Russian composer to achieve such international success, but his popularity was tinged by personal crises and chronic depression. Throughout his music one hears the sense of tragedy, loss and regret.



Tchaikovsky’s younger compatriot, Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915) was an inventive figure in the music world, whose idiosyncratic musical language evolved over time into his own system of chromaticism. Riccardo Muti has been a leading interpreter of the works of Scriabin, and in this year, observing the 100th anniversary of Scriabin's death, he is dedicated to showcasing four symphonic masterworks by this often overlooked composer.



Throughout the 2014/15 season, Maestro Muti and the CSO perform the complete symphonies of Tchaikovsky alongside a survey of other works by Scriabin and Tchaikovsky, revealing the similarities between these two Russian compositional giants, as well as exploring their contrasting viewpoints. The CSO’s overview of Tchaikovsky and Scriabin includes ten programs led by Maestro Muti that feature music by these great Russian composers.














The season-long survey of repertoire by Tchaikovsky and Scriabin is complemented by two piano recitals on the Symphony Center Presents Piano series:





From Berlioz to Boulez: Color and Sensuality

Reveries and Passions


French composers through the ages have been inspired by their country’s unparalleled landscape, vistas, skylines and inimitable culture, whether working with the clarity and precision of the Renaissance and Baroque, the programmatic styles of the 19th century, the sensuousness and emotion of Impressionism or the trailblazing modernism of the 20th and 21st centuries.



The works that are linked by their French lineage on the CSO’s 2014/15 season form the foundation of From Berlioz to Boulez: Color and Sensuality, which traces a nation’s search for a musical identity.





Dutoit conducts a second all-French program featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the CSO’s Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant, who performs Lalo’s Concerto in D Minor. Other works on the program are Ravel’s Valses nobles et sentimentales and Symphonic Fragments from The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian by Debussy, as well as Saint-Saëns’ La muse et le poète, with Ma and CSO Concertmaster Robert Chen. (March 19, 20, 21, 2015)




A second French theme appears in the CSO’s annual three-week festival in May— Reveries and Passions—conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. Salonen’s programs emphasize 20th-century operatic and theatrical works drawn together by themes of beauty, fantasy and the darkness of the night.  


                        Chloé Briot (soprano), Child

                        Marie-Eve Munger (soprano), Fire/ Nightingale/ Princess
Kate Royal (soprano), Shepherdess/ Bat/ Owl
Marianne Crebassa (mezzo-soprano), Armchair/ Shepherd/ Squirrel/

                          Female Cat
Elodie Méchain (contralto), Mother/ the China Cup/ Dragonfly

                        Manuel Nuñez-Camelino (tenor), Teapot/ Math Book/ Frog

                        Stéphane Degout (baritone), Clock/ Tomcat

                        Eric Owens (bass-baritone), Chair/ Tree



Special scheduling has made it possible for audiences to hear both L’enfant et les sortilèges and Pelléas et Mélisande on consecutive days, May 15 and 16, which may be especially appealing to out-of-town visitors.



The French theme extends to notable Symphony Center Presentsconcerts including:





Austro-German Masters from Bach to Bruckner


J. S. Bach is widely recognized as the father of Germanic musical culture, creating a foundation upon which the great composers who came after him built a masterly body of instrumental, chamber, symphonic, vocal and operatic works. This tradition is widely represented in the repertoire throughout the CSO’s 2014/15 season with masterpieces by Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Strauss, Bruckner and Mahler.








Austro-Germanic repertoire extends to Symphony Center Presents concerts, including:




The CSO on Tour


In October 2014, the CSO embarks on its 32nd European tour and its fifth to Europe with Maestro Muti.  The tour includes the Orchestra’s debut in Warsaw, Poland and two concerts in Paris, culminating with a week-long residency in Vienna with four performances at the Musikverein, two of which are of Verdi’s Requiem. Other tour cities and repertoire will be announced at a later date.


Maestro Muti and the CSO return to New York’s Carnegie Hall in January and February 2015, with three programs that weave together the key elements of the Orchestra’s 2014/15 season. The Chicago Symphony Chorus appears with the Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky and Scriabin's First Symphony.


