Every fall, League members fall in love. That is, we fall in love with music. We work together under the leadership of creative co-chairs and a committee of dedicated souls to put on the Fall in Love With Music event, introduced in 2010 as a fund-raiser for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association. Each year since then, we insist this is the best one ever. And each year, that is true.

So it was on Oct. 19, when Carol Brosk and Eileen Conaghan co-chaired a glorious event attended by 148 people at the historic University Club of Chicago. Organized by 37 committee members and Kayleigh Dudevoir, our skillful CSOA project manager, the event featured a delicious dinner, offered a program that entertained and educated, provided ample time to socialize and resulted in a successful fund-raising outcome.

The evening began with a cocktail hour, which was packed with League members and guests. Many milled around, chatting about the amazing concert they had heard that afternoon at Symphony Center, when guest conductor Marin Alsop led the CSO in a dynamic program consisting of Mantovani’s world-premiere work Threnos, Copland’s Symphony No. 3 and the electrifying, world-renowned pianist Daniil Trifonov as soloist in Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3.

Cristina Rocca, CSO vice president for artistic planning, moderated an engaging discussion with Marin Alsop, the first female music director of a major U.S. orchestra, and Bruno Mantovani, an award-winning, French-born composer whose CSO-commissioned Threnos received its world premiere the night before. Questions and comments flowed, as we learned about their career paths, family backgrounds and relationships with each other. Both artists spoke of their love of music, the challenges of conducting and composing, humorous experiences and their passion for creating a bond between music and the audience.

After the discussion, attendees were treated to viola duets composed by Max Raimi, which he and fellow CSO violist Danny Lai performed. The works were enthusiastically received, especially the duet Dayanu, which added to the joyful mood.

Mutual affection between the League and CSOA President Jeff Alexander, who graciously welcomed the crowd, is always evident. Another special touch was having Danill Trifonov, recently named Artist of the Year by Musical America, and his wife, Judith Ramirez, join the attendees for the dinner.

The delicious dinner featuring médaillons of chicken piccata was sponsored by Carol and Joel Brosk, Hazel Fackler, the Julian Family Foundation and an anonymous donor. Fall centerpieces of flowers and fruit added to the event’s elegant atmosphere.

The Fall in Love With Music event launched the League’s 2018-2019 season of varied activities designed to uphold its central mission of supporting the goals of the CSOA by promoting an appreciation for symphonic music, encouraging a commitment to music education and raising funds for the CSO. The event’s proceeds strengthen the many educational and outreach programs supported by the League. This year, the League exceeded its goal of $55,000, due to sponsorship opportunities and strong attendance. In actuality, the event raised $56,523, thanks to in-kind gifts.

We all look forward to next fall, when we fall in love with music once again!

TOP: Bruno Mantovani (from left), Cristina Rocca and Marin Alsop at the League’s Fall in Love With Music fund-raiser. | Photo: ©Bob Kusel 2018