R I CCARDO MUT I
Music Director
WORLD ’ S BEST. CH I CAGO ’ S OWN . 
3 1 2 - 2 9 4 - 3 0 0 0
c s o . o r g
8
9
SHOSTAKOVICH 7 
MAY 22–24
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
 / 
Jaap van Zweden
conductor
Britten
Four Sea Interludes and Passacaglia from
Peter Grimes
Shostakovich
Symphony No. 7
(Leningrad)
Shostakovich’s fiercely defiant Seventh Symphony, composed during
the Nazi siege of Leningrad, became a worldwide rally cry against
oppression. Britten’s Four Sea Interludes vividly depict the tragic
struggle of “the individual against the crowd.”
SHOSTAKOVICH 9 
MAY 29 & 30
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
 / 
Jaap van Zweden
conductor
Alisa Weilerstein
cello
Prokofiev
Symphony-Concerto
Britten
Suite on English Folk Tunes: A time there was …
Shostakovich
Symphony No. 9
The cello heroically triumphs over an uncertain future in Prokofiev’s
Symphony-Concerto, composed as the Russians tried to adjust
to a postwar world. Shostakovich took Soviet authorities by
surprise with his playful, whimsical Ninth Symphony. Instead of
a jubilant choral work to surpass Beethoven’s Ninth, he gave
them a darkly comical slapstick starring the bassoon as a melancholy
clown.
PROKOFIEV 5 
MAY 31 & JUNE 3
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
 / 
Jaap van Zweden
conductor
Shostakovich
Five Fragments
Britten
Sinfonia da requiem
Prokofiev
Symphony No. 5
Britten’s
Sinfonia da requiem
captures his deep anguish as he
watched his native Britain enter war with Germany. The tides of
war had turned in Russia’s favor by 1944, and Prokofiev’s Fifth
Symphony urged people to press on towards victory. He called
it a “hymn to free and happy Man, to his mighty powers, his pure
and noble spirit.”
SHOSTAKOVICH 5 
JUNE 5–8
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
 / 
Jaap van Zweden
conductor
Simone Lamsma
violin
Britten
Violin Concerto
Shostakovich
Symphony No. 5
The youthful Britten boldly announced his arrival in America with
his brilliant Violin Concerto, a magnificent and hopeful display
of virtuosity. Shostakovich’s evocative Fifth Symphony gave voice
to the people and their struggle against Soviet tyranny, its elegiac
third movement moving audiences to tears.
MASTERWORKS FROM THE 1930s AND ’40s BY PROKOFIEV,
SHOSTAKOVICH AND BRITTEN
Tumultuous upheaval dominated
the 1930s and ’40s: worldwide economic depression, the ascension
of totalitarian regimes and a global war. Yet in the midst of this bleak
era, composers bravely began to call others to join them in defense of
justice, freedom and social values—to speak truth to power.
“IT IS THE COMPOSER’S DUTY, AS A MEMBER OF SOCIETY, TO SPEAK TO OR
FOR HIS FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS.”
—Benjamin Britten
“HONOR AND GLORY TO AN ARTIST WHO REMINDS YOU OF WHAT IS MORAL AND
WHAT IS RIGHT … GOODNESS, LOVE AND CONSCIENCE—THESE ARE WHAT
ARE MOST PRECIOUS IN A HUMAN BEING.”
—Dmitri Shostakovich
“TO SERVE HIS FELLOW MEN, TO BEAUTIFY HUMAN LIFE AND POINT THE WAY
TO A RADIANT FUTURE. SUCH IS THE IMMUTABLE CODE OF ART AS I SEE
IT.”
—Sergei Prokofiev
As we read today’s headlines, speaking truth to power remains vital.
Join Jaap van Zweden and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from
May 22 to June 8, 2014
to experience the stirring music of these 20th
century titans, who call us to higher ideals and draw out the “better
angels of our nature.”
SERGEI PROKOFIEV AND DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH, 1940.
BENJAMIN BRITTEN
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