Mendelssohn      Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage Overture

Debussy            La mer

Scriabin             The Divine Poem, Op. 43 (Symphony No. 3)


Brahms                         Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 83

Schumann         Symphony No. 3(Rhenish)

Yefim Bronfman, piano


Prokofiev           Alexander Nevsky, Op. 78

Scriabin             Symphony No. 1 in E Major, Op. 26

Alisa Kolosova, mezzo-soprano

Sergey Skorokhodov, tenor

Chicago Symphony Chorus; Duain Wolfe, chorus director




The CSO also performs two run-out concerts during the 2014/15 season with guest conductor Jaap van Zweden:





Mead Composers-in-Residence


In their fifth and final season as CSO Mead Composers-in-Residence, Mason Bates and Anna Clyne contribute two new works that were commissioned by the CSO. In May 2015, returning guest artist Jennifer Koh premieres Clyne’s Violin Concerto under the baton of Ludovic Morlot. On the final program of the 2014/15 season, Maestro Muti leads the premiere of Bates’ Anthology of Fantastic Zoology, a 20-minute acoustic work about strange creatures based on the book of magical realism of the same title by Luis Borges. Sprites, nymphs, sirens, banshees and naga (evil snakes) populate this surreal, imaginative suite of short movements.



First CSO Performances


In addition to the premieres of CSO commissions by Mead Composers-in-Residence Mason Bates and Anna Clyne, the CSO performs 15 works for the first time, ranging from works by J. S. Bach and Rameau to Revueltas and Panufnik.


Works receiving their first CSO subscription performance are:


J. S. BACH / arr. STRAVINSKY Four Preludes and Fugues from The Well-Tempered Clavier I (April 30,

  May 1, 2, 2015)

BERLIOZ  Waverley Overture, Op. 1 (September 25, 26, 27, 30)

BOULEZ  Figures-Doubles-Prismes (November 12, 13, 14, 15)

DEBUSSY  Pelléas et Mélisande (May 14, 16, 19, 2015)

DEBUSSY  Syrinx  (for solo flute)

IPPOLITO  Nocturne for Orchestra (March 26, 28, 2015)

PANUFNIK  Concerto in modo antico (October 2, 3, 4)

RAMEAU  Suite of Dances from Platée (April 30, May 1, 2, 2015)

RAVEL  L’enfant et les sortilèges (May 7, 8, 9, 15, 2015)

REVUELTAS  Sensemayá (December 18, 19, 20)

SCHUBERT / Brahms  Greisengesang, D. 778 (February 5, 6, 7, 8, 2015)

SCHUBERT / Webern  Tränenregen from Die schöne Müllerin, D. 795, No. 10 (February 5, 6, 7, 8, 2015)

SCHUBERT  An Silvia, D. 891 (February 5, 6, 7, 8, 2015)

SCRIABIN  Symphony No. 1 in E Major, Op. 26 (January 22, 23, 24, 2015)

STRAUSS  Traum durch die Dämmerung, Op. 29, No. 1 (February 5, 6, 7, 8, 2015)



Beyond the Score


Overseen by Creative Director Gerard McBurney, the CSO’s Beyond the Score series continues to engage audiences imaginatively. The 2014/15 season offers three new explorations of pieces and composers.


Each presentation of this highly successful series delves into a work or a composer through the seamless integration of historical narrative with live actors, projected visuals and musical examples performed by the CSO. Each of the three programs is performed twice: on Fridays at 7:30 p.m., with Q&A’s following, and Sundays at 3 p.m.


The 2014/15 Beyond the Score presentations include:


In 2015 Pierre Boulez turns 90, and Beyond the Score celebrates with an acoustic and theatrical journey through a lifetime of musical adventures, innovations and discoveries. Performed within an extraordinary, specially-commissioned design, this production mixes live performance with rare archival footage and new interviews with the composer and conductor who has been, from the beginning, one of Beyond the Score’s most passionate champions.  (November 14, 16)


In the summer of 1883, while vacationing in the ancient German spa town of Wiesbaden, Brahms celebrated his 50th birthday by composing one of his mellowest and most open-hearted orchestral works. When he showed the score to his lifelong friend Clara Schumann, she exclaimed: “One beat of the heart, every movement a jewel!”Conductor Edo de Waart leads these Beyond the Score performances of the work. (March 27, 29, 2015)


Beyond the Score reflects the focus on Ravel’s music this season with a musical and dramatic depiction of this complex, subtle, private, paradoxical and mysterious man who once declared: ‘’My teacher in composition was Edgar Allan Poe... He taught me that true art is a perfect balance between pure intellect and emotion.” Guest conductor Ludovic Morlotleads these Beyond the Scoreperformances. (June 5, 7, 2015)





