From top-level conductors and soloists to world premieres and revered masterpieces, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s wide-ranging 2022-23 Season has plenty to offer. Let’s break it down. Here's the lineup — by the numbers.
1. Famed British composer Thomas Adès, who also is an acclaimed conductor, takes the podium for the first time with the Chicago Symphony, leading concerts April 6-8 and 11, 2023, that will include his Piano Concerto with soloist Kirill Gerstein.
2. Violinist Hilary Hahn returns for her second season as CSO Artist-in-Residence, performing two sets of concerts with the orchestra. They include April 13-15, 2023, performances of Pablo de Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy, Op. 25, a violin work based on themes from the Bizet opera.
3. Three major works by Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich will be featured in 2022-23, including performances April 27-28, 2023, of the composer’s Symphony No. 7 in C Major (Leningrad). It was performed in August 1942 during the nadir of the siege of St. Petersburg, which was then known as Leningrad.
4. The Chicago Symphony Chorus will join its instrumental counterpart and guest conductor Giovanni Antonini for concerts May 4-6 and 9, 2023, showcasing four works by famed Italian Baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi, including the composer’s Gloria.
5. The Chicago Symphony is one of five American orchestras that co-commissioned Julia Wolfe’s 40-minute work, Her Story, for 10 female voices and orchestra. Singers from the Massachusetts-based Lorelei Ensemble join guest conductor Marin Alsop for the Chicago debut during concerts Jan. 6-7, 2023.
6. Mozart is well-represented on the 2022-23 season, with six works, including three symphonies. The May 18-20 and 23, 2023, concerts will showcase two works by the composer, including his Violin Concerto No. 4 with Concertmaster Robert Chen as soloist.
7. Edward Gardner began his tenure seven years ago as principal conductor of Norway's Bergen Philharmonic, a post he is set to depart in 2024. The Englishman returns to the Chicago Symphony for concerts Nov. 3-5 that will include Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 5.
8. Eight master keyboardists will appear on the Symphony Center Presents Piano series, including a rare opportunity May 28, 2023, to hear the esteemed Portuguese pianist Maria João Pires, who will turn 78 a few months after this concert.
9. Dvořák’s ever-popular Symphony No. 9 (From the New World), will culminate a program of American or American-related works that will be showcased in concerts March 23, 25 and 26, 2023.
10. One of the world’s most respected pianists, Maurizio Pollini returns to the orchestra for the first time in 10 years. The 80-year-old soloist will perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27 in concerts Oct. 6-8.
11. Stravinsky’s famed ballet Petrushka was created for Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and debuted in Paris in 1911. Fabien Gabel will guest conduct an all-Russian program featuring the work April 20, 22 and 23, 2023.
12. The celebrated Berlin Philharmonic will make its first appearance in Symphony Center in 12 years, performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 on Nov. 16 with chief conductor Kirill Petrenko on the podium.
13. Riccardo Muti marks his 13th and final season as the orchestra’s music director. Once his tenure is complete, he and the orchestra will have performed more than 500 concerts together in Symphony Center and on tour across the United States and around the world.
14. Fourteen years have passed since Cameron Carpenter, a soloist who has shaken up the organ world, signed a milestone five-album deal with the Telarc label. He will perform two staples for the instrument during concerts Dec. 15-18.
15. Principal Timpani David Herbert and the Chicago Symphony will perform William Craft’s Timpani Concerto No. 1, one of best-known works for the instrument, May 25-27, 2023, just 15 months after the composer, percussionist and conductor died at age 98.
16. German violinist Julia Fischer was named Gramophone’s Artist of the Year in 2006 (16 years ago), returns Feb. 22-24, 2023, to perform Schumann’s Violin Concerto with Muti and the orchestra at Symphony Center and Feb. 26, 2023, in Kansas City, Mo.
17. Musical America named Christian Tetzlaff its Instrumentalist of the Year 17 seasons ago, and the violinist continues to win plaudits worldwide. He will serve as soloist in Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in concerts Nov. 3-5.
19. Conductor Harry Bicket, who joins the CSO and the Joffrey Ballet for performances Nov. 10-12, made his Covent Garden debut 19 years ago, leading Handel’s Orlando with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
20. Twenty years have passed since Xian Zhang won the once-important but now-defunct Maazel-Vilar Conductor’s Competition. Zhang, who will lead the Chicago Symphony on Oct. 27-28 and Nov. 1, serves as music director of the New Jersey Symphony.
21. Twenty-one years ago, violinist Vadim Gluzman, who appears with the orchestra June 1-3 and 6, 2023, began a teaching position at Roosevelt University (he has since left), and he and his wife, pianist Angela Yoffe, decided to move to the Chicago area.
22. Twenty-two guest conductors will take the podium in 2022-23, including debuts by Dalia Stasevska (Dec. 8-10) and Lahav Shani (Feb. 9-11, 2023). Thomas Wilkins leads his first subscription concerts March 23, 25 and 26, 2023.
23. Beethoven’s Missa solemnis, which will culminate the season on June 23-25, 2023, in Muti’s last concerts as music director, was composed in 1819-1823 and carries the opus number, 123.
24. Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, which soloist Beatrice Rana will perform Feb. 9-13, 2023, consists of 24 variations on the 24th and last of the great violin virtuoso’s caprices for solo violin.
25. The season marks the 25th anniversary of the opening of Symphony Center. The $110 million project included a skylit, six-story rotunda; new administrative offices in the former Chapin & Gore building, and a restored and renovated Orchestra Hall.