World-Class Artists. Spectacular Concerts.

From the biggest names in classical music to the icons and innovators of jazz, pop, world music and more, there are so many unforgettable performances to see at Symphony Center. Explore the 2016/17 Symphony Center Presents season below and join us at “Chicago’s most prestigious musical address” (Chicago Tribune).

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Symphony Center Presents PIANO

 

Oct 23

Rudolf Buchbinder

SCP Piano

3:00 PM Sunday, October 23, 2016

“To watch and hear Rudolf Buchbinder in concert is to experience the totality of perfect phrasing, magnificent technique and an unparalleled love of his instrument that has placed him among the top tier of the world’s pianists” (Huffington Post). Buchbinder performs a program including Beethoven’s Appassionata Sonata, described by the composer himself as a “brilliantly executed display of emotion and music.”

Program

Bach English Suite No. 3 in G Minor, BWV 808
Schubert Four Impromptus, D. 899
Beethoven Sonata in G Major, Op. 14, No. 2
Beethoven Sonata in F Minor, Op. 57 (Appassionata)

performers

Nov 13

Jeremy Denk

SCP Piano

3:00 PM Sunday, November 13, 2016

MacArthur Fellow Jeremy Denk, a multifaceted artist of immense talent and creativity, returns to Symphony Center with a program of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and John Adams' pulsating, minimalist Phrygian Gates, which the composer describes as his first mature composition. "Mr. Denk's profound playing, enriched by multihued dynamics and vibrantly contrasting moods, earned him universal approval from the rapturous audience" (The New York Times).

PROGRAM

Mozart Sonata in A Minor, K. 310
Adams Phrygian Gates
Beethoven Sonata in D Minor, Op. 31, No. 2 (Tempest)
Schubert Fantasy in C Major, D. 760 (Wanderer)

PERFORMERS

Jeremy Denk piano

Feb 19

Benjamin Grosvenor

SCP Piano

3:00 PM Sunday, February 19, 2017

After winning the 2004 BBC Young Musician Competition at age eleven, British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor has emerged as one of today’s leading piano virtuosos. “His technique is effortless and flawless, his rhythmic energy and flexibility are a constant source of delight, the range of colors he produces and his dynamic range are without parallel…he does not seek to amaze, and he does not need to” (International Record Review).

PROGRAM

Schumann Arabesque, Op. 18
Mozart Piano Sonata No. 13 in B-flat Major, K. 333
Beethoven Sonata in C-sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 2 (Moonlight)
Scriabin Piano Sonata No. 2 in G-sharp Minor, Op. 19 (Sonata-Fantasy)
Granados Selections from Goyescas
Liszt Rhapsodie espagnole

PERFORMERS

Mar 12

Igor Levit

SCP Piano

3:00 PM Sunday, March 12, 2017

After Igor Levit's New York debut in 2014, The New York Times declared, "A major new pianist has arrived." One of the most sought-after young artists of this generation, Levit makes his Chicago and Symphony Center debut on the 2016/17 SCP Piano series in a program featuring American composer Frederic Rzewski's Dreams II, inspired by Akira Kurosawa's film Yume. Beethoven's extraordinary virtuosic showpiece, Thirty-Three Variations on a Waltz by Diabelli, brings the evening to a thrilling close.

PROGRAM

Rzewski Dreams, Part II
Beethoven Diabelli Variations, Op. 120

PERFORMERS

Igor Levit piano

Mar 26

Daniil Trifonov

SCP Piano

3:00 PM Sunday, March 26, 2017

Daniil Trifonov made a sparkling debut with the CSO in 2012, and each subsequent appearance in Chicago has confirmed his emergence as one of the biggest and brightest talents among his generation of pianists. The Tchaikovsky and Rubinstein competition winner returns for a glorious concert of Schumann, Shostakovich and Stravinsky.

