Chicago Symphony Orchestra Announces ’19-20 Season

By Keegan Morris |

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Riccardo Muti conducts Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 9/28/07,

Riccardo Muti conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Photo: Todd Rosenberg)

This morning, Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti and Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association president Jeff Alexander announced the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s 2019-2020 season. It will mark Muti’s tenth-anniversary season as music director as well as the 250th birthday of Beethoven.

Muti conducts all of Beethoven’s symphonies over the course of the season, culminating in the triumphant Symphony No. 9 in June 2020. A number of Symphony Center Presents recitals will feature the Beethoven piano sonatas, performed by Rudolf Buchbinder, Kirill Gerstein, Yevgeny Kissin, Igor Levit, Maurizio Pollini, and Andras Schiff.

Also in the upcoming season, the orchestra will premiere commissioned works by Bernard Rands and CSO Mead Composer-in-Residence Missy Mazzoli. In a season-long focus on other American composers, the CSO will also present works by Adams, Barber, Jennifer Higdon, Florence Price, and William Grant Still.

In November, the CSO and Muti will perform two concerts at Carnegie Hall. In January 2020 they’ll tour Europe, with concerts in Vienna, Paris, Naples, and several other cities. In February 2020, the CSO will tour Florida.

Guest conductors next season include Sir Andrew Davis, Valery Gergiev, Susanna Mälkki, and Jaap van Zweden.

Muti leads a concert staging of Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana in February 2020, and in April of next year, soprano Renée Fleming and pianist Evgeny Kissin will give a Symphony Center Presents recital in co-operation with Lyric Opera.

The CSO’s MusicNOW series, which will be in its twenty-second season, will see the world premieres of two commissioned works by composers Wang Lu and Courtney Bryan. The MusicNOW series showcases works by contemporary composers, and is curated by composer-in-residence Missy Mazzoli.

Through the Negaunee Music Institute, the CSO’s education and community engagement initiative, CSO artists will present chamber performances at about 50 sites around the city, including Chicago Public Schools. These performances aim to guide young musicians and engage with broader and younger audiences.

For more details on the CSO season, visit