SCP series offer stellar orchestras, chamber music and soloists next season

The all-star chamber-music ensemble of violinist Leonidas Kavakos (from left), pianist Emanuel Ax and cellist Yo-Yo Ma reunites for a program of Beethoven piano trios.

Todd Rosenberg Photography

Building on 25 years of offering exceptional performances by visiting acclaimed ensembles and the world’s most renowned recitalists, Symphony Center Presents continues its tradition of showcasing stellar musical artistry in the coming season.

Among the most high-profile offerings are the returns of two star conductors, along with their orchestras. Daniel Barenboim, music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1991 to 2006, is scheduled Nov. 28 to lead the venerable Staatskapelle Berlin. The conductor, who turned 80 in November, is making his first appearance at Symphony Center since a guest-conducting engagement in 2018.

In addition, Sir Simon Rattle, the famed conductor whose last Chicago podium appearance came in 2009, will lead the Bavarian Radio Symphony in Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 on April 28, 2024. Principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic in 2002-2018, he also served as music director of the London Symphony.

SCP Chamber Music

The Symphony Center Presents Chamber Music series invites audiences to embrace the more intimate sounds of small ensembles. Next season highlights two programs of piano trios and recitals for piano and string soloists.

Thibaudet, Batiashvilli and Capuçon, Oct. 22: The trio of internationally renowned soloists, pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, violinist Lisa Batiashvilli and cellist Gautier Capuçon, share a program featuring piano trios of Haydn, Ravel and Mendelssohn.

Maxim Vengerov and Polina Osetinskaya, Nov. 10: One of the world’s great virtuoso violinists, Maxim Vengerov makes a long-awaited return to Chicago, partnering with pianist Polina Osetinskaya in music of Brahms, Clara Schumann, Robert Schumann and Prokofiev.

Ax, Kavakos and Ma, Feb. 3: The incomparable combination of pianist Emanuel Ax, violinist Leonidas Kavakos and cellist Yo-Yo Ma reunites for a program of Beethoven piano trios.

Mahler Chamber Orchestra and pianist Mitsuko Uchida, March 26:  Known for sensitive musicality, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra brings a program of Mozart piano concertos, led by Uchida from the keyboard, as well as Jörg Widmann’s Choralquartett in his own arrangement for string orchestra.

Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott, April 7: Cellist Yo-Yo Ma makes a second appearance on Chamber Music series when he shares the Orchestra Hall stage with longtime friend and collaborator, pianist Kathryn Stott, for a wide-ranging recital program highlighting selections from their recent recording project, including works of Dvořák, Fauré, Kabalevsky and Franck, among others.

Hilary Hahn & Friends, June 9: CSO Artist-in-Residence Hilary Hahn gathers with friends for an afternoon of music-making to cap the series.

SCP Orchestras

Staatskapelle Berlin, Nov. 28: Former CSO music director Daniel Barenboim returns to Chicago to lead an all-Brahms program with the Staatskapelle Berlin, which he has led since 1992. Barenboim, who just stepped down as the orchestra’s general music director, was also named conductor for life by the Staatskapelle Berlin in 2002 and celebrates their renowned artistic partnership on this North American tour.

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, April 28: Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 is conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, who officially steps into the role as that orchestra’s chief conductor in September.

SCP Piano

The series brings world-class pianists to Symphony Center for performances of an extraordinary array of keyboard music from many styles and eras.

Sir András Schiff, Nov. 12: One of the most admired pianists of our time, Sir András Schiff opens the new season of SCP Piano series concerts.

Lucas and Arthur Jussen, Jan. 21: The piano duo phenomenon, Dutch brothers Lucas and Arthur Jussen, make a series debut playing works for two pianos and piano four-hands in a virtuosic program that features the two-piano version of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and a new work by Polish composer Hanna Kulenty.

Hélène Grimaud, Feb. 4: The French pianist offers a program of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms.

Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Feb. 25: The French pianist, whom the Wall Street Journal dubbed a “brilliant musician and an extraordinary visionary,” shares a program full of keyboard fantasies and fantasias composed across five centuries.

Benjamin Grosvenor, March 10: Making his second SCP Piano series appearance after an auspicious CSO solo debut in 2022, the British pianist is known for his distinctive interpretations of Chopin’s music. His program features two Chopin works, along with Liszt’s Piano Sonata in B Minor and a Symphony Center Presents co-commissioned work by Australian composer Brett Dean.

Yefim Bronfman, April 14: The longtime SCP favorite comes back to Orchestra Hall with a program of works by Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann.

Evgeny Kissin, May 19: The Russian virtuoso returns with a program featuring music of Beethoven, Brahms, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev.

Bruce Liu, June 2: The Canadian-born winner of the 2021 International Frédéric Chopin Competition makes his series debut with a program of Haydn, Chopin, Rameau and Liszt.

SCP Specials

Audiences can experience a variety of music and artists from around the world as part of Symphony Center Presents special programming next season.

Anoushka Shankar, Oct. 13: Sitar player Anoushka Shankar performs across a broad range of styles, from classical and contemporary to acoustic and electronic. From an early age, she learned from and performed with her father Ravi Shankar, whose name is practically synonymous with the sitar.

“The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, Oct. 21: This historic ensemble, once led by “The March King,” John Philip Sousa, returns to Symphony Center for a free concert featuring a wide array of musical selections. Tickets will become available later this year.

Vienna Boys Choir, Nov. 25: The vocal ensemble performs its popular “Christmas in Vienna” program.

Chanticleer, Dec. 5-6: The Bay Area based vocal ensemble offers “A Chanticleer Christmas” at the Fourth Presbyterian Church.

Max Raabe and the Palast Orchester, March 15: German jazz vocalist Max Raabe brings his Berlin-based Palast Orchester to Chicago for a program of cabaret and dance band music of Germany in the 1920s and ’30s.

The Gateways Festival Orchestra, April 19: Gateways is an ensemble of the Rochester, New York-based Gateways Music Festival, whose mission is to connect and support professional classical musicians of African descent. After a sold-out 2022 Carnegie Hall appearance, the orchestra appears in Chicago as part of a U.S. tour led by conductor Anthony Parnther. (Tickets will become available later this year.) The concert will close a five-day Chicago festival, co-sponsored by Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music and media partner WFMT-FM.