PROGRAM

Schumann Kinderszenen
Schumann Toccata, Op. 7
Schumann Kreisleriana
Shostakovich Selections from 24 Preludes and Fugues
Stravinsky Three Movements from Petrushka

PERFORMERS

Apr 9

Paul Lewis

SCP Piano

3:00 PM Sunday, April 9, 2017

Paul Lewis’ recordings and performances of Beethoven’s sonatas have been praised by audiences and critics worldwide. Lewis returns to Symphony Center with a performance of Beethoven’s Sonata in E-flat Major, Op. 7, along with delightful waltzes by Chopin and Bach’s technically demanding Partita No. 1. “Time and again you marvel at the confidence and assuredness of Lewis’ playing… It’s the kind of playing, in fact, where comparisons cease to matter” (Gramophone).

Program

Bach Partita No. 1, BWV 825
Beethoven Sonata in E-flat Major, Op. 7
Chopin Waltz in A Minor, Op. 34, No. 2
Chopin Waltz in F Minor, Op. 70, No. 2
Chopin Waltz in A-flat Major, Op. 42
Weber Sonata No. 2 in A-flat Major, Op. 39

Performers

Paul Lewis piano

Apr 30

Leif Ove Andsnes and Marc-André Hamelin

SCP Piano

3:00 PM Sunday, April 30, 2017

Leif Ove Andsnes and Marc-André Hamelin, two of today’s most celebrated pianists, join forces for an unforgettable afternoon of pieces written for duo piano. Their outstanding technical facility and musical insight will be evident in this program that culminates in Stravinsky’s four-hand arrangement of one of the most important works of the 20th century, The Rite of Spring.

PROGRAM

Mozart Larghetto and Allegro in E-flat Major for Two Pianos
Stravinsky Concerto for Two Pianos
Debussy En blanc et noir
Stravinsky The Rite of Spring

PERFORMERS

May 7

Murray Perahia

SCP Piano

3:00 PM Sunday, May 7, 2017

Few keyboardists can match Murray Perahia’s scrupulous musicianship and elegance. Don’t miss a breathtaking afternoon with one of America’s most beloved pianists. “Perahia’s virtuosity, never fussy, narcissistic or quirky, generates a heightened sense of drama in whatever he plays” (Los Angeles Times).

PROGRAM

Program to be determined.

PERFORMERS

May 28

Maurizio Pollini

SCP Piano

3:00 PM Sunday, May 28, 2017

Piano legend Maurizio Pollini has been praised for his “consummate musicianship” (The New York Times) and “superbly finished technique and intellectual rigor” (Classics Today). This paragon of musical excellence continues to thrill audiences around the world more than half a century into his career.

PROGRAM

Program to be determined.

PERFORMERS

Jun 11

Kirill Gerstein

SCP Piano

3:00 PM Sunday, June 11, 2017

“From the start of the Transcendental Etudes it was clear that Gerstein’s technique would stand up to Liszt’s most devilish challenges” (The New York Times). Kirill Gerstein returns with a program featuring Liszt’s majestic series of short pieces and Brahms’ Piano Sonata No. 2.

PROGRAM

Brahms Piano Sonata No. 2 in F-sharp Minor, Op. 2
Liszt Transcendental Etudes

PERFORMERS

 

Symphony Center Presents CHAMBER music

 

Nov 1

Hilary Hahn

SCP Chamber

8:00 PM Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Now more than two decades into her career, Hilary Hahn returns to Symphony Center with a program that pairs classic with contemporary works. A lover of Bach, she commissioned a series of six partitas from Spanish composer Antón García Abril. The result is “more wonderful and inspiring to play than I could have imagined.”

Performers

Bach Violin Sonata No. 6 in G Major, BWV 1019
Garcia Abril Solo Partita for Violin
Mozart Violin Sonata in E-flat Major, K. 481
Türk Träume for Solo Piano
Schubert Rondo in B Minor, D. 895

PERFORMERS

Hilary Hahn violin
Robert Levin piano

Feb 1

Kremerata Baltica with Gidon Kremer

SCP Chamber

8:00 PM Wednesday, February 1, 2017

In 1997, Gidon Kremer introduced the Kremerata Baltica, an energetic chamber orchestra made up of talented young musicians from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. The renowned violinist and his ensemble celebrate the 20th anniversary of its inception and Kremer’s 70th birthday with an exciting collection of contemporary music.

