While Game 1 of the World Series got under way at another place in Kansas City named Kauffman, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Riccardo Muti played the first program of their own weeklong championship run: a three-city U.S. tour, with additional stops in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Chapel Hill, N.C.
Nicknamed “The Barbecue Tour” (in homage to KC’s famed food speciality), the tour kicked off Oct. 27 at Helzberg Hall of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, with Muti leading the CSO in Beethoven’s Fifth and Mahler’s First. The concert was an unqualified triumph, according to a review in the Kansas City Star: “Renowned music director Riccardo Muti conducted from the score with authority and nuance, his astute gestures guiding the responsive ensemble, while adjusting the sound in the unfamiliar hall. And what a sound it was. At full power it was muscular, fortified, chiseled, an acoustic force, yet experienced viscerally as more of an intense pressure than a volume level.”
At the Helzberg, the proceedings went much more smoothly than over at Kauffman Stadium, where technical difficulties resulted in a four-minute TV blackout of the World Series. The game stretched into extra innings, and after the concert, CSO musicians gathered around TVs to catch the finale, with the Kansas City Royals eking out a 5-4 win over the New York Mets. The victory amounted to a special homecoming for CSO bassoonist Miles Maner, who came to Chicago from the Kansas City Symphony.
Next up for the CSO: Game — make that program — 2 at the historic Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor, on Thursday, Oct. 29.
To view photos by Todd Rosenberg of the tour and concert, click on the red VIEW GALLERY tab above.