Fifteen distinguished artists make their subscription debuts with the CSO during the 2014/15 season:


















Returning Guest Conductors


Guest conductors returning to the CSO podium in 2014/15 include:


Harry Bicket’s return to the CSO includes a suite of dances from Rameau’s opera Platée, J. S. Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3 and Four Preludes and Fugues from The Well-Tempered Clavier, in an arrangement by Stravinsky, as well as Poulenc’s Concert champêtre for Harpsichord and Orchestra featuring Kristian Bezuidenhout as soloist. (April 30, May 1, 2, 2015)


A regular guest conductor of the CSO, Bychkov returns for two subscription programs, one featuring Russian repertoire, the other devoted to Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8.The first program includes Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Daniil Trifonov and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 8. (April 16, 17, 18, 21, 2015)


Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 is performed on three CSO concerts and the Afterwork Masterworks series. (April 23, 24, 25, 26, 2015)


Dutoit returns to the CSO podium to conduct two weeks of French repertoire. The first program includes Ravel’s Rapsodie espagnole, D’Indy’s Symphony on a French Mountain Air and Suite No. 2 from Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe. He is also joined by pianist Louis Lortie in Franck’s Symphonic Variations. (March 12, 14, 17, 2015)


Dutoit’s second all-French program features Yo-Yo Ma, the CSO’s Joyce Green Creative Consultant, performing Lalo’s Concerto in D Minor.Also featured are Ravel’s Valses nobles et sentimentales, Symphonic Fragments from The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian by Debussy and Saint-Saëns’ La muse et le poète, performed alongside CSO Concertmaster Robert Chen. (March 19, 20, 21, 2015)


Former CSO Principal Conductor Bernard Haitink returns to lead Mahler’s Symphony No. 7. (April 9, 10, 11, 14, 2015)


Manfred Honeck conducts a varied survey of Austro-Germanic works: Haydn’s Symphony No. 93, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 and Richard Strauss’ Don Juan. (December 11, 12, 13, 16)


Harpsichordist-Conductor Nicholas Kraemer returns to direct the complete Brandenburg Concertos by J. S. Bach. (November 20, 21 22, 23, 25)


Romanian-born Macelaru conducts a set of Hungarian Dances by Brahms and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 (From the New World), and is joined by violinist Elena Urioste for Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1. (November 7, 8)


Germanconductor Ingo Metzmacher returns to the CSO for the first time in a decade to lead an all-Russian program that includes excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s ballet, The Nutcracker, Stravinsky’s Petrushka and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11 (The Year 1905). (December 4, 5, 6, 9)


Ludovic Morlot’s two subscription programs feature American, French and Russian repertoire.

The first includes Berlioz’s Overture Les franc-juges, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 (Eroica) and the world premiere of Mead Composer-in-Residence Anne Clyne’s ViolinConcerto, commissioned by the CSO and featuring returning guest artist Jennifer Koh. Works by Clyne and Beethoven are featured in the CSO’s Afterwork Masterwork series. (May 28, 30, June 2, 2015)


Morlot follows with a program comprised of 1920s repertoire: Stravinsky’s Jeu de cartes, Ravel’s La valse and Piano Concerto for Left Hand with soloist Denis Kozhukhin in his CSO debut, and Gershwin’s An American in Paris. (June 4, 6, 2015)


Returning guest conductor Vasily Petrenko combines his Russian roots and his adopted home in England with Elgar’s In the South and Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances. The program also includes Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 (Emperor) with Paul Lewis. The Beethoven and Rachmaninov are also featured in an Afterwork Masterworks concert on January 7. (January 8, 9, 10, 2015)


In his return to the CSO, Prieto’s bold program includes Prokofiev’s Suite from Lieutenant Kijé, James MacMillan’s Veni, Veni, Emmanuel featuring CSO Principal Percussion Cynthia Yeh, Revueltas’ Sensemayá and Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra. (December 18, 19, 20)


Salonen returns to curate the CSO’s annual festival in May which, this season, focuses on operatic and theatrical French repertoire of the 20th century over three weeks. His programs include:


Ravel’s Ma mère l’Oye (Mother Goose Suite), Debussy’s cantata La damoiselle élue (The Blessed Damsel), and Ravel’s lyric one-act opera L’enfant et les sortilèges with the Chicago Symphony Chorus and featuring Chloé Briot in her CSO debut as the Child. (May 7, 8, 9, 15, 2015)


Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, with baritone Stéphane Degout as Pelléasand mezzo-soprano Christine Rice as Mélisande. Bass-baritones Eric Owens and Willard White sing the roles of Golaud and Arkel, respectively. (May 14, 16, 19, 2015)


A tour-de-force appearance by French-born Jean-Yves Thibaudet, who performs Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major, as well as in the culminating festival work, Messiaen’s iconic Turangalîla-symphonie. CSO Principal Flute Mathieu Dufour is the soloist in Debussy’s Syrinx(May 21, 22, 23, 2015).


