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Articles tagged with: Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Muti and Chicago Symphony embrace spirit, time-stretching cosmos of ‘Divine’ Scriabin

Jun 7, 2013 – 6:59 pm

Review: There’s a hypnotic enchantment about Alexander Scriabin’s sprawling, sensual “Divine Poem,” and its magic worked at full pitch in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s luxurious performance with music director Riccardo Muti Friday afternoon at Orchestra Hall. ★★★★

Van Zweden, Chicago Symphony bring heat with torrid Bartók concerto, Mozart and Bates

Jun 1, 2013 – 12:01 pm
Jaap van Zweden, guest conductor, Chicago Symphony Orchestra 05-2013 credit Todd Rosenberg

Review: On the last day of May, full summer beckoning, Dutch conductor Jaap van Zweden led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a performance of fresh abundance, showcasing the virtuosity of the CSO musicians themselves in Béla Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, and also turning the spotlight on two youthful artists of distinction — composer Mason Bates and pianist David Fray. ★★★★

Davis’ ‘The Chicago River’ is a natural tributary of Chicago Symphony’s diverse Rivers Festival

May 26, 2013 – 9:13 am
The excursion boat Theodore Roosevelt heads east under the State Street bridge in 1910 credit The Lost Panoramas by Richard Cahan and Michael Williams

Review: Each year in the late spring, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra embarks upon themed programs that seem to be as much about reaching deep into the community, and becoming energized by the community in turn, as they do about any particular theme itself. This year’s festival, called “Rivers,” features the world premiere of “The Chicago River” by Orbert Davis. Inspired by late-19th and early-20th century photographs of the elaborately engineered reversal of the river’s flow, it underscores the notion that a cultural landscape is indeed much like a river — alive, ever present and ever changing.

CSO Rivers Festival explores the enchantment of waterways, their impact on human history

May 9, 2013 – 4:29 pm
Chicago Symphony music director Riccardo Muti at the Chicago River 2013 Rivers Festival credit Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Preview: Literally and metaphorically, rivers seem to flow in every direction across our lives; indeed, across life. It’s not hard to see how the Chicago Symphony Orchestra might have hit on the concept of its Rivers Festival, a multifaceted month-long exploration and tribute that opens musically May 9 at Orchestra Hall.

Day in Rhineland: Muti, Chicago Symphony translate Schumann Third into vivid travelogue

Apr 26, 2013 – 12:32 pm

Review: Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 3 in E-flat isn’t known as the “Rhenish” for nothing. I felt very much like Schumann’s Rhine-journeying companion Thursday night, listening to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s radiant performance of the Third Symphony conducted by music director Riccardo Muti. ★★★★

With Muti back at helm, Chicago Symphony applies classic touch to Mozart, Beethoven

Apr 19, 2013 – 3:30 pm
Riccardo Muti conducted Mozart's "Prague" Symphony and Beethoven's 4th Symphony with a classically-sized Chicago Symphony Orchestra April 18, 2013 credit Todd Rosenberg

Review: The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Mozart-Beethoven concert Thursday night with music director Riccardo Muti felt like one long “aha!” moment. Here was the full measure of finesse, composure and pliancy the orchestra had expected to put on display for audiences in Southeast Asia with Muti at the helm, but in his absence never entirely achieved. ★★★★★

Youths at detention center set lives to music with aid of CSO musicians, praise from Muti

Apr 17, 2013 – 11:17 am
CSO bass Daniel Armstrong spent 5 days with residents of Cook Cty Juvenile Temp Detention Ctr to help prep their concert  - photo by Todd Rosenberg

Report: The first time Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director Riccardo Muti visited the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, in September 2012, it was to offer a concert to more than 100 youths awaiting trial for serious crimes. For his return visit on April 14, the music was provided by juveniles with help from CSO musicians, and it was Muti who took a turn in the audience.

