In the first episode of this new podcast series, Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians explain how they work together with conductors to create energy and excellence in performance.

CSO musicians James Smelser (horn), Jennifer Gunn (flute and piccolo), Patricia Dash (percussion), Lawrence Neuman (viola), John Bruce Yeh (clarinet) and Esteban Batallán (trumpet) share behind-the-scenes stories and insight about the artistic excellence of Music Director Riccardo Muti; memories of how former Music Director Sir Georg Solti challenged musicians to raise standards, and how CSO players aim to turn each performance into a transformative experience. Musical excerpts include CSO recordings of works by Mahler, Brahms, Mozart, R. Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Liszt, Bruckner, Ravel, Smetana and Stravinsky. For more information, visit