The CSO’s 2017-18 season showcases the unparalleled talents of the CSO’s own musicians and composers, with three world premieres, all conducted by Riccardo Muti:
● Sept. 28-29 and Oct. 1: A composition by CSO Mead Composer-in-Residence Elizabeth Ogonek will be her first CSO-commissioned work to be performed by Muti and the orchestra. The work is underwritten by the Louise Durham Mead Fund.
● Feb. 1-3: A concerto for the CSO’s acclaimed low brass section by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon, known for her distinctive orchestral works. This concerto, supported by the Edward F. Schmidt Family Commissioning Fund, is Higdon’s first CSO commission. It will receive its world premiere during the CSO’s East Coast tour in February.
● March 22-24: Inspired by the poetry of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Three Lisel Müller Settings for mezzo-soprano and orchestra was written by CSO viola and composer Max Raimi and features soloist Elizabeth DeShong in her CSO debut. The work is supported by a grant from the Chicago-based Poetry Foundation.
In addition to world premieres, the CSO will perform seven works for the first time during the 2017-18 season:
● June 7-9, Boccherini’s Symphony No. 6 in D Minor, G. 506, Op. 12 No. 4 (La casa del diavolo).
● May 3-5, Bruch’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra, Op. 88a.
● June 21-24, Cherubini’s Chant sur la mort de Joseph Haydn.
● Oct. 5-7, Gounod’s Saint Cecilia Mass.
● Sept. 23 and 26, Penderecki’s The Awakening of Jacob.
● Nov. 16-18 and 21, Puccini’s Preludio sinfonico.
● June 7-9, Vivaldi’s Mandolin Concerto in C Major, RV 425.
Fifteen guest artists will make their debuts with the CSO during the 2017-18 season:
● Giovanni Antonini, June 7-9: Founder of the innovative early music ensemble Il Giardino Armonico, the Italian conductor appears as conductor and flautino soloist in a program of virtuoso concertos and symphonies.
● Avi Avital, June 7-9: The Grammy-nominated, Israeli mandolinist performs in a program of concertos by Vivaldi and Bach.
● Paul Appleby, March 22-24: One of today’s rising opera stars, the American tenor (and Chicago native) is a soloist in Schubert’s Mass No. 6.
● Jiří Bělohlávek, Dec. 7-9 and 12: Chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the Czech-born maestro offers a program of music by fellow countrymen Dvořák and Smetana, followed by Barber’s Cello Concerto with soloist Alisa Weilerstein.
● Keith Buncke, Jan. 18 and 20: Appointed to his CSO position of principal bassoon in 2015, he makes his CSO solo debut in Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto.
● Elizabeth DeShong, March 22-24: The American mezzo-soprano, currently appearing as Adalgisa in Norma at Lyric Opera of Chicago, is soloist in the world premiere of Three Lisel Müller Settings, Max Raimi’s new work for voice and orchestra.
● Nahuel di Pierro, March 22-34: The Argentine bass, who sings regularly at the Royal Opera House and the Paris Opéra, appears as a soloist in Schubert’s Mass No. 6.
● Isabelle Faust, May 11-12 and 15: The award-winning violinist, who has captivated Europe with her technical precision and musical intelligence, brings her unique voice to Schumann’s Violin Concerto.
● Andrew Foster-Williams, Oct. 5-7: The American bass-baritone, known for his broad repertoire ranging from Bach to Mozart to Stravinsky, is a soloist in Gounod’s Saint Cecilia Mass.
● Dmitry Korchak, June 21-24: Currently starring in the Metropolitan Opera’s The Barber of Seville, and lauded in general for his work in Rossini, the Russian tenor makes his CSO debut in Rossini’s Stabat mater.
● Clémentine Margaine, Feb. 1-3: After debuts this season at Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Metropolitan Opera, the French mezzo will appear in Chausson’s seductive Poem of Love and the Sea, conducted by Riccardo Muti.
● Paul Neubauer, March 15-17: Hailed by the New York Times as “a master musician,” the American violist makes his CSO debut in Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante, alongside CSO Concertmaster Robert Chen.
● Sandrine Piau, Oct. 5-7: An acclaimed figure in the realm of Baroque music as well as the lyric repertoire, the French soprano is among the featured soloists in Gounod’s Saint Cecilia Mass and Poulenc’s Gloria.
● John Storgårds, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1-3: The Finnish conductor, who’s principal guest conductor of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, makes his CSO debut with music by fellow countryman Jean Sibelius.
● Gilles Vonsattel, March 29-31: The Swiss-born American pianist will be the soloist in Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2 (The Age of Anxiety).
TOP: The CSO’s low brass section, shown on tour. | Todd Rosenberg Photography