Adolph Herseth dies at 91; honored trumpeter was Chicago Symphony principal five decades

Apr 14, 2013 – 10:36 pm
Adolph "Bud" Herseth former principal trumpet Chicago Symphony dead at 91 seen here c 1990 photo credit Jim Steere

Burnished glory of Chicago brass

Opera stage resounds in Bach’s Mass as Muti brings personal authenticity to CSO account

Apr 13, 2013 – 2:08 pm
Left to right Chicago Symphony Chorus director Duain Wolfe soprano Eleonora Buratto mezzo-soprano Anna Malavasi muic director Riccardo Muti tenor Saimir Pirgu bass-baritone Adam Plachetka photo by Todd Rosenberg

Review: The decidedly Italianate, essentially operatic treatment of Bach’s Mass in B Minor offered this weekend by conductor Riccardo Muti and forces of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra may have little to do with the elusive question of Baroque performance practice, but it has everything to do with spiritual authenticity, conceptual integrity and musical wisdom. ★★★★★

Riccardo Muti, fit and jovial, pitches CSO’s agenda from Verdi to Canary Islands tour

Apr 10, 2013 – 3:35 pm
Auditorio Alfredo Kraus Canary Islands is a 2014 tour stop for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Report: The Chicago Symphony Orchestra announced a bundle of developments at a press conference Wednesday morning, but the best news may have been the vigorous appearance and high spirits of music director Riccardo Muti.

Berlin Aisle: Deutsches Symphonie’s Sibelius, with Osmo Vänskä, sheds light on a treasure

Apr 10, 2013 – 8:27 am
Musicians of the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester in the Philharmonie Concert Hall Berlin 2013 courtesy Kai Bienert

Review: This is the story of a small world and a hidden gem. The jewel in question is the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester, a beautifully balanced, virtuosic Berlin ensemble with a youthful look that plays in the shadow of the Berlin Philharmonic. Yet, with two such orchestras sharing the splendid Philharmonie concert hall, this city is simply twice blessed.

Conductor Oramo, bringing Nielsen to CSO, sees master builder’s hand in 5th Symphony

Apr 2, 2013 – 6:20 am
Sakari Oramo please credit Heikki Tuuli and Octavia

Preview: When Finnish conductor Sakari Oramo steps in front of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for concerts April 4-6, he will put the spotlight on Danish composer Carl Nielsen, a figure that has waxed and waned in the hearts of audiences and conductors alike over the last half century.

In contrasting Mozart concertos with the CSO, pianist Mitsuko Uchida blends depth, charm

Mar 29, 2013 – 1:29 pm
Pianist Mitsuko Uchida credit Jean Radel

Review: While it wasn’t quite the alpha and omega of Mozart’s numerous ventures into the piano concerto, the two works pianist Mitsuko Uchida performed March 28 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra did offer a telling perspective on a composer on top of the world and one who had seen all too much of it. ★★★★

Conductor Tugan Sokhiev, in CSO debut, sets Russian stamp on Tchaikovsky 4th Symphony

Mar 23, 2013 – 5:57 pm
Ossetian conductor Tugan Sokhiev makes Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut March 2013 credit Todd Rosenberg

Review: While the Tchaikovsky symphonies hardly belong to the exclusive province of Russian conductors, the free-wheeling, hair-raising Fourth Symphony that Tugan Sokhiev led with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on March 21 simply may not be an interpretive option within the DNA of conductors from other parts of the world. ★★★★

Subbing for Boulez again, Cristian Macelaru looks like conducting star on rise with CSO

Mar 8, 2013 – 6:02 pm
Cristian Macelaru

Review: Twice in the last two seasons the young Romanian-born conductor Cristian Macelaru has stepped into the same big shoes, replacing an indisposed Pierre Boulez on the podium of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. After the second look, on March 7, one can only join the applauding CSO musicians in saluting Macelaru as a star in the making. ★★★★

Honoring composer whose time may be now, Salonen, Yo-Yo Ma make case for Lutosławski

Mar 2, 2013 – 1:04 am
Yo Yo Ma and Esa-Pekka Salonen take bows after performing the Lutoslawski Cello Concerto with Chicago Symphony Orchestra 2013 credit Todd Rosenberg

