For All Music Lovers in These Difficult Times
Tuesdays at 8:00 pm
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, WFMT and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra have partnered to launch a new six-program broadcast series. Riccardo Muti, music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 2010, has curated the programs. 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,” said Muti.
Listen to the most recent episodes of Maestro's Choice here.
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Pierre Boulez and Bernard Haitink
September 15, 2020
CSO Resound recordings are featured in this program that opens with Assistant Principal Trumpet Mark Ridenour conducting the CSO Brass in an arrangement of Bach’s Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor. Pierre Boulez, who served as the Helen Regenstein Conductor Emeritus from 2006 to 2016, takes the podium in a 2009 performance of Stravinsky’s one-act neoclassical ballet Pulcinella—with vocal soloists Roxana Constantinescu, Nicholas Phan, and Kyle Ketelsen—and Principal Conductor Bernard Haitink leads Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben to conclude the program.
Riccardo Muti conducts Berlioz’s Lélio
September 8, 2020
CSO Resound recordings featuring the Chicago Symphony Chorus are highlighted on this program, opening with Lélio, Berlioz’s sequel to his Symphonie fantastique with award-winning actor Gérard Depardieu as the narrator. Selections from Verdi’s Nabucco and Boito’s Mefistofele, under Riccardo Muti’s baton, complete the program.
The CSO in Strauss, Schumann, and Beethoven
September 1, 2020
Three CSO music directors—Frederick Stock, Fritz Reiner, and Jean Martinon—along with Principal Guest Conductor Pierre Boulez are featured on this program leading works by Strauss, Schumann, and Brahms. A 1966 performance of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto concludes the program with Russian pianist Emil Gilels as soloist and Martinon on the podium.
Riccardo Muti conducts Bruckner’s Ninth
August 25, 2020
Theodore Thomas, the Orchestra’s founder and first music director, led the ensemble in the U.S. premiere of Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony in February 1904. In June 2016, tenth music director Riccardo Muti continued that tradition, leading the Orchestra in the composer’s unfinished work, later released on CSO Resound. This program also includes the intermezzo from Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, along with other ...
Bernard Haitink conducts Mahler’s Sixth
August 18, 2020
Bernard Haitink—the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s principal conductor from 2006 until 2010—leads a performance of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony, recorded in October 2007 for CSO Resound. The program opens with Sharav’s Legend of Herlen, featuring the Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma, from the Grammy Award–winning recording Traditions and Transformations, also released on CSO Resound.
Chicago Symphony Chorus: Mozart, Schubert, and Beethoven
August 11, 2020
The Chicago Symphony Chorus—under the direction of Margaret Hillis and Duain Wolfe—is the focus in a program that includes multiple works from the classical era. The program opens with former music director Rafael Kubelík leading Mozart’s festive Coronation Mass and is followed by performances led by ninth music director Daniel Barenboim including two works by Schubert, Wolf’s choral arrangement of ...
Fritz Reiner conducts Wagner, Bartók, and Tchaikovsky
August 4, 2020
Sixth music director Fritz Reiner is featured in this program that includes archival performances from the 1950s. It opens with two works by Wagner: the Prelude to Lohengrin and the Good Friday Spell from Parsifal and continues with American violinist Yehudi Menuhin—a frequent soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for nearly 40 years—as soloist in Bartók’s Second Violin Concerto, concluding ...
Pierre Boulez conducts Messiaen and Janáček
July 28, 2020
This colorful program features multiple performances led by legendary conductor Pierre Boulez, whose celebrated artistic collaboration with the CSO lasted for more than 40 years. Featured soloists include Larry Combs, longtime CSO principal clarinet, in Debussy’s First Rhapsody, Belgian bass-baritone José van Dam in one of Mahler’s most evocative songs from the Rückert Lieder, and the Orchestra’s cello section is ...
Riccardo Muti conducts Verdi’s Requiem
July 21, 2020
Tenth music director Riccardo Muti opens this program leading the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Verdi’s Overture to I vespri siciliani. Muti completes the program with the multiple Grammy Award–winning CSO Resound recording of Verdi’s Requiem, featuring the Chicago Symphony Chorus and a roster of internationally acclaimed soloists including soprano Barbara Frittoli, mezzo-soprano Olga Borodina, tenor Mario Zeffiri and bass Ildar ...
Great Guest Soloists with the Orchestra
July 14, 2020
Italian violinist Zino Francescatti solos in Ravel’s Tzigane in a 1966 performance with Jean Martinon on the podium, followed by a 1963 performance featuring Andrés Segovia in Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s First Guitar Concerto led by Walter Hendl, the Ravinia Festival’s first artistic director. Canadian contralto Maureen Forrester joins Martinon and the CSO for a 1968 performance of Chausson’s Poem of Love and ...
Bernard Haitink conducts Shostakovich’s Fourth
July 7, 2020
Former Principal Conductor Bernard Haitink leads the Orchestra and Chorus in Poulenc’s radiant Gloria, followed by the Grammy Award–winning 2008 CSO Resound release of Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony. Longtime Principal Trombone Jay Friedman opens the program, conducting the CSO Brass in an arrangement of Walton’s march, Crown Imperial.
Muti at the Opera
June 30, 2020
One of today’s leading interpreters of the music of Giuseppe Verdi, Riccardo Muti leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in Italian opera favorites on this composite program.
Sir Georg Solti conducts Mozart, Strauss, and Wagner
June 23, 2020
Sir Georg Solti, eighth music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is featured in the program with work by Mozart, Strauss, and Wagner
The CSO in Debussy, Fauré, and Ravel
June 16, 2020
Conductors Erich Leinsdorf, Jean Martinon, Rafael Kubelík, Sir Georg Sotli, and Fritz Reiner lead the CSO in selections by Debussy, Fauré, and Ravel.
Fritz Reiner conducts Copland, Hindemith, and Prokofiev
June 9, 2020
This program features recordings made by the CSO and its sixth music director Fritz Reiner. Included are works by Copland, Hindemith, and Prokofiev.
Muti conducts Dvořák and Mussorgsky
June 2, 2020
Riccardo Muti begins this American-themed concert from April 2018 with music by Pulitzer Prize–winning composers George Walker and Aaron Copland.
Riccardo Muti and Soloists from the Orchestra
May 26, 2020
Individual members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra take center stage in this program led by Riccardo Muti. Concertmaster Robert Chen and Principal Cello John Sharp are featured in concertos by Hindemith and Schumann, along with former principals David McGill, bassoon and Christopher Martin, trumpet in works by Mozart and Panufnik.
Riccardo Muti and Italy
May 19, 2020
Riccardo Muti leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in music from and about Italy in this retrospective program.
Muti conducts Berlioz’s ‘Symphonie fantastique’
May 12, 2020
To begin his tenure as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s tenth music director, Riccardo Muti opened the 120th season with Berlioz’s 'Symphonie fantastique.'
Muti conducts Shostakovich’s ‘Babi Yar’ Symphony
May 5, 2020
Riccardo Muti and the CSO opened its 2019-20 subscription concert season with Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13, 'Babi Yar' with Russian bass Alexey Tikhomirov and the men of the Chicago Symphony Chorus.