arrangements of the piece which they
performed for CPS students as part of
the CSO’s
Festival. “Yo-Yo’s
goal is for us to own the piece, so I
think we’re all working towards that,
and discovering that it’s going to
mean something different
for each of us,” said Civic
violinist Katie Klocke
following a rehearsal.
“I don’t feel like I’m
quite there yet, but
what I’m hoping for at
the end of this process
is that Beethoven 6—
I own it.”
When it came time for the
performance in May, the orchestra
was ready. For many, what began
as a seemingly insurmountable task
transformed into an exciting adventure
that ended in joy. “There’s that feeling
of what you did as a community,” said
Civic flutist Henry Williford. “The
truth is, we’ve grown so much in that
way as an orchestra. I couldn’t feel
closer to some of these people. That’s
invaluable, that’s solidarity, that’s
being human, and Beethoven brings us
together over that. I would never give it
up. It’s the most important thing about
The 2013/14 season will build on
the previous season’s expanded
offerings with another
artistic challenge
championed by Ma as
well as the formation
of a new pilot training
program for young
classical musicians,
the Citizen Musician
Fellowship Program.
Eight Civic musicians will
fully immerse themselves in
the principals of the CSOA’s Citizen
Musician Initiative in order to be
more responsive, communicative,
imaginative, entrepreneurial and
empathetic artists.
To learn more about the
Civic Orchestra, to watch a brief
documentary about the Beethoven
artistic challenge and to see the full
calendar of 2013/14 events, visit
Yo-Yo Ma meets with Civic Orchestra musicians
to introduce the 12/13 artistic challenge
Ninety-five years in the making, the
Civic Orchestra continues to grow and
thrive alongside the CSO. This rare
alliance, propelled by the expansive
vision of the CSO, has enabled the
program to meet the needs of young
classical musicians in the 21st century
by broadening and diversifying their
musical experiences.
The 2012/13 Civic Orchestra season
realized this very idea. Over nine busy
months, the musicians welcomed to
the podium internationally acclaimed
conductors such as Jaap van Zweden,
Carlos Miguel Prieto and Harry
Bicket for full orchestra concerts in
Orchestra Hall featuring the works of
Strauss, Prokofiev, Bach, Haydn and
others. They participated in three open
rehearsals: two in Orchestra Hall with
Riccardo Muti and a third with Cliff
Colnot and Yo-Yo Ma as soloist at Senn
High School in Chicago’s Edgewater
neighborhood. Additionally, Civic
musicians assumed important roles
for the 2013 Chicago Youth in Music
Festival in January and February, when
alongside special guests from YOA
Orchestra of the America’s Global
Leaders program, they mentored high
school musicians and visited local
community music schools and Chicago
Public Schools.
Under the guidance of Yo-Yo Ma,
the program took new steps toward
becoming a laboratory for innovation.
The orchestra embarked on its first ever
“artistic challenge,” the centerpiece
of which was a charge to perform
Beethoven’s entire Sixth Symphony
without a conductor. Throughout the
season, musicians worked closely with
Ma as a full ensemble and in small
groups to explore and internalize
the piece. Some memorized their
parts; others participated in chamber
that feeling of
what you did as a
grown so much
in that way as an
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