Muti Conducts Beethoven, Still & Price

May 5 - May 7, 2022


Riccardo Muti presents two groundbreaking pieces by the first African American composers to have symphonic works performed by major orchestras. William Grant Still’s Mother and Child is a gentle, lilting work inspired by a painting by Sargent Johnson. Florence Price’s expressive Third Symphony gives a powerful voice to the African American experience. The first half includes Beethoven's Fourth Symphony, a work of grace, subtlety and drive, whose smallest gestures have large implications.

Florence Price was a pioneer in the world of classical music: the first African-American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer and the first to have her work played by a major orchestra. In honor of these special performances of Price’s Symphony No. 3, arrive early to learn more about this fascinating composer.

The complete experience will include a free preconcert panel discussion in Orchestra Hall 90 minutes before each performance. The event is moderated by Dr. Toni-Marie Montgomery, Dean of the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, Northwestern University, and featuring Florence Price scholars Dr. Tammy L. Kernodle, Distinguished Professor of Music, Miami University, and Dr. Douglas W. Shadle, Associate Professor of Musicology, Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University, as well as special guest Jessie Montgomery, CSO Mead Composer-in-Residence. No additional tickets required.

Following the discussion, enjoy chamber music performances by Civic Orchestra of Chicago and Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative String Quartets performing works by Price and Montgomery in the Grainger Ballroom and Rotunda at Symphony Center.

Thursday, May 5

  • 6:00-6:45p Panel Discussion
  • 6:45-7:15p Preconcert Chamber Performances

Friday, May 6

  • 12:00-12:45p Panel Discussion
  • 12:45-1:15p Preconcert Chamber Performances

Saturday, May 7

  • 6:30-7:15p Panel Discussion
  • 7:15-7:45p Preconcert Chamber Performances

Overture to Egmont


Symphony No. 4


Mother and Child

Symphony No. 3
Music Director Emeritus for Life

These concerts are generously sponsored by the Zell Family Foundation.

Discover more on Experience CSO
Few composers have experienced the meteoric rediscovery that Florence Price has enjoyed in the last decade. Nearly forgotten since her death in 1953, her works are now seeing a renaissance.
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Founder and first music director Theodore Thomas wrote that in the Fourth Symphony, Beethoven has given us, "a song of beauty such as no one else has ever written.”
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When the composer William Grant Still died at age 83 in 1978, he was little known outside specialized circles, and his music — including symphonies, ballets and operas — little performed.
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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.

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