Review: Among the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s most important relationships with conductors in their prime middle years is surely that with Finnish conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen, 54, who led a concert of Tchaikovsky, Sibelius and Lutoslawski so compelling that it made one want to go back to the box office and do the whole thing all over again. Through March 3. ★★★★★

In tributes to ‘Tristan,’ Salonen and CSO lack forces and focus to embrace Wagner epic

Feb 23, 2013 – 10:22 am
Esa Pekka Salonen conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra 2013 credit Todd Rosenberg

Review: Finnish conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen once undertook total immersion in the music of Richard Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde,” an opera of lasting influence and extraordinary musical language, newly coined to express ecstatic, forbidden love and its all-consuming anguish. Today Salonen’s enthusiasm for exploring this operatic icon is undiminished. In addition to two concert performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra of “Tristan’s” mesmerizing second act, he led “Beyond the Score” performances that explored the controversy over Wagner’s musical nugget, the Tristan chord, and its breakthrough potential to lead the ear beyond traditional harmonic bounds. Neither effort proved entirely successful. Through Feb. 24.

CSO in Asia: At tour’s end, sense of triumph magnified by journey of maestro, musicians

Feb 7, 2013 – 3:00 am
Lorin Maazel conducts Brahms' Symphony No. 2 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Beijing on 2013 Asia tour - credit Todd Rosenberg

Report: The Chicago Symphony Orchestra had come a long way, in every sense and under trying circumstances, to hear the Seoul Arts Center rocked by applause on the final stop of its Asia tour. In the quiet of an interview before the closing concerts, conductor Lorin Maazel, who had joined the fraught tour in Hong Kong to lead the CSO across China to this conclusion, its first ever visit to Seoul, described his thrown-together effort with the orchestra not merely as a challenge met, but as “an impossible task.” That the mission was accomplished as impressively as it was, Maazel said, bore witness not only to the Chicagoans’ musicianship but also to their collective professionalism.

CSO, Muti plan tributes to Verdi and Schubert in 2013-14 season, with two world premieres

Feb 6, 2013 – 3:24 pm
Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director Riccardo Muti takes a bow with the CSO credit Todd Rosenberg

Report: We offer our hot picks.

CSO in Asia: That purring sound is Muti’s ‘Ferrari,’ driven by Maazel, cruising China

Feb 5, 2013 – 5:07 am
Conductor Lorin Maazel smiles at the audience as he takes his final bow in Shanghai on Chicago Symphony 2013 Asia tour credit Todd Rosenberg

Report: TIANJIN – Conductor Lorin Maazel has pretty much peaked out in his appreciation of the Chicago Symphony, even topping music director Riccardo Muti’s proud comparison of the orchestra to a Ferrari. Shortly after he caught up with the CSO to take over its Asia tour conducting duties from Edo de Waart, in Hong Kong, the grey eminence Maazel summed up the impression he drew from his first rehearsal with the orchestra: “About an hour into it, I thought to myself, ‘My God, what a sound!’”

CSO in Asia: Without fanfare, musicians give gifts of art and joy; see themselves richer

Feb 1, 2013 – 2:39 pm

Report: Halfway into the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Asia tour, trombonist Michael Mulcahy was reflecting on a little concert he and four colleagues played for some children back in Taipei. Without hesitating a sixteenth note, Mulcahy declared that encounter with the kids and their parents, no more than 150 people, “the most magnificent thing that has happened to me on this trip.”

CSO in Asia: Lorin Maazel, maestro and guru, says little but it’s all music to happy campers

Jan 29, 2013 – 1:24 pm
Lorin Maazel joins the Chicago Symphony Asia 2013 tour in Hong Kong and everyone feels comfortable with the music they are making - credit Todd Rosenberg

Report: As the sweatered and smiling 82-year-old Lorin Maazel climbed to his seat and settled into a high swivel chair atop the double-riser podium at Hong Kong Cultural Centre on Jan. 28, the conductor’s presence seemed to relax the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. What came next, in this first rehearsal together, was impressive not for what Maazel said, but for what he didn’t.

