Tuesdays at 8:00 pm
A deep dive into the vast archives of the Chicago Symphony Orchesta.
Prepared with support from the Rosenthal Archives at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association and its director Frank Villella, this series was launched in conjunction with the beginning of the Orchestra’s 130th season and focuses on the CSO’s extensive discography, featuring Grammy Award–winning releases as well as recordings highlighting virtually every era in CSO history.
Celebrating Victor Aitay
April 13, 2021
A member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 50 seasons, Victor Aitay (1921-2012) attended the Franz Liszt Royal Academy in his native Hungary, where Béla Bartók, Zoltán Kodály and Leo Weiner were on faculty. This program features several of the first-char violin solos Aitay recorded during his tenure as the Orchestra’s concertmaster, including Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sheherazade, as well as the Benedictus ...
Benny Goodman in Nielsen and Weber
April 6, 2021
In the 1960s, legendary clarinetist Benny Goodman performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and recorded concertos by Nielsen and Weber. This program also includes overtures by Weber and Nielsen’s Second Symphony, and a jazzy encore from Goodman, known as the “King of Swing,” performing Fred Fisher’s, “Chicago (That Toddlin’ Town).”
Celebrating Women’s History Month
March 30, 2021
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra celebrates Women’s History Month with a broadcast featuring iconic soloists: violinist Kyung Wha Chung, cellist Jacqueline du Pré, soprano Lucia Popp, and mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade. Works by two former composers-in-residence—Augusta Read Thomas’s . . . words of the sea . . . and Shulamit Ran’s Legends—round out this program.
Bartók and Boulez
March 22, 2021
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra gave the U.S. premiere of Bartók’s Second Piano Concerto in 1939, and two years later, the composer was soloist in the same work in his only appearances with the ensemble. Honoring the birthdays of both Bartók (March 25) and former principal guest conductor Pierre Boulez (March 26), this program continues with The Miraculous Mandarin and the ...
The Song of the Earth
March 16, 2021
Spring is right around the corner! Daniel Barenboim opens this program with Schumann’s Spring Symphony followed by Frederick Stock leading Goldmark’s In Springtime. Canadian contralto Maureen Forrester and English tenor Richard Lewis conclude this broadcast as soloists in Mahler’s symphonic song cycle, Das Lied von der Erde, under the baton of Fritz Reiner.
Musicians of the Orchestra
March 9, 2021
Legendary Chicago Symphony Orchestra soloists take center stage in this program, including violinist Steven Staryk in Massenet’s Meditation from Thaïs, flutist Donald Peck in Debussy’s Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun, and Arnold Jacobs in Vaughan Williams’s Tuba Concerto. Dale Clevenger and fellow horns are featured in Schumann’s Konzertstück, and the broadcast closes with the string talents of Samuel ...
Ravel and Haitink
March 2, 2021
On this broadcast we celebrate the birthdays of both Maurice Ravel (March 7) and Bernard Haitink (March 4)! When Ravel guest conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in January 1928, he led his Le tombeau de Couperin, La valse, and a suite from Daphnis and Chloe. We will hear four CSO music directors lead works by the composer, and Haitink conducts ...
Opera Without Words
February 23, 2021
Five CSO music directors—Daniel Barenboim, Riccardo Muti, Fritz Reiner, Artur Rodzinski, and Sir Georg Solti—lead orchestral excerpts from operas by Beethoven, Copland, Mascagni, Rossini, and Strauss. The program closes with several selections from Wagner’s Ring cycle.
February 16, 2021
The CSO’s tenth music director Riccardo Muti opens this homage to Italy with the overture to Verdi’s I vespri siciliani. Then, Daniel Barenboim leads Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio italien, Sir Georg Solti conducts Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony plus choruses from Verdi’s operas, and Fritz Reiner concludes the tribute with Respighi’s Pines of Rome.
Celebrating Valentine’s Day
February 9, 2021
Tenth music director Riccardo Muti opens this Valentine’s Day–themed program with selections from the CSO Resound release of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. Barber’s The Lovers—settings of poems by Pablo Neruda—featuring the Chicago Symphony Chorus follows, along with Kiri Te Kanawa and Luciano Pavarotti in the love duet from Verdi’s Otello. The Orchestra’s 1956 RCA recording of Richard Strauss’s portrait of ...