PROGRAM

Pärt Fratres
Weinberg Chamber Symphony No. 4, Op. 153
Tchaikovsky, arr. Desyatnikov Serenade melancolique, Op. 26
Mussorgsky, arr. Pushkarev and Cohen Pictures from an Exhibition
Silvestrov Serenade

PERFORMERS

Kremerata Baltica
Gidon Kremer violin

Mar 29

Anne-Sophie Mutter

SCP Chamber

8:00 PM Wednesday, March 29, 2017

One of the greatest violin virtuosos of our time, Anne-Sophie Mutter presents a diverse program with longtime collaborator Lambert Orkis. The duo will present an impressive range of works from Sebastian Currier’s intricate Clockwork to Saint-Saëns’ glittering showpiece Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso.

PROGRAM

Currier Clockwork for Violin and Piano
Mozart Violin Sonata in A Major, K. 526
Respighi Violin Sonata in B Minor
Saint-Saëns Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A Minor for Violin and Piano, Op. 28

PERFORMERS

Anne-Sophie Mutter violin
Lambert Orkis piano

Apr 24

Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer

SCP Chamber

8:00 PM Monday, April 24, 2017

An astounding group of virtuosos—Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thile and Edgar Meyer—appears at Orchestra Hall for one night only. This all-Bach program will include transcriptions of excerpts from The Art of the Fugue and various keyboard works including The Well-Tempered Clavier, as well as organ and viola da gamba trio sonatas.

PROGRAM

All-Bach Program. Details to be announced soon.

PERFORMERS

Yo-Yo Ma cello
Chris Thile mandolin
Edgar Meyer bass

 

Symphony Center Presents ORCHESTRAs

 

Jan 21

The Cleveland Orchestra

SCP Orchestra

8:00 PM Saturday, January 21, 2017

Franz Welser-Möst brings the Cleveland Orchestra’s trademark power and richness to Orchestra Hall. Beethoven’s light and humorous Eighth Symphony and Sibelius’ romantic Second Symphony will showcase the orchestra’s lush sound. “The Clevelanders absolutely nailed it…ensemble playing was perfectly judged. The sheer musicality of the players’ work was a wonder” (Musical America).

PROGRAM

Beethoven Symphony No. 8
Sibelius Symphony No. 2

Feb 8

Budapest Festival Orchestra

SCP Orchestra

8:00 PM Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Richard Goode’s recording of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos with Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra was praised as “truly revolutionary” by The New Yorker. This all-Beethoven program includes his famous Fifth Symphony and his Second Piano Concerto, part of Symphony Center’s complete cycle of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos in 2016/17.

PROGRAM

Beethoven Symphony No. 1
Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 2
Beethoven Symphony No. 5

Mar 5

St. Petersburg Philharmonic

SCP Orchestra

3:00 PM Sunday, March 5, 2017

“Russia’s oldest symphony orchestra surpassed all expectations… the St. Petersburg Philharmonic spilled forth music in the purest form possible—straight from each score’s soul and into the hearts of listeners” (The Washington Post). The acclaimed St. Petersburg Philharmonic and Music Director Yuri Temirkanov return to Symphony Center with a performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 and Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 featuring Russian pianist Nikolai Lugansky.

PROGRAM

Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1
Shostakovich Symphony No. 5

 

Symphony Center Presents JAZZ

 

With a voice that is “rich, shapely, dynamic and still sultry” (The New York Times), famed Cuban balladeer and Buena Vista Social Club member Omara Portuondo is renowned for her soulful blend of Latin music and American jazz. Experience an undoubtedly dazzling evening as she makes a rare Symphony Center appearance alongside an all-star ensemble of acclaimed pianist Roberto Fonseca, Israeli clarinet and saxophone master Anat Cohen and the great jazz violinist Regina Carter.