CSO in Asia: With a colossal effort, orchestra and Osmo Vänskä score Beethoven triumph

Jan 27, 2013 – 9:39 pm

Review: Like an army advancing from a victorious engagement, a weary Chicago Symphony Orchestra arrived in Hong Kong Sunday after gaining a success against long odds at the Chiang Kai-shek National Concert Hall in Taipei. The CSO closed out the first leg of its Asia tour in Taiwan by doing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica”) the hard way: playing this indeed “heroic” work in a single late-afternoon rehearsal with conductor Osmo Vänskä, then coming right back to it for an intensely concentrated, razor-sharp performance before a packed concert audience.

CSO in Asia: Grace, true grit and Robert Chen prevail as star-crossed tour opens in Taipei

Jan 25, 2013 – 11:09 pm

Review: The Chicago Symphony Orchestra presented the first concert in its troubled Asia tour here Jan. 25 with a performance that flew on a wing and a prayer. Make that one rehearsal and the grace of some sterling musicianship. Under the baton of Osmo Vänskä, an 11th-hour replacement for ailing CSO music director Riccardo Muti, the orchestra offered the well-filled Chiang Kai-shek National Concert Hall a generous program that made a big splash even if it didn’t entirely sparkle.

Holy cow! Frantic CSO, in Asia sans Muti, endures nail-biting days but tour stage set

Jan 24, 2013 – 3:52 pm
Liberty Times headlines about the Chicago Symphony tour substitions Jan. 21 2012

CSO Asia Tour Report:The Liberty Times Taipei headline says “The great Chicago Symphony Orchestra breaks its normal rule and tours with two soloists; Taiwan’s music lovers gain the most.” The optimism is a welcome development for CSO leaders who raced against time to forge a solution when illness forced music director Riccardo Muti to pull out of the orchestra’s imminent Asia tour. Concerts begin Jan. 24 in Taipei and end Feb. 7 in Seoul.

CSO adds Russian violinist Maxim Vengerov, concertmaster Chen, maestro Vänskä for Asia

Jan 20, 2013 – 1:35 am
Violinist Maxim Vengerov, who recently returned to concert performance after a prolonged absence, will headline a Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert in Taipei January 2013 credit Naim Chidiac – Abu Dhabi Festival 2012

Report: Pressed to find a conductor for concerts in Taiwan on Jan. 25 and 26 that will open its Asia tour, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra late Saturday announced both a maestro and a double bonus for audiences in Taipei. Joining Finnish conductor Osmo Vänskä in solo appearances will be the celebrated violin virtuoso Maxim Vengerov and CSO concertmaster Robert Chen, a native of Taiwan.

Report: Riccardo Muti, facing surgery, drops out of CSO’s Asian tour; Maazel steps in

Jan 18, 2013 – 12:35 am
Lorin Maazel will replace Riccardo Muti for most concerts in  Chicago Symphony 2013 Asian tour Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin and Seoul credit Chris Lee

Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing on sked

Standing in for Muti as CSO readies for Asia, De Waart leads stylish bundle of Beethoven

Jan 11, 2013 – 7:21 pm
Edo de Waart credit Amsterdam Concertgebouw

Review: Concerts this weekend and next were supposed to be warm-ups for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Asian tour, launching later this month with music director Riccardo Muti. But with Muti laid low by the flu, the tour preview has a new man on the podium at Orchestra Hall – Edo De Waart, music director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. To judge by Thursday night’s opening flourish, an all-Beethoven affair, De Waart will send the CSO on its way to the Far East — and presumably back to Muti’s stewardship – fiddle fit.

Battling flu, Riccardo Muti flies home to Italy; De Waart to lead 2nd week of CSO concerts

Jan 9, 2013 – 5:09 pm
Riccardo Muti conducts Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  9/28/07,

Report: Asian tour with Muti stlll a go

Edo de Waart will replace ailing Riccardo Muti in Chicago Symphony’s Beethoven fare

Jan 8, 2013 – 5:50 pm
Edo de Waart credit Edo de Waart

Report: Flu sidelines CSO maestro