8 Nights of Fun & Music

Curious what connects the legends of Woodstock to classical music? Then Classic Encounter is the perfect complement to your nights out at the CSO. Join legendary WXRT Radio DJ Terri Hemmert and CSO musicians for unconventional preconcert presentations complete with light bites and drinks followed by a wide variety of CSO concerts.

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Program details

Mendelssohn & Lutoslawski

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

October 10, 2019 8:00 p.m.

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The sensational young Korean pianist Sunwook Kim, acclaimed for his “ability to shift from fantasy to fireworks and back in a gasp” (The News, Portsmouth), makes his CSO debut with two vivacious works by Mendelssohn—the glittering Piano Concerto No. 1 and virtuosic Capriccio brillant. Ukrainian conductor Kirill Karabits, in his CSO subscription series debut, leads Lutosławski’s melodic, folklore-inspired Concerto for Orchestra.

Prokofiev Overture on Hebrew Themes
Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No. 1
Mendelssohn Capriccio brillant
Lutosławski Concerto for Orchestra

Muti Conducts Brahms Double Concerto

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

November 7, 2019 8:00 p.m.

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Brahms’ final orchestral composition calls for deep lyricism and virtuosic technique from its soloists to create the illusion of a single instrument. CSO Associate Concertmaster Stephanie Jeong and Assistant Principal Cello Kenneth Olsen take center stage for this exhilarating work. Riccardo Muti concludes the program with Schumann’s Third Symphony, inspired by the composer’s journey to the Rhineland.

Wagner Overture to The Flying Dutchman
Brahms Double Concerto
Schumann Symphony No. 3 (Rhenish)

A Night in Vienna: Honeck Conducts Mozart & Strauss

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

December 12, 2019 8:00 p.m.

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Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck leads a program of richly melodic dance music by the Strauss family and Mozart’s virtuosic Piano Concerto No. 21 featuring Jan Lisiecki, whose “pristine, lyrical and intelligent playing shows uncommon maturity” (The New York Times). Former Mead Composer-in-Residence Mason Bates calls his new work, written in honor of Manfred Honeck’s 60th birthday, “a theatrical and fast-paced conjuring of the classic Resurrection narrative.”

Bates Resurrexit
Mozart Piano Concerto No. 21
Johann Strauss, Jr. Overture to The Gypsy Baron
Josef Strauss Die Libelle Polka
Johann Strauss, Jr. Furioso Polka
Johann Strauss, Jr. Voices of Spring Waltzes
Johann Strauss, Jr. Auf der Jagd Polka
Johann Strauss, Jr. Im Krapfenwaldl, Polka francaise
Johann Strauss, Jr. Thunder and Lightning Polka

Sibelius & Nielsen: A Nordic Celebration

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

February 27, 2020 8:00 p.m.

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From its expansive opening to its transcendent climax, Sibelius’ Fifth Symphony is one of the most vivid orchestral works of the 20th century. Finnish conductor Hannu Lintu, in his CSO debut, pairs this with the composer’s best-known work, Finlandia. Pekka Kuusisto performs Nielsen’s spirited Violin Concerto. “Nielsen was a folk fiddler and Kuusisto made it show in the gorgeous looseness of his rhythms and stripped-back grit of his sound” (The Guardian).

Sibelius Finlandia
Nielsen Violin Concerto
Nielsen Helios Overture
Sibelius Symphony No. 5

Bach & Handel

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

March 26, 2020 8:00 p.m.

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An evening of baroque masterpieces, led by conductor Nicholas Kraemer from the harpsichord, features excerpts from operas and oratorios by Handel and Purcell, including the ever-popular Water Music. Opening the program is Bach’s best-known orchestral suite, which includes the much-loved “Air on the G String.” 

Nicholas Kraemer conductor and harpsichord
Amanda Forsythe soprano
Iestyn Davies countertenor

Bach Orchestral Suite No. 3
Handel Who calls my parting soul from Esther
Handel Ombra cara from Radamisto
Handel Da Tempeste from Giulio Cesare
Handel These Labours past from Jephta
Purcell Chacony in G Minor
Purcell Dido’s Lament from Dido and Aeneas
Handel Rompo i lacci from Flavio
Handel To thee thou glorious son from Theodora
Handel Suite No. 2 from Water Music

Symphonie fantastique

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

April 16, 2020 8:00 p.m.

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Emmanuel Krivine conducts Berlioz’s semi-autobiographical epic that portrays an artist’s obsessive, self-destructive passion for his beloved. Two colorful works by Richard Strauss include the mischievous Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks and the delightful, rarely heard Burlesque, featuring rising German sensation Joseph Moog.

R. Strauss Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks
R. Strauss Burlesque
Berlioz Symphonie fantastique

Mozart Jupiter Symphony

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

May 21, 2020 8:00 p.m.

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A masterwork of unrestrained joy, Mozart’s last symphony is one of the greatest in the repertoire. Bernard Labadie conducts the Jupiter Symphony along with a dramatic overture by Haydn and two early keyboard concertos by Bach featuring rising star pianist Beatrice Rana in her CSO debut.

Haydn Overture to L'isola disabitata
Bach Keyboard Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, BWV 1052
Bach Keyboard Concerto No. 5 in F Minor, BWV 1056
Mozart Symphony No. 41 (Jupiter)

Ein Heldenleben

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

June 4, 2020 8:00 p.m.

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Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider makes a welcome return to lead the CSO in one of its signature pieces, the exuberant Ein Heldenleben, which tells the heroic story of a man grappling with fate through music of sumptuous beauty and warmth. Piotr Anderszewski brings his “articulate, bold and beautiful” (Gramophone) rendition of Mozart’s spirited Piano Concerto No. 17.

Mendelssohn The Hebrides Overture
Mozart Piano Concerto No. 17
R. Strauss Ein Heldenleben

 

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