On September 21, 1991, Daniel Barenboim officially began his tenure as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s ninth music director with a free concert at the Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park. Dedicated to the people of Chicago—more than 13,000 in attendance—the concert included a wide variety of music celebrating the city’s ethnic diversity and unique neighborhoods. Also in attendance were ninety-three former members of the Orchestra—veterans who had played under music directors back to Frederick Stock through Sir Georg Solti—representing the newly formed CSO Alumni Association.
The program began with Frederick Stock’s arrangement of The Star-Spangled Banner followed by Verdi’s Overture to La forza del destino; Dvořák’s Slavonic Dance in G minor, op. 46, no. 8; Brahms’s Hungarian Dance no. 1 in G minor; Moniuszko’s Mazurka from Halka; Grainger’s Irish Tune from County Derry; the final movement from Ginastera’s Estancia; Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries from Die Walküre; and Hailstork’s Celebration! The last programmed work was the fourth movement from Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 featuring soloists Tina Kiberg, Waltraud Meier, Jon Frederic West, and Robert Holl, along with the Chicago Symphony Chorus prepared by Margaret Hillis.
Following the Beethoven, Barenboim returned to the podium for two encores: Morton Gould’s arrangement of Fred Fisher’s “Chicago,” featuring CSO principal clarinet Larry Combs, and John Philip Sousa’s The Stars and Stripes Forever.
Image above: Daniel Barenboim on the podium, September 21, 1991 (Jim Steere photo)
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