The Sorcerer’s Apprentice & Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony

Dec 15 - Dec 18, 2022


Iconoclastic organist Cameron Carpenter, “one of the rare musicians who changes the game of his instrument” (Los Angeles Times), takes on Poulenc’s sparkling, Baroque-infused concerto, followed by the elegance and floor-shaking grandeur of Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony.

Explore the music in the free preconcert conversation featuring Carl Grapentine in Orchestra Hall 75 minutes before the performance. The conversation will last approximately 30 minutes. No additional tickets are needed.

Terri Hemmert

Classic Encounter

December 15: Preconcert lecture hosted by Chicago’s favorite radio DJ, WXRT’s Terri Hemmert, with co-host Miles Maner, CSO bassoon and contrabassoon.

You will have the opportunity to add Classic Encounter to your order after selecting your seats for the concert.


The Sorcerer’s Apprentice


Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani


Symphony No. 3 (Organ)

J.S. Bach

Variation No. 20 from Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (trans. Carpenter) [Encore Dec. 17]

Martin and Blaine

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas from Meet Me in St. Louis (improvised setting by Carpenter) [Encore Dec. 17]


The appearance of Cameron Carpenter is made possible by the Grainger Fund for Excellence.

Carpenter & Poulenc

“Breathtaking virtuoso” organist Cameron Carpenter puts his skills on full display in his arrangement of Rachmaninov’s beloved Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and Francis Poulenc’s Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani, recorded in 2019 for Sony Classical. Available for a limited time at the Symphony Store.

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Discover more on Experience CSO
When Cameron Carpenter performs with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, he will be properly appreciative of its famed Casavant Frères organ while also carrying memories of the one that got away. 
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Symphony Center’s 1998 Casavant Frères Opus 3765, which has 44 stops and 3,414 pipes, can "really pack a punch," declares organ virtuoso Paul Jacobs.
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Though he began as a violin soloist, Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider finds himself more frequently on the podium: “I conduct for the reason I play the violin, because I love music."
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Goethe's work took root in Paul Dukas' tone poem of the same name, which was later immortalized in “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” segment of Disney's animated “Fantasia” (1940).
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Theodore Thomas and the Chicago Orchestra gave the U.S. premiere of Dukas' The Sorcerer’s Apprentice on January 13, 1899, at the Auditorium Theatre.
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Camille Saint-Saëns made his debut as piano soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in November 1906. Frederick Stock conducted.
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