2020–2021 Chicago Symphony Season Announced!

  • the annual Concert for Chicago, which will be held back in Millennium Park and will feature Beethoven’s Leonore Overture №3 and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sheherazade. It’s easy to say that these pieces are overplayed, but to be honest, these pieces are way better than a lot of the so-called “new” pieces that are being performed nowadays, and I think it’s a pretty helpful reminder why it’s so easy to love classical music in the first place.
  • Yefim Bronfman in Brahms Piano Concerto №1 w/ Maestro Muti (also Wagner’s Overture to Tannhäuser is on the program)…the Brahms 1 is one of my favorite piano concerti, and I absolutely loved it when Kirill Gerstein played it a couple of seasons ago with Maestro Muti. Bronfman’s Beethoven Piano Concerto №4 w/ Maestro Muti a couple of seasons ago remains one of the highlights of my memories at Symphony Center, so it’ll be great to hear him play again with Maestro Muti. Plus, another Wagner overture on the docket! This current season, I got to hear how Maestro Muti tackled the Flying Dutchman overture, and it’ll be great again to see how he approaches Tannhäuser. (Maybe we could see some pieces from Meistersinger in the future?…because hey, it was loved by Toscanini too 🙂 )
  • Respighi’s Feste Romane and Schifrin’s Theme from Mission Impossible…Respighi’s Pines of Rome has been sort of a signature piece for Maestro Muti and the CSO, so it’ll be great to hear the third of the works of Respighi’s “Roman trilogy”. And with the Mission Impossible piece on the program as well…I think it’ll definitely be a very fun concert 😀
  • Maestro Muti conducting Anita Rachvelishvili in Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody. For those who don’t know, Maestro Muti recorded this piece in Philadelphia with the late mezzo-soprano, the great Jessye Norman, and so to have this performance with one of the great mezzo sopranos today, Anita Rachvelishvili (whose Amneris is hands down one of the best operatic performances I’ve ever witnessed live), will be a treat to experience. Cherubini’s Mass for Coronation of Charles X is also on the program, and considering the brilliance of Cherubini’s Chant sur la mort de Joseph Haydn, I’m pretty sure that the mass will be great as well (it isn’t any coincidence why Beethoven considered Cherubini to be his greatest contemporary!).
  • A night of Italian opera to close the season, featuring Maestro Muti conducting soloists Krassimira Stoyanova and Francesco Meli. Similar to how the 2016–2017 closed, featuring the program of “Italian Opera Masterworks” (from which a CSO Resound recording was produced), Maestro Muti will lead this program as the finale for the ‘20-’21 season. There hasn’t been a program listed yet, but I’m hoping there’ll be Verdi and maybe some Bellini / Donizetti on the program. Or maybe some Puccini / Leoncavallo / Giordano / Catalani? Nevertheless, it’ll be a befitting end to the second-to-last season of Maestro Muti’s tenure as MD here 😦

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Claire Liu

Claire Liu

PhD student at Northwestern working on bio-integrated devices for health applications. Also interested in 19th century Italian opera musicology.