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And they’re off! Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians, staffers and patrons flew from O’Hare to Paris for the orchestra’s first stop on its European Tour 2017, consisting of 11 concerts in seven cities from Jan. 13 to 27. It marks the CSO’s sixth European trip with Riccardo Muti, the orchestra’s 33rd tour to Europe over all and the 60th international tour in the ensemble’s history. After Paris, the CSO travels to Hamburg, Germany; Aalborg, Denmark; Milan, Italy; Vienna, Austria, and Baden-Baden and Frankfurt, Germany.

Among the tour’s milestones: the CSO’s first-ever performances at the new Philharmonie de Paris; concerts at Hamburg’s newly opened Elbphilharmonie; the CSO’s debut at Aalborg’s Musikkens Hus, and a return to Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, for the CSO’s first appearances there since 1981. While on tour, the CSO and Muti will perform Hindemith’s Concert Music for String Orchestra and Brass, Elgar’s In the South (Alassio), Mussorgsky’s A Night on Bald Mountain and Pictures from an Exhibition (the latter in Ravel’s orchestration), Strauss’ Don Juan, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 and Catalani’s Contemplazione.

For more details, go to the tour page on and be sure to check for frequent updates here on Sounds & Stories, the CSO’s Facebook page and other social media outlets, including Twitter and Instagram.