World-Class Artists. Spectacular Concerts.

From the biggest names in classical music to the icons and innovators of jazz, pop, world music and more, there are so many unforgettable performances to see at Symphony Center. Explore the 2019/20 Symphony Center Presents season below and join us at “Chicago’s most prestigious musical address” (Chicago Tribune).

Montreal Symphony Orchestra

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS ORCHESTRA

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 — 7:30 p.m.

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Oct 2019

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The illustrious Montreal Symphony Orchestra returns with music director Kent Nagano for a program of works by Bartók and Prokofiev. Electrifying pianist Denis Matsuev joins for Rachmaninov’s exquisite, well-loved Rhapsody. “Nagano's conducting was a model of taut rhythmic definition, athleticism and atmosphere…the Montreal musicians were at the world-class top of their game” (Chicago Tribune).

Christian Tetzlaff & Lars Vogt

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS CHAMBER

Sunday, October 27, 2019 — 3:00 p.m.

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Christian Tetzlaff and Lars Vogt, each eloquent soloists with a long history of performing together, make a thrilling recital appearance. This evocative program features rich and colorful violin sonatas by Beethoven, Shostakovich and Franck, as well as György Kurtág’s Tre Pezzi, which showcases both instruments in new and haunting ways. “With Christian Tetzlaff and Lars Vogt, everything sounds bigger and better. Brilliant musicianship” (The Boston Globe).

Chick Corea Trilogy with Christian Mcbride and Brian Blade

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS JAZZ

Friday, November 1, 2019 — 8:00 p.m.

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Nov 2019

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With a career spanning more than 60 years and 22 Grammy® Awards, Chick Corea is one of the most influential keyboardists in jazz history. He returns to Symphony Center with bass powerhouse Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade for a night of jazz standards and fresh takes on classic Corea compositions.

Rudolf Buchbinder

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS PIANO

Wednesday, November 6, 2019 — 8:00 p.m.

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Nov 6

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Renowned for his Beethoven interpretations, Rudolf Buchbinder is acclaimed for performances that have “immense and focused force…sparks fly” (NPR). In this special evening recital, Buchbinder performs the weighty Third Sonata and one of Beethoven’s greatest and most challenging sonatas, the Appassionata.

Rudolf Buchbinder

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS PIANO

Sunday, November 10, 2019 — 3:00 p.m.

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Nov 10

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Austrian pianist Rudolf Buchbinder, an artist of “immense and focused force” and “piano purism” (NPR), concludes his share of the Beethoven piano sonata cycle with the three Op. 10 sonatas that showed the composer boldly experimenting. He concludes with the jocular No. 18, nicknamed “The Hunt” for its horn-call theme.

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS JAZZ

Friday, November 15, 2019 — 8:00 p.m.

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Nov 15

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Led by NEA Jazz Master Wynton Marsalis, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra consists of 15 of the finest soloists, ensemble players and arrangers performing today. The legendary band returns with a program that celebrates global jazz ambassadors including Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Brubeck and Louis Armstrong.

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis: South African Songbook

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS SPECIALS

Saturday, November 16, 2019 — 8:00 p.m.

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Nov 16

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The legendary Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and special guests perform traditional and contemporary South African music popularized by a new generation of artists. Known as "The Born Frees," these musicians emerged with the birth of democracy and the end of apartheid in South Africa.

Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS ORCHESTRA

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 — 7:30 p.m.

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Nov 19

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Yannick Nézet-Séguin, “the greatest generator of energy on the international podium” (The Financial Times), and “a Brucknerian to be reckoned with” (MusicWeb International), brings his Montreal ensemble to Symphony Center for a performance of the composer’s stirring Fourth Symphony. A mezzo-soprano of “flawless virtuosity” and “glowing beauty of tone” (The Daily Telegraph), Joyce DiDonato performs two of Mozart’s most famous arias.

Vienna Boys Choir: Christmas in Vienna

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS SPECIALS

Saturday, November 30, 2019 — 2:00 p.m.

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Nov 30

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Captivating millions around the globe, the Vienna Boys Choir is one of the world’s oldest and most celebrated choral groups. The ensemble returns to Symphony Center for an enchanting performance of popular folk songs, beloved classical music and cherished holiday favorites.