PerFormers

Nov 18

Dr. John: The Spirit of Satch featuring special guest Nicholas Payton

SCP Jazz

8:00 PM Friday, November 18, 2016

A true icon of American culture, Dr. John has been a leading emissary for New Orleans music for over half a century. With his trademark swagger and raspy charm, he makes his Symphony Center debut taking on the influence of his musical hero and fellow Crescent City icon Louis Armstrong. Joined by Nicholas Payton, a trumpeter of remarkable range, power and luster, Dr. John and Musical Director Sarah Morrow present the pure joy of Armstrong with a New Orleans groove. “That kind of soul and rhythm isn't just a fixture of Armstrong's music or even of New Orleans culture. For Dr. John, it's a component of everyday life” (Lexington Herald-Leader).

PERFORMERS

Dr. John
Nicholas Payton trumpet
Sarah Morrow musical director

Jan 27

Branford Marsalis Quartet with special guest Kurt Elling

SCP Jazz

8:00 PM Friday, January 27, 2017

Acclaimed saxophonist Branford Marsalis comes from one of the world’s most distinguished musical families. His world-class quartet, known for its innovative spirit and “knockout punch brand of blowtorch Coltrane intensity” (San Jose Mercury News), joins forces with Kurt Elling, “the standout male vocalist of our time” (The New York Times). Don’t miss this unprecedented collaboration of outstanding talent and versatility that promises to be anything but standard.

Performers

Branford Marsalis saxophones
Kurt Elling vocals

Mar 1

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis

SCP Jazz

8:00 PM Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra returns for another stellar evening at Symphony Center. Don’t miss musical icon Wynton Marsalis leading one of the world’s greatest jazz bands in unforgettable performances of original tunes and classic selections. “You know it’s a good gig when you can’t tell if the band or the audience is having more fun” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).

Please note day of week.

Mar 17

Jazz 100: The Music of Dizzy, Ella, Mongo and Monk

SCP Jazz

8:00 PM Friday, March 17, 2017

Join us at Symphony Center for a joyful celebration of the centennial birthdays of Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Mongo Santamaria and Thelonious Monk, all born in the glorious year of 1917. Musical Director and former Gillespie pianist Danilo Pérez has gathered together some of these icons’ greatest musical acolytes to pay homage to the quintessential jazz artists of the 20th century and their timeless music.

Performers

Danilo Pérez musical director and piano
Chris Potter saxophones
Avishai Cohen trumpet
Wycliffe Gordon trombone
Ben Street bass
Adam Cruz drums
Roman Diaz percussion
Lizz Wright vocals

Piano virtuoso Oscar Peterson has influenced the most celebrated jazz artists in the world. In honor of what would have been Oscar’s 90th birthday in 2015, his widow Kelly Peterson created an “extraordinarily beautiful” (The Los Angeles Times) tribute to her late husband by recording some of the world’s greatest jazz pianists performing Oscar’s rarely heard compositions. Now this tribute to a towering icon comes to Symphony Center with a star-studded lineup of astonishing talent.

Performers

Kenny Barron piano
Bill Charlap piano
Benny Green piano
Ramsey Lewis piano
Renee Rosnes piano
Dave Young bass
Céline Peterson narrator

Apr 21

Charles Lloyd and the Marvels / Tomeka Reid Quartet

SCP Jazz

8:00 PM Friday, April 21, 2017

Iconic jazz artist and 2015 NEA Jazz Master Charles Lloyd returns to Symphony Center with his recently assembled collection of stalwart musicians, including guitarist Bill Frisell, whose refined, textural style of playing has influenced generations. “Charles Lloyd and his aptly named band The Marvels keep melody in the foreground. That's not exactly jazz business as usual. But listen to where it leads—to music that evokes an uncommon state of grace” (NPR). The concert opens with remarkable Chicago cellist Tomeka Reid, the Chicago Tribune’s 2015 Chicagoan of the Year in Jazz, who brings her quartet for an SCP Jazz series debut.

