Top concert picks for 2022-23 from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association staff

Box office rep José Vega insists that selecting just five events ‘can’t be done’

José Vega, CSO box office associate, offers choices ranging from "Amadeus Live" to Chucho Valdés.

Fernando Vega

The 2022-23 seasons of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Center Presents are just weeks away, and members of the Sales and Patron Experience team are here to help. The box office opened for single-ticket purchases on Aug. 3 — in person, by phone or online — and subscriptions for all series are available. 

Can't decide which concerts to select? Over the next weeks, staff members will offer their own choices for the must-see performances of 2022-23.

José Vega, box office associate, declares, "What a tremendous season to come! To keep it to a Top 5 seems like trying to cover oneself at night with a child’s blanket — it can’t be done!"

Here are his choices, in no particular order:

1. Jan. 31, Juan Diego Flórez. Ever since I was handed a promo CD by the Peruvian-born tenor in front of Lyric Opera back in 2003, I have been mesmerized by this beautiful talent.

2. May 14, Renée Fleming and Evgeny Kissin. The pianist’s monster performance last season reminded me to include this program on my list. Fleming by herself is worth the price of admission — what a huge talent. The two together might be more than one can stand!

3. Nov. 16, Berlin Philharmonic. A legendary orchestra here again, finally after a couple travel-restriction blotted seasons. And I get to scratch Mahler 7 off my bucket list.

4. Oct. 18, Chucho Valdés: The Creation. I love Chucho, and although I do not know much about La Creación yet, having him back on our stage is something not to be missed.

5. Oct. 13-16, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Amadeus Live. OK, in placing the film in my top three of all time (no, the child’s blanket-analogy does not apply) I knew that I would always watch this film whenever and wherever it is presented. It's wonderful and inspiring, and each revisit has shown me that the music itself emerges as equal to the performances of F. Murray Abraham and Tom Hulce, forming the powerful triumvirate that makes the film such a masterpiece.

But wait! There’s more! Oct. 6-8, Muti, the CSO, Pollini & Pictures from an Exhibition; June 23-25, Muti in Beethoven's Missa solemnis; June 8-10, Jakub Hrůša and the CSO in Mahler 9; March 16-18, the CSO in Carmina burana; April 20-23, the CSO and Daniil Trifonov in Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 3; May 12, Dave Holland, and April 14, Kurt Elling, as part of a 65th anniversary celebration of the Monterey Jazz Festival.

Our friendly and knowledgeable Sales and Patron Experience team members are here to help. For personalized assistance with your ticket order, call 312-294-3000 or chat with us on

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