MusicNOW: Obscure Clues and Shiny Objects

HARRIS THEATER AT MILLENNIUM PARK

Monday, December 2, 2019 — 7:00 p.m.

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Dec 2

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MusicNOW celebrates renowned composer Michael Gordon with a program featuring his chamber work Hyper and music by up-and-coming composers he has influenced. 

A Chanticleer Christmas

FOURTH PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

December 3 & 4, 2019 — 7:30 p.m.

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Dec 3 & 4

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Kick-start your holiday season with the Grammy®-winning male chorus, known around the world as “an orchestra of voices.” With the stunning gothic architecture of Chicago’s Fourth Presbyterian Church as a backdrop, Chanticleer performs Christmas music spanning centuries and continents with awe-inspiring clarity and precision.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Brass

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS SPECIALS

Wednesday, December 18, 2019 — 8:00 p.m.

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Dec 18

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Experience the staggering power and razor-sharp precision of the legendary brass section of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a program of traditional favorites and symphonic masterworks arranged for brass ensemble. 

Warner Bros. Presents Bugs Bunny at the Symphony

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS SPECIALS

Saturday, January 18, 2020 — 3:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

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Bring the whole family to Symphony Center for the beloved cartoons and classical music of Bugs Bunny at the Symphony. Celebrating 30 years of Bugs Bunny on the concert stage, this new edition of Looney Tunes and live orchestra includes old favorites like What’s Opera, Doc? and The Rabbit of Seville plus new 3D animated shorts Coyote Falls and Rabid Rider. Created by George Daugherty and David Ka Lik Wong.

Anne-Sophie Mutter

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS CHAMBER

Wednesday, January 22, 2020 — 7:30 p.m.

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Jan 22

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Anne-Sophie Mutter returns with her longtime collaborative pianist Lambert Orkis to perform three of Beethoven’s celebrated violin sonatas. Ranging from refreshing and sunny to sorrowful and full of anguish, each sonata reveals different facets of the composer’s psyche as he began to wrestle with increasing symptoms of deafness. 

NFM Wrocław Philharmonic Orchestra

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS ORCHESTRA

Saturday, January 25, 2020 — 7:30 p.m.

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Jan 25

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The NFM Wrocław Philharmonic Orchestra has been growing in international acclaim since the opening of its new concert hall, Poland’s National Forum of Music, and the appointment of music director Giancarlo Guerrero, “an authoritative conductor with confidence and flair” (Seen and Heard International). They perform Brahms’ sublime First Symphony and Bartók’s final completed work with Polish pianist Piotr Anderszewski, celebrated for his “intellectual power and keen imagination” (The Daily Telegraph).

Chinese New Year Celebration

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS SPECIALS

Sunday, January 26, 2020 — 3:00 p.m.

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Join us for a celebration of the Chinese New Year featuring traditional Chinese music and instruments. A dazzling event, perfect for the whole family!

Makaya Mccraven — In These Times — Featuring Marquis Hill, Jeff Parker, Junius Paul, Greg Ward & Brandee Younger

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS JAZZ

Friday, January 31, 2020 — 8:00 p.m.

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Jan 31

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Chicago-based drummer, producer and self-proclaimed “beat scientist” Makaya McCraven “has quietly become one of the best arguments for jazz’s vitality” (The New York Times). In a new work created for the SCP Jazz series and featuring a group of longtime collaborators, McCraven makes his Symphony Center debut with In These Times, which embraces socio-political themes, accompanied by historical footage and spoken-word passages.

Ordi Savall: Splendor of the Iberian Baroque

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS SPECIALS

Sunday, February 9, 2020 — 4:00 p.m.

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Feb 9

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One of the most versatile musical personalities of his generation, Jordi Savall has been researching, teaching and performing early music for more than 50 years. With an ensemble of period instruments, he brings to Symphony Center a rich program of rediscovered baroque gems from the Iberian Peninsula. “Jordi Savall testifies to a common cultural inheritance of infinite variety. He is a man for our time” (The Guardian).

The Piano Soul of Nat King Cole Featuring Jeff Lindberg’s Chicago Jazz Orchestra with Special Guests Kenny Barron, Benny Green & Russell Malone

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS JAZZ

Friday, February 14, 2020 — 8:00 p.m.