Pianist Mitsuko Uchida returns for her annual appearances with the CSO, leading two Mozart concertos—Nos. 6 and 26 (Coronation)—from the keyboard. She is joined by German soprano Dorothea Röschmann in Schumann’s Frauenliebe und -leben. (April 2, 3, 4, 2015)


Edo de Waart’s return to the CSO includes Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 with Orion Weiss, Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 and American composer Michael Ippolito’s Nocturne. The Brahms Symphony is also the subject of a Beyond the Score presentation. (March 26, 27, 28, 29, 2015)


Jaap van Zweden returns to lead the CSO in 2014/15 for two programs – Bartók’s Two Rhapsodies for Violin and Orchestra with CSO Concertmaster Robert Chen as soloist, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 5; his second week features a selection of songs by Schubert and Richard Strauss with German baritone Matthias Goerne, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. (October 9, 10, 11, 12, 2014; February 5, 6, 7, 8, 2015)

Returning Guest Artists


Guest artists returning to the CSO during the 2014/15 season’s subscription series include:



















CSO at the Movies


CSO at the Moviesoffers a unique opportunity to hear live performances of great film scores played by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The performances include feature films or film excerpts projected above the stage. This season, presentations take place on November 28, 2014, March 13 and May 29, 2015.


Noted pops conductor Richard Kaufman returns to lead CSO at the Movies. Pixar in Concert features unforgettable music from all 14 of Pixar’s film scores, from Toy Story to Monsters University, with scenes projected on the big screen. This program will also be seen on two additional non-subscription special presentations on November 29 and 30.


Guest conductor André de Ridder leads the CSO and Chorus in one of the greatest science fiction films of all time, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Stanley Kubrick’s compelling masterpiece is celebrated for its technological realism, innovative Oscar®-winning special effects and brilliant use of music. The film brought worldwide fame to the opening of Richard Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra and the music of György Ligeti, and includes one of cinema's most memorable scenes—a spaceship floating through space to Johann Strauss, Jr.’s Blue Danube Waltz.


This performance is presented in association with Warner Bros, Southbank Centre London and the British Film Institute.


Additional programs will be announced at a later date.



Chicago Symphony Chorus


The Chicago Symphony Chorus, under the leadership of Chorus Director and Conductor Duain Wolfe, appears with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra three times under the baton of Riccardo Muti during the 2014/15 season, and celebrates the 20th anniversary of its popular holiday program, Welcome Yule!. They also perform as part of the Reveries and Passions festival with guest conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen.








CSO Radio


The immensely popular weekly CSO Radio Broadcast Series is syndicated nationally to more than 400 radio stations in 44 states and territories, reaching over 485,000 listeners each week nationwide via the WFMT Radio Network.


With lively and engaging content—designed to illustrate the stories inside the music and provide insight into programmatic themes of the CSO’s concert season—the series offers a new and distinctive approach to classical music radio. The broadcasts include recorded concert performances by the CSO; produced segments featuring interviews with musicians of the Orchestra, guest artists and composers; and explorations of the CSO’s rich catalog of commercial recordings as well as its illustrious history in Chicago.


A strong online presence at cso.org/soundsandstories gives music lovers access not only to additional content (including full-length interviews and commentary, program notes, and biographical information), but also to streaming audio of the complete broadcasts following the initial air date.


The series is heard locally in Chicago on 98.7 WFMT on Sunday afternoons at 1 p.m. For other cities, please check local listings.

Symphony Center Presents


Through Symphony Center Presents (SCP), the CSOA brings a diverse array of superb ensembles and individuals from around the world to Symphony Center in Chicago.  All of the SCP series – Piano, Chamber Music, Jazz, Orchestra, MusicNOW and Special Concerts – include unique, innovative and exciting programming.


