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Charles Dutoit, keeping the French tradition alive

Ask Charles Dutoit about his recent activities, and he ticks off a long list of engagements with major orchestras around…


Scriabin in search of life’s spiritual pulse in his ‘Poem of Ecstasy’

When Alexander Scriabin set out to write his fourth symphony, he was deeply immersed in the Theosophical movement that had…


Gershwin scores big in second period, but Hawks miss assist from Ravel in third

Symphony seasons, planned years in advance, unfold with a certainty that challenges the surprise victories and “if necessary” match-ups of…


Pianist Orion Weiss likes to keep it different

It’s hard to imagine legendary piano virtuosos like Arthur Rubinstein or Rudolf Serkin teaming up with the Salzburg Marionette Theatre,…


Pondering the enigma of Mahler’s Symphony No. 7

Just a cursory look at the commentaries on Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 in E Minor, and one has the immediate…


Anton Bruckner, in search of the perfect score

Is it wrong to wish Anton Bruckner had been a little more stubborn? Certainly it would have simplified the work…


Anna Clyne revives an honored guest, with Yeats set to frets for ‘The Seamstress’

William Butler Yeats’ poem “A Coat” gave Anna Clyne “a brushstroke of an idea” for her violin concerto The Seamstress. “It’s an experiment for me,” says Clyne, the CSO’s Mead co-composer in residence, of the work, which will receive its world premiere May 28, with Jennifer Koh as soloist.


Hear the CSO’s majesty in Ravel’s ‘Rapsodie espagnole’

In this video short, guest conductor Charles Dutoit leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Ravel’s Rapsodie espagnole, as part of…


When it comes to Rachmaninov, Daniil Trifonov votes for the First

At 24, young virtuoso Daniil Trifonov has already conquered most of the Russian piano repertoire. But he’s just recently gotten…


Jan Swafford’s ‘Beethoven’ searches for the man behind the myth

After writing well-received biographies of Charles Ives and Johannes Brahms, Jan Swafford took on the challenge more than a decade…


Daniil Trifonov makes a case for Rach 1

Daniil Trifonov, who performs Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 1 this week with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, champions this work. “It…