Performers

Charles Lloyd saxophone and flute
Bill Frisell guitar
Greg Leisz pedal steel guitar
Reuben Rogers bass
Eric Harland drums

Tomeka Reid Quartet
Tomeka Reid cello
Jason Roebke bass
Mary Halvorson guitar
Tomas Fujiwara drums

“A superbrain for what serious jazz sounds like” (The New York Times), the SFJAZZ Collective is an all-star ensemble of exceptional talent. For this concert, the group embraces one of the greatest legends of them all, Miles Davis, in a program of fresh arrangements of popular Davis works and new commissions inspired by the “Prince of Darkness.” Jazz violin virtuoso Regina Carter returns to Symphony Center with a celebration of her biggest musical inspiration, the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald. “Carter creates music that is wonderfully listenable, probingly intelligent and, at times, breathtakingly daring…taking the listener into the future of jazz” (Time).

Performers

Regina Carter violin

SFJAZZ Collective
Miguel Zenón alto saxophone and flute
David Sánchez tenor saxophone
Sean Jones trumpet
Robin Eubanks trombone
Warren Wolf, Jr. vibes
Edward Simon piano
Matt Penman bass
Obed Calvaire drums

One of jazz's boldest performers, Terence Blanchard has been called “a trumpeter of expressive urgency and a composer of expansive vision" (The New York Times). His stylistically adventurous compositions include scores to several Spike Lee films, including Malcolm X, Inside Man and the Hurricane Katrina documentary When the Levees Broke. Blanchard journeys into another jazz realm with his new quintet, The E-Collective—an exciting zone of grooved fusion teeming with funk, R&B and blues. Opening this electrifying evening is two of the most versatile and distinguished jazz musicians: Steve Wilson and Lewis Nash.

Performers

Terence Blanchard featuring The E-Collective
Terence Blanchard trumpet
Charles Altura guitar
Fabian Almazan piano and keyboards
Donald Ramsey bass
Oscar Seaton drums

Steve Wilson - Lewis Nash Duo
Steve Wilson saxophones
Lewis Nash drums

Jun 2

New Fables: Muldrow, Moran and Mingus

SCP Jazz

8:00 PM Friday, June 2, 2017

Jason Moran is “a brilliant, risk taking pianist, whose compositions have earned him a reputation as ‘the future of jazz’” (The Philadelphia Tribune). He returns with his trio The Bandwagon and brings Georgia Anne Muldrow, aka Jyoti, an artist “whose spirit of independence has scattered her presence over as many contexts as her psychedelic, jazz inflected neo-soul sensibility can carry her” (Pitchfork). They collaborate on an exploration of the blues influences of jazz great Charles Mingus and perform works inspired by some of his seminal compositions, including Blues & Roots, Better Get It In Yo’ Soul and the politically charged Fables of Faubus.

PerFormers

Georgia Anne Muldrow vocals

Jason Moran and the Bandwagon
Jason Moran piano
Tarus Mateen bass
Nasheet Waits drums

 

SCP SPECIALS

 

Oct 2

Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán with special guest Yolanda del Río

SCP Specials

3:00 PM Sunday, October 2, 2016

The world-renowned Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán return for their annual Symphony Center program that has enchanted audiences year after year. Celebrated as "the greatest mariachi in the world," the acclaimed ensemble showcases the rich tradition of Mexican folk music with unparalleled musicianship and joyful pageantry. The concert will also feature a set by famed actress and Ranchera singer Yolanda del Río, “La Gran Señora de Mexico.”

