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 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, ...
Chicago Symphony Chorus in Haydn’s The Creation
November 24, 2020
Sir Georg Solti opens this program with Debussy’s Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun—featuring longtime principal flute Donald Peck—recorded during Solti’s final season as the Orchestra’s eighth music director. Returning as music director laureate, Solti conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in Haydn’s oratorio The Creation.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra: First Grammy Awards
November 17, 2020
Recordings by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra were first recognized by the Recording Academy at the third Grammy Awards ceremony in April 1961. Fritz Reiner leading Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta won the statuette for Best Classical Performance–Orchestra, and Sviatoslav Richter—in his U.S. debut—was awarded Best Classical Performance–Concerto or Instrumental Soloist for his interpretation of Brahms’s Second Piano Concerto ...
Jacqueline du Pré, Jascha Heifetz, and Artur Rubinstein
November 10, 2020
For this retrospective program, three legendary soloists join forces with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in blockbuster concertos. Sixteen-year-old Jascha Heifetz made his debut with the Orchestra in 1917 performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto; forty years later, he recorded the work under the baton of sixth music director Fritz Reiner. Then, fifty years after his CSO debut at age nineteen, Artur Rubinstein ...
Sir Georg Solti conducts Beethoven’s “Missa solemnis”
November 3, 2020
In anticipation of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday anniversary, Sir Georg Solti leads the Orchestra and Chorus in two Grammy Award–winning recordings of works that bookend the composer’s career. Theodore Thomas, the Orchestra’s founder and first music director, called the First Symphony, “a noble work [and a] connecting link between the art of the classic and that of the romantic ...
Liszt’s Totentanz and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique
October 27, 2020
It’s almost Halloween! Mussorgsky’s A Night on Bald Mountain opens this program, followed by Rachmaninov’s The Isle of the Dead and Liszt’s Totentanz. Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, complete with a March to the Scaffold and hallucinatory Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath, brings the program to a close.
Richard Strauss and the CSO
October 20, 2020
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has performed the music of Richard Strauss throughout its history, including concerts under the baton of the composer himself. Four previous music directors lead a variety of Strauss’s works on this program, including the tone poem Don Juan, concertos for piano and horn, and music from the operas Die Frau ohne Schatten and Salome.
David Del Tredici’s “Final Alice”
October 13, 2020
This program opens with Mozart under the batons of former music directors Daniel Barenboim and Fritz Reiner. In October 1976, Sir Georg Solti led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere of David Del Tredici’s Final Alice—commissioned to commemorate the U.S. bicentennial—with twenty-seven-year-old Barbara Hendricks as soprano soloist. Three years later, the work was repeated and recorded for London.
Leonard Bernstein in Chicago
October 6, 2020
In June 1988, Leonard Bernstein made his final appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, leading Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony. Recorded live by Deutsche Grammophon, the recording received the 1990 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance. Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story open the program under the baton of ninth music director Daniel Barenboim.
Bernard Haitink conducts Bruckner’s Seventh
September 29, 2020
In his first season as principal conductor, Bernard Haitink led the Orchestra in Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony, which became the second release on the new CSO Resound label. Eighth music director Sir Georg Solti bookends the symphony with Wagner’s Overture to Tannhäuser and the Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde.
There are no upcoming broadcasts at the moment.