New Chicago Symphony Orchestra Radio Broadcast Series to Launch on WFMT on April 7: From the CSO’s Archives: Maestro’s Choice


Share this Post

Featured ProgramsSelected by Riccardo Mutiinclude 
CSO Concert Programs, CSO Resound Recordings and Performances 
from the Rosenthal Archives

Tuesday Evening Series Represents Cultural and Community Partnership between Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association and WFMT, 
Chicago’s Classical Music Station  

CHICAGO – April 2, 2020 – The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA) and WFMT (Chicago’s Classical Music Station) announce the launch of a six-program Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) radio broadcast series set to begin on Tuesday, April 7 at 8:00 p.m.  From the CSO’s Archives: Maestro’s Choice—For All Music Lovers in These Difficult Times will be available to listeners on WFMT (98.7 FM), and streaming on and the WFMT app ( The broadcasts will also be accessible for on-demand streaming on Created in response to the COVID-19 crisis, this series represents a cultural and community partnership, offering a meaningful connection to the music of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra while live performances have been interrupted during the pandemic. 

Riccardo Muti, music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 2010, curated the programs featured in the six-program series. Selections include CSO concert programs from Muti’s tenure as music director, CSO Resound recordings led by Muti and other conductors, as well as archival CSO concert performances and commercial recordings. “During these times of uncertainty, and with the absence of live music in our concert halls, I hope that people everywhere will remain connected to the wonderful artistry of the Chicago Symphony through these special programs,” noted Muti. Specific program highlights for the series include Muti-led CSO concert performances of Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 2 with Yo-Yo Ma; Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Kirill Gerstein; and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sheherazade, as well as archival recordings of Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 led by former CSO music director Fritz Reiner. CSO Resound recording highlights for the series include the first release on the label—Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 led by Bernard Haitinkas well as Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique and the critically acclaimed 2020 release of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13 (Babi Yar), both led by MutiA link to full program information for the series is available here.

“Chicago Symphony Orchestra audiences are extremely dedicated and enthusiastic, and the absence of live concerts represents a difficult time for everyone in our community and around the world. We are grateful to music director Riccardo Muti, the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, and to our cultural partner WFMT who have made this series possible. It is our sincere hope that listeners everywhere will enjoy and be enriched by these beautifully performed programs,” said CSOA President Jeff Alexander.  

“We know many of our listeners in Chicago and around the world are looking to us during this uncertain time for a moment of beautiful music and companionship, for connection with an art form that is timeless and enduring, and for music that raises spirits and offers refuge,” said Sandra Cordova Micek, President and CEO of WFMT and WTTW. “Providing access to the artistry of Maestro Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra not only fulfills our purpose to enrich lives, engage communities, and inspire exploration but is also an incredible gift to share with our audience.” 

The Tuesday evening broadcasts of From the CSO’s Archives: Maestro’s Choice—For All Music Lovers in These Difficult Times will take place weekly from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. beginning April 7 and continuing through May 12, 2020. WFMT’s Kerry Frumkin will host the special CSO radio broadcasts, adding commentary for featured selections each week.  The nationally-syndicated CSO Radio Broadcast Series continues to air weekly on Sunday evenings at 8:00 p.m. in Chicago on WFMT (98.7 FM), and via streaming on and the WFMT app (  

Chicago Symphony Orchestra: and
Founded by Theodore Thomas in 1891, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is consistently hailed as one of the greatest orchestras in the world. Since 2010, the pre-eminent conductor Riccardo Muti has served as its 10th music director. Missy Mazzoli is Mead Composer-in-Residence. 

From baroque through contemporary music, the CSO commands a vast repertoire. Its renowned musicians annually perform more than 150 concerts, most at Symphony Center in Chicago and, each summer, at the suburban Ravinia Festival. They regularly tour nationally and internationally. Since 1892, the CSO has made 62 international tours, performing in 29 countries on five continents.  

People around the globe listen to weekly radio broadcasts of CSO concerts and recordings on the WFMT radio network and online at Recordings by the CSO have earned 62 Grammy Awards, including two in 2011 for Muti’s recording with the CSO and Chorus of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem (Muti’s first of eight releases with the CSO to date). Find details on these and many other CSO recordings at  

The CSO is part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, which also includes the Chicago Symphony Chorus (Duain Wolfe, Director and Conductor) and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, a training ensemble for emerging professionals. Through its prestigious Symphony Center Presents series, the CSOA presents guest artists and ensembles from a variety of genres—classical, jazz, world, and contemporary.  

The Negaunee Music Institute at the CSO offers community and education programs that annually engage more than 200,000 people of diverse ages and backgrounds. Through the Institute and other activities, including a free annual concert led by Muti, the CSO is committed to using the power of music to create connections and build community.  

The CSO is supported by thousands of patrons, volunteers and institutional and individual donors. The CSO’s music director position is endowed in perpetuity by a generous gift from the Zell Family Foundation. The Negaunee Foundation provides generous support in perpetuity for the work of the Negaunee Music Institute. 

WFMT is one of the world’s most respected classical music radio stations, available on-air at WFMT, online at, and on the WFMT app. WFMT showcases superlative programs, concerts, and live events – from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Grant Park Music Festival, the Metropolitan Opera, Ravinia Festival, and many more. WFMT is also a leading producer and syndicator of a diverse selection of outstanding musical series, including Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin, the Beethoven Network, and the Jazz Network. Connect with WFMT on Facebook and Twitter.