Composers’ Early Successes
February 2, 2021
Success came early for some composers and with several noteworthy examples are included in this special program. Mendelssohn was 17 years old when he composed his Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Rachmaninov completed his First Piano Concerto and Strauss his First Horn Concerto at age 18, and 19-year-old Shostakovich submitted his First Symphony as a graduation exercise from the ...
Sir Georg Solti: Grammy Champ
January 26, 2021
Our program recognizes the incredible recording legacy of eighth music director Sir Georg Solti, the reigning Grammy champion with 31 awards to his credit, including 24 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Two of the best orchestral performance awardees—Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique—bookend this program, along with selections from Haydn’s The Creation and Verdi’s Requiem, both ...
Invitation to the Dance
January 19, 2021
Dances that musically depict spirited celebrations and elegant occasions, as well as one of history’s most provocative moments are part of this wide-ranging program. Highlights include Dance of the Hours from Ponchielli’s La Gioconda, the Polovtsian Dances from Borodin’s Prince Igor and the Dance of the Seven Veils from Strauss’s Salome, culminating with Falla’s ballet The Three-Cornered Hat in performances ...
Celebrating Jean Martinon
January 12, 2021
Jean Martinon—born on January 10, 1910—served as seventh music director from 1963 until 1968. This program honors Martinon’s birthday and includes the world premiere performance his own Altitudes Symphony, written to celebrate the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s 75th season in 1965. Other Martinon-led performances featured in this program include Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro and Martin’s Concerto for Seven Wind Instruments, Timpani, ...
Remembering Theodore Thomas
January 5, 2021
In January 1906, second music director Frederick Stock began a tradition of honoring founder and first music director Theodore Thomas on the first anniversary of his death. This program honors that tradition with a program of works given their U.S. premieres with the Orchestra under Thomas’s baton. Former music directors Sir Georg Solti and Daniel Barenboim, along with first principal ...
Guests in the House
December 29, 2020
Legendary guest conductors have led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since the beginning of the ensemble’s history. The performances on this program span nearly fifty years, from Pierre Monteux leading Franck’s Symphony in D minor to John Williams conducting his Suite from Memoirs of a Geisha with Yo-Yo Ma as soloist. Leopold Stokowski also leads Khachaturian’s Third Symphony along with Neeme ...
Claudio Abbado conducts Tchaikovsky
December 22, 2020
Claudio Abbado served as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s second principal guest conductor from 1982 until 1985, and he returned for several years as a frequent and favorite visitor. Abbado and the ensemble recorded a number of works by Tchaikovsky for CBS and Sony, and this program includes The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, the Winter Dreams Symphony, and a suite from ...
Ludwig van Beethoven at 250
December 15, 2020
Ludwig van Beethoven was born 250 years ago this week, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has performed his works since the very beginning of its history. To celebrate, we will feature Van Cliburn as soloist in the Fourth Piano Concerto under Fritz Reiner, and Sir Georg Solti leading the Leonore Overture No. 3, the Prisoners’ Chorus (“O welche Lust”) from ...
Pierre Boulez and Béla Bartók
December 8, 2020
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has long been associated with the music of Béla Bartók, and the composer himself appeared as soloist in 1941. For Deutsche Grammophon, Pierre Boulez and the ensemble made a series of recordings of the composer’s works, and this program includes the Dance Suite, the Concerto for Orchestra, and the Grammy Award–winning release of his only opera, ...
U.S. Premieres by the CSO and Theodore Thomas
December 1, 2020
Throughout his career, Theodore Thomas, founder and first music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchesta, introduced new music to audiences, and all of the works on this program were given their U.S. premieres by the Orchestra under his baton. We will feature music directors Frederick Stock, Fritz Reiner, Jean Martinon, and Sir Georg Solti, along with guest conductor Herbert Blomstedt, ...
Legends at the Piano
April 20, 2021
Iconic piano soloists are featured on this program, opening with Van Cliburn in MacDowell’s Second Piano Concerto. Ivo Pogorelich essays Chopin’s second concerto followed by Peter Serkin in Bartók’s first concerto, and Cecile Licad concludes the broadcast with Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.
A Choral Celebration
April 27, 2021
The Chicago Symphony Chorus is showcased on this program, performing Barber’s Prayers of Kierkegaard, Poulenc’s Gloria, Bruckner’s Helgoland, and—with the Lyric Opera of Chicago Chorus Górecki’s a cappella Euentes ibant et flebant. The broadcast concludes with the Chorus’s first release, Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky, recorded in March 1959 under the baton of Fritz Reiner.