Symphony Center Presents Piano Series


Across 10 Sunday afternoon performances, the 2014/15 Symphony Center Presents Piano series presents the crème de la crème of the keyboard world, a diverse group that includes established stars and young pianists making their recital debuts, as they perform more than three centuries’ worth of repertoire. SCP welcomes the return of such series favorites as András Schiff, Evgeny Kissin, Maurizio Pollini and Pierre-Laurent Aimard, as well as newcomers Alexandre Tharaud, Cédric Tiberghien and Orli Shaham.





Symphony Center Presents Chamber Music Series


The five concerts on the 2014/15 Symphony Center Presents Chamber Music series feature classical superstars, as well as unique pairings and stirring ensembles. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the CSO’s Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant, collaborates with musicians of the CSO; Anne-Sophie Mutter brings her own chamber orchestra, Mutter Virtuosi; and the Takács Quartet make their debut on the series collaborating with pianist Marc-André Hamelin. The series also includes recitals by the dynamic violinist Hilary Hahn and a special presentation of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas performed by violinist Gil Shaham.








Symphony Center Presents Orchestra Series


Every year, the Symphony Center Presents Orchestra series brings orchestras from around the world to Chicago, giving audiences an opportunity to hear the repertoire and varied sounds of distinguished international ensembles. This season, three orchestras, led by their music directors, make their series debuts in programs showcasing each orchestra at its finest.  





Symphony Center Presents MusicNOW


MusicNOW, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's nationally recognized and critically acclaimed new music series, offers innovative works by some of today’s most prominent composers and young artists. Curated by the CSO’s two Mead Composers-in-Residence, Mason Batesand Anna Clyne, MusicNOW provides a special opportunity to experience concerts completely dedicated to music by living composers. Principal Conductor Cliff Colnot conducts two of the season's programs.


The series will feature works by today’s most promising composers on four Monday evenings at 7 p.m. Bates and Clyne work together to program music with a range of both influence and instrumentation—eclectic and gripping programs that take full advantage of the sound and lighting capabilities at the state-of-the-art Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park, which has hosted the series since 2005. They also seek to foster multimedia and multigenre collaborations with a variety of artists.


Many of the composers whose works are presented on theMusicNOW series attend the concert, speak with the audience and engage concertgoers at receptions that follow each performance. The free postconcert receptions include complimentary food and drink. Concerts during 2014/15 take place on September 29, January 19, March 23 and June 1. Complete programming details will be announced at a later date.


MusicNOW receives leadership funding through a challenge grant from the Irving Harris Foundation, Joan W. Harris.  Generous major support is provided by Cindy Sargent and the Sally Mead Hands Foundation.



Symphony Center Presents Special Concerts


The 2014/15 Symphony Center Presentscollection of Special Concerts features unique non-subscription presentations showcasing the finest in world music, jazz, folk, holiday concerts and family programs.















The Institute for Learning, Access and Training at the

Chicago Symphony Orchestra


The Institute for Learning, Access and Training at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra seeks to create and sustain connections to music for individuals and communities by sharing the extraordinary musical resources of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The Institute engages more than 200,000 people annually in Chicago and beyond through programs for people of all ages. Created in 2008 as the umbrella for the CSO’s existing education and community engagement programs, the Institute maintains relationships with the greater Chicago community that the CSO has been fostering for decades, and is home to some of the CSO’s most innovative programming, all of which endeavors to inspire and transform lives through music.


Under the leadership of Music Director Riccardo Muti and Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant Yo-Yo Ma, the Institute in 2014/15 will focus on connecting with the greater Chicago community, its ongoing commitment to training the next generation of musicians, and the values embodied by the Citizen Musician Initiative.




Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant Yo-Yo Ma is the catalyst behind the Citizen Musician Initiative, which encourages musicians (professional, young and amateur), music lovers, music teachers and music institutions to generously use and promote the power of music to contribute to our culture, our communities, and the lives of others. The values of Citizen Musicianship inform all of the programs and activities of the Institute for Learning, Access and Training. Though the idea of Citizen Musicianship has long guided the CSO, the phrase was coined in 2011, when the Chicago Symphony Orchestra launched an initiative to systemically promote Citizen Musicianship. 


As part of ongoing Citizen Musician activities, Maestro Muti continues his work at Chicago-area youth detention centers, Ma carries on his work as a passionate advocate for arts education, members of the CSO perform and mentor regularly at organizations across Chicago and while on tour, and the Civic Orchestra’s Citizen Musician Fellowship enters its second year. Leadership support for the CSO’s Citizen Musician Initiative is provided by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and The Negaunee Foundation.



