Music returns to Symphony Center with the launch this fall of CSO Sessions, a series of on-demand, high-definition video streams of chamber-music concerts featuring Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians.
Filmed in Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center, the series will premiere on Oct. 1 and marks the official opening of the CSO’s 2020-21 season, the ensemble’s 130th. Curated with artistic guidance from Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti, episodes will be streamed on demand via CSOtv, a new portal on cso.org for free and premium video content. CSOtv is accessible via desktop computers, laptops, tablets or mobile phones, with additional options to cast the streams to a compatible television from a preferred device.
Each premium episode will cost $15 to stream, with a 20 percent discount for a bundle of three or more episodes. Programming details for the first five CSO Sessions will be announced Sept. 17 on cso.org/tv, with access on sale beginning on the same date. The episodes, which will debut each Thursday at 12:01 a.m. (Central), will be available for on-demand streaming for 30 days afterward. The series will continue with new episodes premiering weekly on CSOtv throughout 2020.
Along with the premium CSO Sessions, CSOtv will offer free videos of archival performances, children’s programs, jazz concerts and piano recitals. These latest initiatives build on the success of CSO From Home, a collection of digital content designed to help keep music in patrons’ lives after the COVID-19 health crisis curtailed live concerts at Symphony Center.
CSO Sessions, which offers online audiences worldwide a front-row seat to the exceptional artistry of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, will feature chamber-music works from the 17th to the 21st century by Mozart, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Nielsen and others, performed by CSO duos to octets, as well as by smaller string, wind and brass ensembles. CSO musicians will serve as hosts for each episode.
Following public-safety protocols, CSO musicians will perform in socially distanced configurations in Orchestra Hall, with string musicians wearing masks during performances. While current government and public health restrictions do not allow for large audiences to attend performances at Symphony Center, the CSOA is monitoring the situation to determine future programming scenarios, including smaller-scale live performances.
Additional information about viewing and accessing premium videos is available at cso.org/tv. Patron Services representatives also are available by web chat at cso.org, by phone at (312) 294-3000 (Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) or by email at email@example.com.
TOP: The Lincoln String Quartet, featuring members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, perform on the stage of Symphony Center. | ©Todd Rosenberg Photography 2020