Symphony Center Presents brings a diverse array of superb ensembles and solo artists in innovative and exciting programming across its variety of series: Piano, Chamber Music, Jazz, Orchestra, MusicNOW and Special Concerts.
Returning favorites (Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Evgeny Kissin, Olli Mustonene, Garrick Ohlsson, Murray Perahia, Maurizio Pollini and Sir András Schiff) and newcomers (Alexandre Tharaud, Cedric Tiberghien and Orli Shaham) in a series consisting of 10 Sunday matinees:
Maurizio Pollini, Oct. 26, program will be announced at a later date.
Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Nov. 9, in Book I of J.S. Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier.
Garrick Ohlsson, Jan. 25, 2015, in a Scriabin-focused program.
Olli Mustonen, Feb. 22, in a program that mirrors the CSO’s season focus of Tchaikovsky and Scriabin, along with his own Jehkin Iivana, a work inspired by mystical Nordic legends.
Sir András Schiff, March 8, late sonatas by Austrian and German classical masters, including Haydn’s Sonata in C Major, Hob. XVI:50; Beethoven’s Sonata No. 30 in E Major, Op. 109; Mozart’s Sonata in C Major, K. 545, and Schubert’s Sonata in C Minor, D. 958.
Murray Perahia, March 22, program to be announced.
Evgeny Kissin, April 19, in Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 21 (Waldstein), Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 4 in C Minor and selected Preludes by Rachmaninov.
Cédric Tiberghien, May 3, in Debussy’s D’un cahier d’esquisses and L’isle joyeuse, Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit and Szymanowski’s Masks.
Alexandre Tharaud, May 10, in works by Ravel, Couperin, Rameau and Satie.
Orli Shaham, May 31, in works including Bach’s Partita No. 1 in B-Flat Major; Schubert’s Impromptu in G-Flat Major, D. 899; Schoenberg’s Six Little Piano Pieces, Op. 19, and Bruce Adolph’s My Inner Brahms.
CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES
Five concerts, including the SCP series debut of the Takács Quartet:
The Takács Quartet, Oct. 16, in Haydn’s String Quartet in B-Flat Major, Op. 64, No 3; Debussy’s String Quartet, and with pianist Marc-André Hamelin, Franck’s Piano Quintet.
Anne-Sophie Mutter, Nov. 19, the violinist performs with her chamber orchestra, Mutter Virtuosi, in Sebastian Currier’s Ringtones, Mendelssohn’s Octet and Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.
Gil Shaham, March 1, 2015, in J.S. Bach’s complete Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, accompanied by video projections by David Michalek.
Hilary Hahn, April 12, in works for solo violin.
Yo-Yo Ma, May 17, the superstar cellist and CSO Judson and Joyce Green creative consultant is joined by musicians of the CSO in a French-themed program.
Three internationally acclaimed ensembles in their SCP debuts, led by their music directors:
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Oct. 18, led by Vladimir Jurowski, in works inspired by musical heroes: Magnus Lindberg’s haunting Chorale, based on a Bach cantata; Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, with pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 8.
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Feb. 20, 2015, led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin (photo above) in his long-awaited Chicago debut, performing Rudolph Escher’s Musique pour l’esprit en deuil (“Music for the Spirit in Mourning”), Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 and Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major with soloist Hélène Grimaud.
Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, April 24, led by Myung-Whun Chung, a program including Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 (Emperor) with Sunwook Kim.
MusicNOW, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s new music series, offers innovative works by some of today’s most prominent composers and young artists. Curated by the CSO’s Mead Composers-in-Residence Mason Bates and Anna Clyne, MusicNOW will present four concerts at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. Cliff Colnot, series’ principal conductor, will lead two of the season’s programs, which are scheduled for Sept. 29; Jan. 19, 2015; March 23 and June 1. Complete programming details will be announced at a later date.
Non-subscription concerts showcasing world music, jazz, folk, holiday and family programs.
Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, Sept. 28, Mexico’s best known ranchera ensemble returns for its annual SCP engagement.
Chris Thile and Edgar Meyer, Oct. 17, the mandolinist and double bassist in a program of original folk/roots music.
NCPA Orchestra, Nov. 2, resident in Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts, the ensemble will perform Qigang Chen’s Wu Xing (Five Elements), Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7 and Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major with soloist Yuja Wang.
Mazowsze, Nov. 5, since 1950, the State Song and Dance Ensemble of Poland has celebrated and preserved this nation’s traditional folk repertoire and heritage.