Education and Family Concerts


The 2014/15 season continues the popular CSO Family Matinee series for families with children ages five through nine and presents the third season of the Once Upon a Symphonyseries for families with children ages three through five. This season’s Family Matineeseries features three programs that explore the ways that music communicates, transporting listeners to different places, vividly portraying characters and inspiring an amazing range of emotions.  Each concert is designed to introduce children to great works of orchestral literature, igniting their imagination through some of the most dynamic, exciting and enduring works of music that they will encounter at concerts for the rest of their lives.


Members of the CSO embark on a tour of the musical landscapes and cityscapes created in compositions by Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland and Bedřich Smetana. The program explores the ways that composers use sound to rebuild places such as their homeland and features of their neighborhoods. (November 22)


Members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra demonstrate how the instruments of the orchestra can conjure a zoo full of characters, including elephants lumbering across the safari, swans taking flight and schools of fish swimming in a current. This program focuses on the preeminent menagerie of the classical repertoire, Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals. (March 21, 2015)


Returning conductor Edwin Outwater leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with guest dancers from Hubbard Street 2 in an exploration of the spectacular sounds of one of the greatest composers of all time. This program focuses on the music of Tchaikovsky, famous for its unparalleled ability to express and inspire emotion. (May 2, 2015)


The Institute’s Very Special Promenadesprogram also offers two performances of each of the FamilyMatinee programs specifically for student groups in grades K–3 on the Friday preceding the FamilyMatinee series concerts. CSO Youth Concertsfor students in grades 4–8are offered in the 2014/15 season with two concerts each on April 29 and 30, consisting of age-appropriate orchestral explorations, including a performance by the winner of the 2013 Crain-Maling Foundation Chicago Symphony Orchestra Youth Auditions.


During 2014/15, the Institute presents two unique Once Upon a Symphony programs, The Little Red Hen and Jack and the Beanstalk. These performances, featuring a small ensemble of CSO musicians, are designed especially for children ages three to five with age-appropriate music, storytelling, video projections, activities, sets and costumes that give young children a fun introduction to classical music and encourage them to make music at home. Performances in the 2014/15 season will occur in December, January, February, and April. Once Upon a Symphonyprograms are presented on Saturdays for families with children ages three to five and on corresponding Mondays for preschool, daycare and Head Start audiences.



Civic Orchestra and Training Programs


The Civic Orchestra of Chicago, founded in 1919 by CSO Music Director Frederick Stock, is the pre-professional training orchestra of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In 2014/15, the Civic Orchestra will offer free programs at Symphony Center and community venues around Chicago under Principal Conductor Cliff Colnot and a number of distinguished guest conductors. The roster of conductors and programs will be announced at a later date. The Civic Orchestra will continue to bring music to Chicago neighborhoods through free interactive chamber music performances at Chicago Park District sites around the city and at least one full orchestra concert performed in a Chicago neighborhood.


An important element of the Civic Orchestra’s training experience is cultivating Citizen Musicianship, the ability to respond to the needs of our community, communicate effectively with audiences and succeed in the rapidly evolving world of music in the 21st century. In the 2014/15 season, Civic musicians will continue their work with Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant Yo-Yo Ma, experimenting with new ideas, building leadership skills and collaborating with one another in innovative ways to further their individual and collective creativity.


In the 2014/15 season, the Civic Orchestra launches a new two-year Citizen Musician Fellowship program. Up to eight Civic musicians will be selected to participate in a rigorous curriculum that cultivates their abilities as effective musical leaders, entrepreneurs and educators. Citizen Musician Fellows will participate in all regular activities of the Civic Orchestra as well as work in Chicago Public Schools, collaborate with Chicago’s rich network of community music schools, create and perform innovative chamber concerts that strengthen their artistic capacity, and engage in musical entrepreneurship training that will expand their identity in the larger world around them.


The Crain-Maling CSO Youth Auditions are held annually for young musicians between the ages of 14 and 17 who are residents of Illinois. Each year, one outstanding soloist is selected via audition to perform with the CSO. The auditions also make additional awards of scholarships to music camps for select participants. A three-year rotation schedule determines the eligible instruments for each competition: Strings, Piano and Woodwinds/Brass/Percussion. Auditions in the 2014/15 season will be open to pianists.