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Feb 14

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Before Nat King Cole emerged as one of America’s most popular singers, he was making waves as an influential jazz pianist and expert arranger in his adopted hometown of Chicago. Marking the 2019 centennial of Cole’s birth, this unique concert will celebrate his instrumental roots in a program created specifically for the Symphony Center Presents Jazz series.

Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS SPECIALS

Saturday, February 15, 2020 — 7:30 p.m.

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Mariachi Vargas' classic sound has captured the hearts of audiences everywhere for generations, earning the group the title "Greatest Mariachi in the World." Don't miss a "spirited, virtuosic and joyful" (The Ann Arbor News) performance that will captivate you from the first notes to the very last.

Yuja Wang

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS PIANO

Sunday, February 16, 2020 — 3:00 p.m.

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Feb 16

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Yuja Wang has captivated audiences around the world with her dazzling performances. Witness her charismatic artistry as she returns to Symphony Center in recital. “Wang’s combination of technical ease and sheer power has always been remarkable…but there is an ever-greater depth to her musicianship, drawing you into the world of each composer with compelling immediacy” (The Financial Times).

Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS JAZZ

Friday, February 28, 2020 — 8:00 p.m.

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Feb 28

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The music of South African pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim reflects the diverse influences of his Cape Town roots, an amalgam of traditional African songs, gospel and American jazz. Since founding South Africa’s first premier jazz group, the Jazz Epistles, and later being discovered by Duke Ellington, Ibrahim has recorded prolifically and become a leading figure in modern jazz. Recently awarded the title of NEA Jazz Master, he makes his Symphony Center debut with the celebrated septet Ekaya.

Daniil Trifonov

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS PIANO

Sunday, March 1, 2020 — 3:00 p.m.

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Mar 1

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Russian piano star Daniil Trifonov, acclaimed for his outstanding performances, returns to the Symphony Center Presents Piano series. “One was struck not only by Trifonov’s comprehensive technique and aptly gigantic sound but by the precision and sonic depth of his performance” (Chicago Tribune).

Ax, Kavakos & Ma

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS CHAMBER

Monday, March 2, 2020 — 7:30 p.m.

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Mar 2

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Three of today’s most extraordinary musicians come together again for an intimate and unforgettable performance of works by Beethoven. The trio returns after a sold-out 2018 appearance at Symphony Center that the Chicago Tribune praised as “warmly engaged and richly communicative… no wonder the fans erupted in an affirmative roar at the end. Chamber music playing doesn’t get any better than this.”

The Chieftains and Friends: The Irish Goodbye

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS SPECIALS

Friday, March 6, 2020 — 8:00 p.m.

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Mar 6

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Don’t miss the final Chicago appearance of the world’s most popular Irish traditional music group, The Chieftains, when the six-time Grammy® Award-winning ensemble returns to Symphony Center for a rollicking evening of foot-stomping folk songs.

SFJAZZ Collective Celebrates The 50th Anniversary of Miles Davis’ In a Silent Way and Sly & The Family Stone’s Stand! with Special Guest Dee Dee Bridgewater

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS JAZZ

Saturday, March 21, 2020 — 8:00 p.m.

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Mar 21

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With brand-new arrangements, the boldly innovative SFJAZZ Collective celebrates two landmark albums—both released in the year 1969—which became beacons of hope and possibility during a turbulent time in American history. In an SCP Jazz exclusive, the group is joined by three-time Grammy® winner Dee Dee Bridgewater, who brings her powerhouse vocals to this extraordinary collaboration.

MusicNOW: Ecstatic Science

HARRIS THEATER AT MILLENNIUM PARK

Monday, March 23, 2020 — 7:00 p.m.

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Mar 23

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Quince Vocal Quartet, “the Anonymous 4 of new music” (Opera News), performs the world premiere of a major new work by Courtney Bryan, composed specifically for Quince and musicians from the CSO, as well as works by Gilda Lyons, David Reminick and others.

Sir András Schiff

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS PIANO

Sunday, March 29, 2020 — 3:00 p.m.

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Mar 29

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Sir András Schiff has received overwhelming critical acclaim for his performances of Beethoven’s sonatas. He continues the complete Beethoven sonatas this season with a chronological presentation that includes the lyrical À Thérèse and the poignant Les Adieux (The Farewell), which Beethoven dedicated to his friend the Archduke Rudolph following his exile from Vienna by Napoléon Bonaparte.