Oct 25

An Evening with Joan Baez

SCP Specials

8:00 PM Tuesday, October 25, 2016

“Joan Baez is still the mother of us all.” – (The New York Times). A musical force of nature, Joan Baez has been influential since the 1960s, both as a beloved folk singer and as a political activist who marched on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement with Martin Luther King Jr. Fifty years later, Baez remains as vital and passionate as ever in concert and on recordings. Rolling Stone called her recent televised performance at New York City’s Beacon Theatre “true to spirit, a folk concert through and through, full of spontaneous sing-alongs and impromptu lyrical ad-libs.

Performers

Dec 6

A Chanticleer Christmas

SCP Specials

7:30 PM Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Spark your holiday spirit with the glorious sounds of the “world’s reigning male chorus” (The New Yorker). This intimate a cappella performance will encompass Christmas music from around the world and across the centuries, framed by the striking Gothic Revival architecture of Chicago’s Fourth Presbyterian Church.

PERFORMERS

Dec 7

A Chanticleer Christmas

SCP Specials

7:30 PM Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Spark your holiday spirit with the glorious sounds of the “world’s reigning male chorus” (The New Yorker). This intimate a cappella performance will encompass Christmas music from around the world and across the centuries, framed by the striking Gothic Revival architecture of Chicago’s Fourth Presbyterian Church.

PERFORMERS

Dec 14

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Brass

SCP Specials

8:00 PM Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The legendary brass section of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has long been revered for its matchless brilliance and spectacular power. Join these acclaimed musicians for a virtuosic showcase of traditional favorites and symphonic masterworks arranged for brass ensemble.

Dec 20

Vienna Boys Choir: Christmas in Vienna

SCP Specials

3:00 PM Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Celebrate Christmas in Vienna at Symphony Center! One of the world’s oldest and most illustrious choral groups, the enchanting Vienna Boys Choir returns for a performance of popular folk songs, classical masterpieces and beloved holiday favorites. This treasured annual concert is the perfect holiday tradition for the entire family.

PERFORMERS

Feb 19

Ivan the Terrible

SCP Specials

7:30 PM Sunday, February 19, 2017

Ivan the Terrible, Sergei Eisenstein’s epic two-part film about the reign of Tsar Ivan IV in sixteenth-century Russia, will be screened at Orchestra Hall in advance of the CSO’s performance of Prokofiev’s score with Riccardo Muti conducting. Part II was banned by its commissioner, Joseph Stalin, for its depiction of the tsar, and not released until after both Stalin’s and Eisenstein’s deaths. Enjoy this legendary and controversial film in its entirety before seeing the score performed live later that week!

Free admission!

Ticket required. Film is not rated

Part 1 is 99 minutes. Part 2 is 85 minutes.

Feb 26

KODO: DADAN 2017

SCP Specials

3:00 PM Sunday, February 26, 2017

The world’s foremost taiko ensemble Kodo returns to Symphony Center for a thunderous performance that explores the limitless possibilities of traditional Japanese drumming with precision, dexterity and speed. “Superlatives don’t really exist to convey the primal power and bravura beauty of Kodo” (Chicago Tribune).

PERFORMERS

Mar 25

Anoushka Shankar: Home

SCP Specials

8:00 PM Saturday, March 25, 2017

Sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar is one of the leading figures in Indian classical and progressive world music today. Don't miss what promises to be a captivating performance featuring selections from her album Home, deeply rooted in the classical traditions she learned from her father, the legendary Ravi Shankar. "Expect to be thoroughly intoxicated" (Time Out New York).

PERFORMERS

May 12

Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn / Del McCoury Band

SCP Specials

8:00 PM Friday, May 12, 2017

Husband and wife duo Béla Fleck, a sixteen-time Grammy Award winner, and singer-songwriter Abigail Washburn, are a picking partnership unlike any other. Performing music from their Grammy Award-winning first album together, the duo blends gospel, bluegrass, and classical chamber music styles with breathtaking vocals and virtuosic instrumental playing. Del McCoury Band begins the evening’s program with his authentic bluegrass sound that has attracted multiple generations of fans.

Performers

Béla Fleck banjo
Abigail Washburn banjo
Del McCoury Band

The SCP Jazz series is sponsored by:
Exelon