Ein Heldenleben

May 19-22, 2022
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.




Piano Concerto

R. Strauss
Ein Heldenleben

Waltz in A-flat Major, Op. 42 [May 19, May 21 Encore]


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
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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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' "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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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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Robert Chen, concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, explains the intricacies of the violin solo in Richard Strauss' "Ein Heldenleben."
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Ein Heldenleben

Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben received its United States premiere by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1900 and has remained a staple of the Orchestra’s repertoire ever since. Fritz Reiner’s 1954 recording of the tone poem for RCA Victor was the first stereophonic recording captured of the CSO. More recently, it was performed and recorded by the Orchestra under the baton of the late Bernard Haitink. Enjoy this recording on CSO Resound.

Available at the Symphony Store

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For everyone’s comfort and safety, 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.