Established in 1995, the Percussion Scholarship Program offers intensive, individual, weekly and year-round percussion instruction for young musicians on a full scholarship basis. Participating students—all of whom are Chicago residents in grades 4 through 12—are selected for the group through a rigorous application and personal interview process, through which 5–10 new students are identified annually. The Percussion Scholarship Program offers two major recitals at Symphony Center each season, in December and in May.



Sir Georg Solti Conducting Apprenticeship


The Second International CSO Sir Georg Solti Conducting Apprenticeship began in the 2013/14 season. Through a competitive audition process held in the spring of 2013, Matthew Aucoin was selected by an international jury chaired by Music Director Riccardo Muti. As the CSO’s Conducting Fellow, Aucoin will study with Maestro Muti and key guest conductors of the CSO through the 2014/15 season, as well as work closely with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. The Apprenticeship includes an annual cash award, paid travel and a lodging allowance to help support apprenticeship activities. These are provided by a generous grant from the Claire Rosen & Samuel Edes Foundation.



Programming and Partnerships for Schools


As a part of his work with the Institute, Yo-Yo Ma is passionately devoted to advocating for significant positive change in public education so that all children have access to learning opportunities that prepare them to be part of both an innovative, creative workforce and an enlightened citizenry. Further, active participation in the arts generally, and in music-making specifically, plays a critical role in students’ perseverance and success in school. These principles guide the Institute’s ongoing work with public schools, including the Orchestra Explorers curriculum and the Music Activity Partnership program, which serve select Chicago Public Schools over a three-year period, and strategic advocacy with the Chicago Public Schools to support the implementation of its Arts Education Plan.


The Orchestra Explorerscurriculum includes interdisciplinary lesson plans and a recording of music performed by the CSO. It is designed to be accessible for K–3 classroom teachers who do not have a background in classical music, providing materials free to teachers and arts specialists across greater Chicago, and for a modest price outside of greater Chicago. The materials also support the CSO’s education concerts, so students can connect what they have experienced in their classrooms with the thrill of hearing the Orchestra live at Symphony Center. The Institute provides a series of teacher workshops—both at Symphony Center and at school sites across Chicago—that support teachers’ successful use of the curriculum in their classroom. To date, Orchestra Explorers materials have been distributed to more than 100,000 students.



2015 Chicago Youth in Music Festival


The Chicago Youth in Music Festival is a biennial celebration of the achievements of young classical musicians from across Chicago and the world. Through a series of intensive rehearsals and workshops, young Chicago musicians will prepare for appearances onstage at Orchestra Hall and in community locations around the city and suburbs. They are joined by mentors from the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and international guest artists.


Participating students will unlock their passions and hone their talents while tapping into a rich network of support from their peers. Students will also gain valuable orchestral experience and develop an understanding of the values expressed by the CSO's Citizen Musician initiative through workshop sessions and community events. All Festival events will be offered free of charge and will include special performances for Chicago Public Schools students.


Details for the 2015 Festival will be announced at a later date.



 Subscription and Ticket information


Subscription materials for the 2014/15 season of Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Center Presents concerts are now available, offering savings of up to 49% off regular single ticket prices on a wide variety of concert packages, from three to 10 concerts each. Subscribers also receive reduced prices on additional tickets when purchased by August 7, 2014, plus ticket exchange options and other valued benefits, including priority service, discounts on Symphony Center merchandise and at tesori restaurant and subscriber-only prepaid parking. Box seat and 10-concert subscribers also receive unlimited free ticket exchange privileges throughout the season.


Tickets for Special Concerts are currently available for purchase only with subscriptions. Subscriptions may be purchased or renewed by any of five methods: online, by phone, by fax, by mail or in person at the box office. The CSO provides an easy payment plan option for subscribers: subscription purchases made by credit card by March 15, 2014, are eligible for the payment plan and will be automatically charged in two, three or four monthly installments.


For more information, please call CSO Ticketing Services at 312-294-3000 or 800-223-7114, Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; or visit the CSO’s website. Groups of 10 or more who are interested in subscribing to the 2014/15 season should call Symphony Center’s Group Sales Department at 312-294-3040.


Patrons can also visit cso.org to order tickets and parking, find out about upcoming events, make reservations at nearby restaurants, view and listen to video and audio about the performers, purchase CSO merchandise and make donations.


Symphony Center, home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, is located at 220 S. Michigan Ave. in Chicago.




Photos: Todd Rosenberg







Published on Aug 12, 2014

View the Full Article | Return to the Site