Vienna Boys Choir, Nov. 29, An annual Thanksgiving-weekend delight, the Vienna Boys Choir returns to Chicago for a joyful performance to herald the start of the holiday season. Founded more than 500 years ago, the beloved choir has worked with such musical luminaries as Mozart, Gluck and Bruckner, and it once counted Franz Schubert as one of its singers. Today’s ensemble consists of choristers between the ages of 10 and 14 who tour throughout Europe, Asia and North America and perform more than 300 concerts in front of nearly half a million people each year. (November 29)
Chanticleer, Dec. 2-3, returns to Chicago for its annual holiday performances of A Chanticleer Christmas at Fourth Presbyterian Church, located along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. Based in San Francisco, the 12-voice male a cappella ensemble has developed a remarkable reputation as “an orchestra of voices,” and the group’s Christmas concert provides a pleasing and joyous variety of celebratory music spanning plainsong, Renaissance, liturgical, traditional, jazz, contemporary and gospel. Undeniably one of the world’s foremost vocal ensembles and a recipient of multiple Grammy Awards, Chanticleer was named 2008 Ensemble of the Year by Musical America, the first time a vocal group had been so recognized. (December 2 and 3)
The Chieftains, Dec. 7, the official musical ambassadors of Eire in a Christmas-themed program.
Welcome Yule!, Dec. 13-23, the annual holiday revue, conducted and conceived by Duain Wolfe, will mark its 20th anniversary in 2014/15.
CSO Brass, Dec. 18, in their annual appearance with a program of traditional favorites and symphonic masterworks arranged for brass ensemble.
Silk Road Ensemble, March 6, 2015, founded by Yo-Yo Ma “to explore the multicultural reality of our global society,” the group celebrates its 15th anniversary.
Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Tamara Stefanovich, March 15, the pianists perform a tribute to their longtime mentor and collaborator, Pierre Boulez.
Kodo, March 16, the taiko ensemble has revolutionized the art of traditional Japanese drumming.
Max Raabe and Palast Orchester, April 8, in cabaret music of the 1920s and 1930s.
Ahmad Jamal, Oct. 10: A recipient of the Kennedy Center’s Living Jazz Legend Award and an NEA Jazz Master, the pianist (who turns 84 in July) returns to the city where he made his name in the 1950s.
The Django Festival All-Stars, Oct. 24: Led by guitarist-violinist Dorado Schmitt, the band celebrates the legacy of legendary guitarist Django Reinhardt (1910-1953). Joining the group will be clarinetist Ken Peplowski, a master of klezmer and Benny Goodman-style swing. Vocalist Cyrille Aimée opens the program.
Kenny Barron and Dave Holland, Dec. 5: The acclaimed pianist and bassist perform as a duo. Opening the concert will be the acoustic guitar duo of jazz master Julian Lage and bluegrass specialist Chris Eldridge.
Eddie Palmieri Latin Jazz Band, Jan. 16, 2015: Returning to Symphony Center for the first time since 1998, the legendary pianist-bandleader (and NEA Jazz Master) shows no sign of slowing down at age 77 in a career that stretches back to the 1950s. Opening the night will be bassist Carlos Henriquez (a lecturer in jazz studies at Northwestern University) leading with his own quintet.
Dianne Reeves, Jan. 30: Backed by a jazz ensemble, the vocalist will perform selections from her latest release, “Beautiful Life” (2014), her first in five years and her first on the label Concord Jazz. The disc features standards from the great American songbook, as well as contemporary ballads by pop-rock writers Stevie Nicks and Ani DiFranco and numbers co-written by Reeves herself.
Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Feb. 13: The composer-trumpeter-bandleader returns for his annual visit, which will be augmented by two special non-subscription concerts Feb. 14. In the accompanying video (shot by photographer Todd Rosenberg), Marsalis discusses his longtime bond with Chicago and Symphony Center.
Butler, Bernstein and the Hot 9, Feb. 27: The musical bonds between Chicago and New Orleans will come marching in when trumpeter Steven Bernstein, pianist Henry Butler and their Hot 9 ensemble celebrate the legacy of two great cities. Chicago-based vocalist Dee Alexander opens the evening.
Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea, April 17: The keyboard greats and longtime friends/collaborators will perform with their own bands — and perhaps together.
Ibrahim Maalouf Quintet, May 15: The Beirut-born, Paris-based trumpeter and world-music fusionist will perform with his American-staffed quintet and will be joined by special guest pianist Jacky Terrasson. Opening the program will be French pianist Jean-Michel Pilc.
Dana Hall Quintet in “The Hypocrisy of Justice,” June 19: Performing with his quintet, the drummer-composer will combine music, visual imagery and the spoken word for “The Hypocrisy of Justice: Sights and Sounds from the Black Metropolis (Riffin’ and Signifyin(g) on Richard Wright’s Native Son).” Commissioned by SCP Jazz, the work reflects on the changes that have shaped American society in the years since 1930, as well as changes still needed. “It ties in Wright’s sociological/philosophical ideas regarding a so-called Black Metropolis, an idea with sustained relevance in these modern times,” Hall says.
Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette, Oct. 19:, The three jazz lions, who celebrated their 30th anniversary as a trio in 2013, return for their first Symphony Center concert in three years.
Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra: Along with their Feb. 13 subscription concert, the ensemble will two perform two programs on Feb. 14, a Jazz for Young People matinee and an evening concert with a special guest artist to be announced.