His appointment was announced June 27 by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association and the CSO’s Negaunee Music Institute, which oversees the Civic. Founded in 1919 as the training arm of the CSO, the Civic is celebrating its centennial through next season. Masur, who has led the Civic in concerts over the last three seasons, also is the incoming music director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
“It is a great joy and privilege for me to begin serving as principal conductor of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, an orchestra that is nurtured by a collaboration among the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, its Negaunee Music Institute and the many guest conductors and artists who care for the program each year,” Masur said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the talented young musicians who make up this storied ensemble as the program enters its second century of great music-making in service to its community.”
During the Civic’s 2019-20 season, Masur will have three weeklong residencies, including four concerts in Orchestra Hall, as well as a concert at the South Shore Cultural Center and a Chicago Public Schools event. He also will conduct the rescheduled Civic Centennial Celebration Benefit Concert featuring Yo-Yo Ma in Dvořák’s Cello Concerto on March 1 at Orchestra Hall.
Along with conducting select Civic Orchestra concerts, Masur will guide artistic planning, work with CSO musicians who serve as Civic coaches and lead special projects aimed at engaging diverse communities at Symphony Center and throughout the city.
“Since his podium debut in 2016-17, Maestro Masur has made an overwhelmingly positive impression on the entire Civic Orchestra family,” said Jonathan McCormick, director of education and the Negaunee Music Institute. “His outstanding musicianship, generous spirit and effectiveness as an educator and mentor have enriched the training of Civic Orchestra members and the music they make for audiences across Chicago. We are thrilled to have this opportunity to work with him more deeply.”
Now concluding his role as associate conductor with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Masur recently stepped into two programs this spring to replace Gustavo Dudamel on a day’s notice to lead the BSO. Last summer, Masur made his CSO debut at Ravinia, and this summer, he will lead several events at Tanglewood, including a concert featuring a new work by Augusta Read Thomas as part of the opening of the Tanglewood Learning Institute. He previously has led the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, Munich Symphony, L’Orchestre National de France in Paris and National Philharmonic of Russia, among many other ensembles.
Masur and his wife, pianist Melinda Lee Masur, are founders and artistic directors of the Chelsea Music Festival, an annual summer festival of music, art and cuisine, which earlier this month presented its 10th season in New York. Masur received a Grammy nomination from the Latin Recording Academy in the category of best classical album for his work as a producer of the disc “Salon Buenos Aires.” