WFMT Press Room


For Immediate Release:

November 30, 2006

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Announces Major Radio And Recording Initiatives

CSO RETURNS TO WEEKLY NATIONAL RADIO BROADCASTS IN 2007 WITH THE BP CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA SERIES ON 98.7WFMT AND THE WFMT RADIO NETWORK

INTRODUCING "CSO RESOUND"
CSO LAUNCHES IN-HOUSE RECORDING LABEL FOR CD & DIGITAL DOWNLOAD RELEASES

CSO Resound to debut with recording of critically-acclaimed October 2006 performances of Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with CSO Principal Conductor Bernard Haitink with support from The Boeing Company

Generous support from BP returns Chicago Symphony Orchestra to national radio airwaves for first time since 2001

CSO's robust audience development initiatives continue to expand with free video downloads of innovative
Beyond the Score presentation of Bartók's The Miraculous Mandarin offered via www.cso.org in January 2007


(CHICAGO) – The CSO Association today announced major media initiatives designed to significantly broaden the reach of the world-class music making of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, including the BP Chicago Symphony Orchestra Radio Broadcast Series, a 52-week nationally-syndicated series created in partnership with The WFMT Radio Network, and the creation of "CSO Resound," an in-house recording label for new CSO self-produced compact disc and digital download releases.

With the introduction of the BP Chicago Symphony Orchestra Series in 2007 on 98.7WFMT, Chicago's legacy classical radio station, and The WFMT Radio Network, live concert broadcasts of the CSO will return to the national radio airwaves for the first time since 2001. The new radio series is made possible by a generous three-year gift from BP, its title sponsor.

The CSO will launch its new in-house recording label – "CSO Resound" – in early 2007. The label's debut offering will be physical CD and digital download releases of the CSO's critically-acclaimed October 2006 performances of Mahler's Symphony No. 3 under the direction of CSO Principal Conductor Bernard Haitink, featuring mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung, members of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, and the Chicago Children's Choir, contingent upon agreement with other artistic partners, including the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) as representative of the CSO Chorus. CSO CDs and digital downloads will be available through www.cso.org, iTunes, www.amazon.com, and a wide array of distribution channels through a new CSO partnership with IODA (Independent Online Distribution Alliance). The CSO's new recording initiative is made possible by valuable support from The Boeing Company.

In addition, the CSO will explore ways to extend the reach of its innovative new Beyond the Score series – CSO concerts with rich multimedia content delving into the stories behind great orchestral masterworks – via the Internet. Free video downloads of the CSO's December 3 Beyond the Score presentation of Bartók's The Miraculous Mandarin with conductor Pierre Boulez and host Gerard McBurney will be made available on www.cso.org, beginning in January 2007.

"We are delighted that the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will now have the capability of reaching an even greater number of music lovers and fans around the world through these wonderful developments in the areas of radio, new recordings, and the Internet," said Deborah R. Card, President of the CSO Association. "The CSO is known internationally for superlative artistic excellence and we are well aware that there is great demand from listeners for projects that extend the reach of the Orchestra outside of Chicago and the concert hall. Complementing live performances in Chicago and worldwide, these new initiatives will sustain the high profile and superb reputation of the CSO, capturing for posterity the one-of-a-kind music-making for which our Orchestra is known. I am especially grateful to our CSO musicians for their wonderful spirit of collaboration as we have worked together to create these exciting new plans in the realm of media, an area that we all agree is critically important to our institution's future."

These dynamic initiatives are made possible by a new three-year agreement that has been finalized between the musicians and management of Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a new collaboration that governs guidelines related to the creation and distribution of recorded material. In addition to contractual guidelines for radio broadcasts of CSO concerts, the agreement allows for simultaneous streaming on the Internet and sets terms for broadcasts of chamber music concerts. The new media agreement also sets terms for creation of self-produced CDs and digital downloads through "CSO Resound" and includes provisions to create one complimentary recording each year for educational use in Chicago Public Schools.

In the spirit of true partnership, decisions related to media activities of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, including repertoire selection for recording releases, licensing, marketing, and distribution, will continue to be made collaboratively by a Joint Media Committee, to be comprised of three CSO musicians and three members of the CSO Association staff.

"This is an exciting time for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra," said Stephen Lester, Chairman of the CSO Members Committee. "The Musicians of the CSO are thrilled to have new comprehensive media agreements in place that once again bring our concerts to audiences in Chicago and the world. These agreements allow the Orchestra to be heard by radio broadcast, CDs, digital downloads, as well as other developing technologies, which will only expand our audience. We want to thank Gary Matts, President of Local 10-208 Chicago Federation of Musicians for the invaluable help and support he has given us during the talks that created these agreements. We also want to thank the CSO Association for making the commitment to produce significant amounts of media in years to come. As one of the most recorded and broadcast orchestras in history, media has always played an important part in the success of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, so we are very pleased to be able to offer our audience these new opportunities to hear the CSO."

"It's a wonderful thing to be able to share this news today that the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will once again be heard around the world through these new broadcasts, newly released recordings and digital downloads," said Gary Matts, President of the Chicago Federation of Musicians. "This agreement has truly been a long time in coming. We are grateful to everyone involved for working so hard and thoughtfully investing considerable time and energy into making this a reality."

"With the CSO back on the air, life is back to normal at WFMT and the Network. Once again, millions of listeners in Chicago and throughout the world will hear this most wonderful of all orchestras on the radio and the Internet," said Steve Robinson, Senior Vice President for WFMT and The WFMT Radio Network. "Our great thanks go out to the musicians and management, and especially BP, for returning the CSO to its broadcast home on WFMT."

BP CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA RADIO SERIES:
Weekly local and national radio broadcasts on The WFMT Radio Network


The Chicago Symphony Orchestra and The WFMT Radio Network, the international syndication division of Chicago's award-winning classical music station, 98.7WFMT, will partner to create the new 52-week per year BP Chicago Symphony Orchestra Radio Broadcast Series. This two-hour, weekly radio program will consist of 39 weeks of live concerts by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, recorded in its home, Symphony Center, that will be broadcast and syndicated nationally by The WFMT Radio Network. An additional 13 weeks of broadcasts will draw upon the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's expansive catalogue of commercial recordings, filling out the broadcast schedule to a full 52 weeks. The BP Chicago Symphony Orchestra Radio Broadcast Series will be heard locally in Chicago on 98.7WFMT on Sunday afternoons at 1:00 p.m.

The WFMT Radio Network's existing weekly CSO Retrospectives series – national broadcasts of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra drawn from commercial releases – will be presented with the support of BP, beginning in January 2007. The CSO and The WFMT Radio Network will launch the new BP Chicago Symphony Orchestra Radio Broadcast Series in March 2007, bringing a new and distinctive approach to CSO radio programming. With the powerful sounds of the CSO as its centerpiece, the new series' engaging and lively content will include produced segments created to provide deeper insight into the music and programmatic themes found within the CSO's concert season; interviews with CSO musicians, guest artists, and composers; and an exploration of the stories found within the CSO's rich heritage of recordings and the Orchestra's illustrious history in Chicago. Additional information about new series programming will be shared in early 2007.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra's return to the national airwaves is made possible by a generous three-year gift from BP, title sponsor of the new radio series. "BP is pleased to help the Chicago Symphony Orchestra provide access to its world class musical performances for more people in the United States and around the globe through this important radio broadcast series, made available over the airwaves and via the Internet," said Bob Malone, Chairman and President of BP America Inc. "The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is known worldwide as a leading institution of art and culture. We are pleased to partner with CSO to help extend its reach into homes throughout America as well as elsewhere in the world."

The BP Chicago Symphony Orchestra Radio Broadcasts Series represents the first new nationally-syndicated radio programs by the CSO to be heard since 2001. In addition to radio sponsorship, support from BP totaling $3.4 million over the next three years will provide much-needed funding for the CSO's international touring activities, Opening Night Gala programs in 2007 and 2008, as well as educational activities.

BP has a long history of support of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The company has contributed to the CSO's annual fund for more than fifteen years and, since 2002, has also provided important support for CSO education and community initiatives, including BP Adventures in Music, a program that enhances the CSO's Saturday morning Kraft Family Matinee series experience for families from 19 community organizations through preparatory materials, instrument donations, and guided pre-concert music-making activities. A fan of classical music, Lord John Browne of Madingley, BP's Group Chief Executive, became an Honorary Trustee of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2000. Today's announcement of added funding also notably builds on many years of previous support received by the CSO for local and national radio broadcasts beginning in 1976, originally from Standard Oil Company of Indiana (later known as Amoco and currently BP).

The BP Chicago Symphony Orchestra Radio Broadcasts Series will be syndicated to more than 160 markets nationwide by the WFMT Radio Network. WFMT Radio Network executives expect this number to increase throughout 2007 as word about the new series reaches classical music stations throughout the United States. In addition to concerts by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The WFMT Radio Network also syndicates concerts by the New York Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, as well as ongoing series and documentary specials such as Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin and the Peabody award winning documentary Leonard Bernstein: An American Life with Susan Sarandon. The WFMT Radio Network also offers exclusive programming from Germany's Deutsche Welle Radio, the British Broadcasting Corporation, and dozens of classical, folk, jazz, and news series, as well as specials to radio outlets around the world. For more information about 98.7WFMT and The WFMT Radio Network, please visit www.wfmt.com.

INTRODUCING "CSO RESOUND"
CSO's in-house label for CD and digital download releases


The CSO will launch its new in-house recording label – "CSO Resound" – in spring 2007. For its debut release, the new label will issue physical CD and digital downloads of the CSO's critically-acclaimed October 2006 performances of Mahler's Symphony No. 3 under the direction of CSO Principal Conductor Bernard Haitink, featuring mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung, members of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, and the Chicago Children's Choir. Mr. Haitink's fall performances of Mahler's Third Symphony with the CSO marked his first appearances in Chicago in his new titled position. This offering will be contingent upon agreement with other artistic partners, including the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) as representative of the CSO Chorus.

The name "CSO Resound" was selected to reflect the distinct and powerful sound of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra itself, an ensemble of musicians that has always been renowned for its sonic brilliance. Also a play on words ("re-sound"), the name nods to the fact that each CSO recording serves as a way to document and extend the experience of each unique concert, allowing it to be "re-played" at the music lover's discretion. CSO recordings, especially digital downloads made available shortly following orchestra performances, will provide the perfect way for Symphony Center patrons to take their concert experience home with them and will enable those unable to attend performances to have access to the phenomenal music making of the CSO.

"CSO Resound" compact discs will be sold at many traditional retail outlets, including Symphony Center's on-site Symphony Store. CDs and digital downloads will be both be available at www.cso.org, iTunes, www.amazon.com and via a wide array of additional distribution channels through a new partnership with IODA (Independent Online Distribution Alliance). An industry-leading digital distribution company, IODA distributes thousands of releases from independent labels to digital outlets around the world and assists with sales reporting, licensing, and digital promotion. The creative identity for "CSO Resound" is being developed by Chicago-based IA Collaborative, the firm responsible for the look and design of the CSO's award-winning Web site, www.cso.org.

The CSO's new recording initiative is made possible by important funding from The Boeing Company. "Part of what makes Chicago such a great city is that it is the home of one of the world's best orchestras," said Nora Moreno Cargie, Boeing's director of Global Corporate Citizenship in Chicago. "Clearly, the CSO is one of the Chicago's great contributions to the world of music. It's something all Chicagoans should be proud of, part of, and support, and Boeing is pleased to be counted among its benefactors."

Since The Boeing Company's arrival in Chicago in September 2001, the CSO has benefited from its commitment to support arts and culture in our community. The Boeing Company has been a valued corporate partner of the CSO since 2002, providing generous Annual Fund support, as well as major event and program sponsorships, including the popular Afterwork Masterworks series during the 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 seasons, and more recently, major support of the CSO's MusicNow series.

As part of its new recording plan, the CSO will self-produce at least six new CD releases over the next three years under the banner of "CSO Resound," with all upcoming releases selected from live recordings of CSO concerts. In addition, three to four digital-only releases will be issued per year. An initial schedule of recording releases will be shared in mid-2007.

CSO'S INNOVATIVE BEYOND THE SCORE SERIES
Free Beyond the Score video downloads available in January via www.cso.org


The CSO will explore ways to extend the reach of its innovative new Beyond the Score series – CSO concerts with rich multimedia content delving into the stories behind great orchestral masterworks – offering free video downloads of its Beyond the Score presentation of Bartók's The Miraculous Mandarin with conductor Pierre Boulez and host Gerard McBurney on www.cso.org, beginning in late January 2007. This colorful in-depth exploration of Bartók's masterwork will first be presented at Symphony Center in Chicago on Sunday afternoon, December 3 with an encore performance scheduled for New York's Carnegie Hall on Saturday, December 9. The complimentary video downloads will extend the Beyond the Score experience, and the CSO's exciting work in the area of audience development, out of the concert hall and into people's homes for the first time.

Hosted by British musicologist/composer Gerard McBurney, Beyond the Score has been a dramatic addition to the CSO's core programming in Chicago, designed not only for classical music aficionados, but also for newcomers looking to dive more deeply into the world of classical music. The first half of each Beyond the Score program uses visual imagery, narration, and live musical examples to examine a single orchestral masterwork – its context in history, how it fits into the composer's output of works, the details of the composer's life that influenced its creation – sharing the illuminating stories found "inside the music." After intermission, concertgoers return to the hall with newly discovered knowledge to hear a performance of the score, played in its entirety by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. This season, in addition to The Miraculous Mandarin with Pierre Boulez, Symphony Center audiences will experience performances focusing on Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring with conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen (January 28), and Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 27, K. 595 with conductor and pianist Jeffrey Kahane (April 29).

ABOUT THE CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Founded in 1891, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is consistently hailed as one of the greatest orchestras in the world. Throughout its history, recordings have been an important part of the Orchestra's activities. Since its first recording in 1916, the Chicago Symphony has amassed a discography numbering more than 900 titles, one of the most expansive and illustrious catalogues of any international orchestra. Recordings by the CSO have earned fifty-eight Grammy® Awards from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences – more than any other orchestra in the world.

The CSO's history also contains a long-held tradition of radio broadcasting. Periodic in-concert CSO broadcasts first became a reality in 1925 when then-music director Frederick Stock conducted Strauss' Till Eulenspiegel for live radio broadcast. From that point on, with the exception of a three year hiatus during World War II, the Orchestra had a radio presence at least once annually. From 1976 through 2001, the CSO was heard continually each week by millions of radio listeners around the world in national radio broadcasts, syndicated by The WFMT Radio Network. Since 2001, The WFMT Radio Network has been the home of CSO Retrospectives, national broadcasts of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra drawn from commercial releases. The introduction of BP Chicago Symphony Orchestra series on WFMT by The WFMT Radio Network in 2007 marks the return to syndicated broadcasts of live CSO concerts to the national airwaves.

Live performances by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra are much in demand at home and in the best musical venues around the world. In collaboration with the best conductors and guest artists on the international music scene, the CSO performs well over one hundred concerts each year at its downtown home, Symphony Center, and at the Ravinia Festival on Chicago's North Shore, where it is in residency each summer. The CSO's comprehensive education and community programs engage close to 100,000 Chicago-area residents annually. Music lovers outside Chicago enjoy the sounds of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra not only through best-selling recordings, but also frequent sold-out tour performances in the United States and around the globe. Since 1971, the CSO has undertaken 32 international tours: 24 to Europe, five to the Far East, as well as one each to Russia, Australia, and South America. For more information about the CSO, please visit www.cso.org.

Contact:
Synneve Carlino
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
(312) 294-3093

Contact:
Julia Starzyk
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
(312) 294-3090

WFMT Media Contact:
Holly H. Gilson
98.7WFMT and the WFMT Radio Network
(773) 509-5424