Muti Conducts Prokofiev's Ivan the Terrible with Gérard Depardieu

Feb 25

8:00 PM


Saturday, February 25, 2017

The collaboration between Sergei Prokofiev and director Sergei Eisenstein was one of the most brilliant in 20th-century art. Riccardo Muti leads the CSO and Chicago Symphony Chorus in Prokofiev’s music from Eisenstein’s epic film Ivan the Terrible, the riveting story of a bloodthirsty tyrant, with narration by internationally renowned actor Gérard Depardieu.

This concert will be approximately one hour and 30 minutes with no intermission.

Note for the Newcomer: Composer Prokofiev and filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein worked together closely while Prokofiev wrote music for Ivan the Terrible, with the two discussing each film scene individually. Eisenstein also held off on completely editing each film sequence until the corresponding music was finished, making Ivan the Terrible a true artistic collaboration.

Approximate concert duration: 90 minutes with no intermission


Prokofiev Ivan the Terrible

Preconcert Conversation Information

Preconcert conversation with Stephen Yaness
30 minute run-time

Thursday, February 23, 7 p.m. Grainger Ballroom
Friday, February 24, 7 p.m. Grainger Ballroom
Saturday, February 25, 7 p.m. Grainger Ballroom

Additional Dates for this Program

When filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein asked his friend, composer Sergei Prokofiev, to write a musical score for his epic film Ivan the Terrible, the result was a work of stunning complexity, a forceful study in power, corruption and morality, as relevant today as it was during the 1940s. Read more at CSO Sounds & Stories

For Sergei Prokofiev, Chicago and the CSO became the first stop on the road to sweeping popularity in the United States. From 1917 over the next two decades, the composer-conductor-pianist appeared here in seven different programs, including world premieres of his Piano Concerto No. 3 and his opera The Love of Three Oranges. Read more at CSO Sounds & Stories

Riccardo Muti recalls that when he first heard the music of Prokofiev’s Ivan the Terrible — “which incorporates everything from elements of Russian Orthodox church music to folk tunes, all with Prokofiev’s distinctive spin, I immediately wanted to do it.” This week, Muti leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Chorus, the Chicago Children’s Choir and guest soloists including acclaimed French actor Gérard Depardieu in the CSO’s first-ever performances of Ivan. Read more at CSO Sounds & Stories


Saturday’s concert is endowed in part by the League of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association.

This performance is generously sponsored by an anonymous donor.

The appearance of tonight’s guest artists is made possible with the generous sponsorship of Josef and Margot Lakonishok.

The appearance of the Chicago Symphony Chorus is made possible by a generous gift from Jim and Kay Mabie.