Ein Heldenleben
May 19 - May 22, 2022
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Ein Heldenleben


Hear the sounds of bravery, battle and romance in Strauss' exuberant Ein Heldenleben (A Hero's Life), led by Karina Canellakis. Kirill Gerstein performs Schumann’s only piano concerto, a work that brims with joy and melody. Augusta Read Thomas’ Brio is a study in agility and motion, building to a full-throttle, sparkling intensity.


Ticket holders are invited to a free preconcert conversation featuring Carl Grapentine in Orchestra Hall 75 minutes before the performance. The conversation will last approximately 30 minutes. No additional tickets required.

  • Venue
    Symphony Center
  • Price Range
  • Length
    2 hours 20 minutes
  • Preconcert Conversation
    with Carl Grapentine
  • Program Book
    Read more
Thursday, May 19, 2022
7:30 PM
Friday, May 20, 2022
1:30 PM
Saturday, May 21, 2022
8:00 PM
Sunday, May 22, 2022
3:00 PM



Piano Concerto

R. Strauss
Ein Heldenleben

These concerts are generously sponsored by the Zell Family Foundation.

The appearance of Kirill Gerstein is made possible by the Grainger Fund for Excellence.

Discover more on Experience CSO
For Karina Canellakis, conducting has ‘always been on my mind’
Conducting runs in the family for Karina Canellakis. “I was always fascinated by conducting, always,” she said. “My dad’s a conductor, and he always thought it was just a normal thing for me to do."
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The CSO’s connection to a signature work, Strauss’ ‘Ein Heldenleben’
Richard Strauss’ tone poem Ein Heldenleben has ties to Chicago dating back more than a century. Theodore Thomas, founder of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, led the work’s U.S. premiere on March 9, 1900.
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Augusta Read Thomas compares her ‘Brio’ to a burst of positive energy
Augusta Read Thomas' "Brio" is dedicated to Iowa native and Chicago resident Kay Bucksbaum, arts patron, philanthropist and CSO trustee. She writes: "The title 'Brio' hopefully captures the spirit of Kay’s magnificence, twinkle and positive energy.”
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The CSO in Strauss, Schumann & Beethoven
Three music directors—Frederick Stock, Fritz Reiner, and Jean Martinon—along with principal guest conductor Pierre Boulez lead works by Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann and Strauss.
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Strauss: Ein Heldenleben
Considered one of the world’s greatest Strauss ensembles, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra plays "Ein Heldenleben," whose U.S. premiere it gave in 1900, along with Webern's "Im Sommerwind."
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Orchestral Excerpt Insights: Robert Chen
Robert Chen, concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, explains the intricacies of the violin solo in Richard Strauss' "Ein Heldenleben."
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The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association is committed to creating a comfortable, enjoyable and safe environment. Safe and Sound measures, including COVID-19 mitigation and mask requirements for concertgoers, will remain in effect until further notice and continue to be reviewed regularly based on the needs and comfort of musicians, patrons and staff.

For everyone’s comfort and safety, patrons 5 years of age and older are required to provide proof of full vaccination or a recent negative test, and those 16 years of age or older also need to provide a valid photo ID. All patrons must wear a face mask throughout their visit.

Individuals are expected to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before attending a CSOA event. Patrons who are not feeling well, are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms or have had or been exposed to COVID-19 in the past 10 days should contact Patron Services for flexible exchange and refund options.

Visit cso.org/SafeAndSound for the most recent information. Ticket holders receive specific instructions for entry ahead of each performance. Please note, other venues in Chicago may have policies that differ from Symphony Center.

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