Sir András Schiff

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS PIANO

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 — 8:00 p.m.

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Mar 31

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For Sir András Schiff, surveying the piano sonatas of Beethoven is “the most stupendous journey. They give a complete picture of how Beethoven developed through his creative life.” In this special evening recital, Schiff performs the four sonatas from 1801 that transition the composer into his more experimental middle period, including the famous Moonlight Sonata and the genial Pastoral Sonata.

Fly Higher: Charlie Parker @ 100 Featuring Rudresh Mahanthappa & Terri Lyne Carrington, Charenée Wade, Adam O’farrill, Kris Davis, Larry Grenadier & Dj Kassa Overall // Sean Jones Quartet

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS JAZZ

Friday, April 3, 2020 — 8:00 p.m.

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Apr 3

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One of the founding voices of bebop in the 1940s and ’50s, Charlie Parker reinvented jazz through his solos and compositions, creating an impact that endures to this day. Rudresh Mahanthappa, “jaw-dropping … one of the finest saxophonists going” (Pitchfork), and three-time Grammy® Award-winning drummer and producer Terri Lyne Carrington co-direct this tribute to “Bird.”

Sean Jones is one of the most in-demand trumpeters performing in jazz today. His quartet makes its Symphony Center debut in what promises to be “a convergence of virtuosity, musicality and sensitivity” (Chicago Tribune).

Mitsuko Uchida

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS PIANO

Sunday, April 5, 2020 — 3:00 p.m.

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Apr 5

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The Symphony Center Beethoven celebration continues as Mitsuko Uchida performs the composer’s adventurous DiabelliVariations and meditative Six Bagatelles. “Uchida’s performance of the Diabelli Variations became unbridled longing before a shimmering, tranquil conclusion. The audience knew it had been on a very special journey, and let it all soak in quietly before an instantaneous roar and standing ovation” (Chicago Classical Review).

Max Raabe & Palast Orchester: Dream a Little Dream

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS SPECIALS

Wednesday, April 15, 2020 — 8:00 p.m.

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Join the debonair Max Raabe and his Palast Orchester for an evening of vintage glamour and sophistication at Symphony Center. The Berlin-based crooner performs ballroom hits of the 1920s and '30s, along with original songs and a few modern surprises. "Max Raabe likes to party like it's 1929" (The New York Times).

ARTEMIS featuring Renee Rosnes, Anat Cohen, Melissa Aldana, Ingrid Jensen, Noriko Ueda & Allison Miller // Jazzmeia Horn

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS JAZZ

Friday, April 17, 2020 — 8:00 p.m.

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Apr 17

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All-female supergroup Artemis is comprised of six leading musicians hailing from four different continents. Performing bold takes on jazz standards and striking originals by the group’s members, the sextet brings a stunning level of passion, power and sensitivity to every concert.

With her Grammy®-nominated debut album, A Social Call, following a Thelonious Monk Competition victory, Jazzmeia Horn is “without a doubt among the jazz world’s most exciting young vocalists … her sound is explosive and bright and rich, catnip for audiences looking for boldness that’s still traditional” (Billboard).

Renée Fleming & Evgeny Kissin in Recital

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS SPECIALS

Sunday, April 19, 2020 — 3:00 p.m.

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Apr 19

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Two of the world’s most illustrious classical musicians join forces for an extraordinary one-night-only event. Legendary soprano and Lyric Opera of Chicago Creative Consultant Renée Fleming has dazzled opera audiences in leading roles around the world. Pianist and Chicago favorite Evgeny Kissin is internationally renowned for his astonishing virtuosity. They make a rare appearance together in recital at Symphony Center.

George Li

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS PIANO

Sunday, April 26, 2020 — 3:00 p.m.

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Apr 26

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Rising star George Li has rapidly established an international reputation for his brilliant virtuosity. He makes his Symphony Center debut with a program of glittering works by Haydn, Ravel and Schumann. “Li’s performance left no doubt that he combines staggering technical prowess, a sense of command and depth of expression” (The Washington Post).

Kurt Elling with Special Guests — Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Close Your Eyes

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS JAZZ

Friday, May 1, 2020 — 8:00 p.m.

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May 1

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Kurt Elling’s warm, rich baritone and four-octave range have earned him praise as “the standout male vocalist of our time” by The New York Times. With a group of special guests, he celebrates the 25th anniversary of his first Blue Note release Close Your Eyes, a record that revitalized the role of male vocalists within jazz and launched him from humble Chicago roots to international stardom.

Evgeny Kissin

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS PIANO

Sunday, May 10, 2020 — 3:00 p.m.

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May 10

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Russian superstar Evgeny Kissin, “the world’s most acclaimed classical pianist” (The Economist), continues Beethoven’s 250th birthday celebration with some of the composer’s most well-known piano works, including the heroic Waldstein Sonata and the exhilarating Eroica Variations, which Beethoven later reworked into the finale of the Eroica Symphony.

MusicNOW: Sounds from the Future: Musicians of the AACM

HARRIS THEATER AT MILLENNIUM PARK

Monday, May 18, 2020 — 7:00 p.m.

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May 18

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MusicNOW celebrates the 55th anniversary of Chicago’s own Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), founded in May 1965. The AACM pays homage to the diverse styles of expression within the body of Black Music in the US, Africa and throughout the world, an experience that extends from ancient traditions to futuristic sounds. On May 18, the CSO will honor the organization’s long history and its profound impact on modern music.

Igor Levit

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS PIANO

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 — 8:00 p.m.

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May 20

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Igor Levit, recipient of the 2018 Gilmore Artist Award, performs four of Beethoven’s magnificent sonatas as part of the season-long Beethoven celebration. He takes on probably the composer’s greatest and most difficult sonata, the monumental Hammerklavier. “From the very first note, Levit radically changed the atmospheric pressure in the hall…he hit the first note and the sheer depth and resonant sovereignty of his tone engulfed a monumental space” (Los Angeles Times).

Anoushka Shankar

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS SPECIALS

Friday, May 22, 2020 — 8:00 p.m.

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May 22

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Sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar is one of today's leading figures in Indian classical and progressive world music. She returns to Symphony Center for a tribute to her father and teacher, the late Ravi Shankar, in honor of his 100th birthday.

Maurizio Pollini

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS PIANO

Sunday, May 24, 2020 — 3:00 p.m.

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May 24

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Legendary pianist Maurizio Pollini brings the complete Beethoven Piano Sonata cycle at Symphony Center to a poignant close with the composer’s sublime final three sonatas. “Pollini’s immaculate performance of Beethoven’s final sonatas brought out the simmering undercurrents, the glinting colors, the swirling detail. A majestic, peerless performance” (The Guardian).

Joyce Didonato & Il Pomo d’Oro

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS CHAMBER

Sunday, May 31, 2020 — 3:00 p.m.

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May 31

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Entrancing mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato makes her Symphony Center Presents Chamber Music series debut alongside Il Pomo d’Oro, recognized around the world for the group's authentic and dynamic baroque and classical interpretations. Together they perform arias by Monteverdi, Gluck, Handel and Purcell. “DiDonato's instinctive feeling for the drama within each aria carried the day, enhanced at every turn by the wonderfully vivacious support she received from the fine young Pomo d’Oro” (Chicago Tribune).

Dianne Reeves Beleza Brazil

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS JAZZ

Friday, June 5, 2020 — 8:00 p.m.

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Jun 5

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NEA Jazz Master and five-time Grammy® Award winner Dianne Reeves has been called “the most admired jazz diva since the heyday of Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday” (The New York Times). With her new project Beleza Brazil, Reeves lends her breathtaking virtuosity and improvisational prowess to scintillating interpretations of samba and bossa nova favorites from such artists as Dori Caymmi and Antonio Carlos Jobim.

Denis Kozhukhin

SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS PIANO

Sunday, June 7, 2020 — 3:00 p.m.

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Jun 7

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Denis Kozhukhin makes his series debut with a high-spirited program, closing out the Symphony Center Presents Piano season with a recital performance of one of Gershwin’s most celebrated works. “Kozhukhin’s sensitivity to the shifting moods and diverse rhythms set the scene well for Rhapsody in Blue. Vibrant musical colors mingled with foot-tapping rhythms to create a concert finale of heady exhilaration” (Bachtrack).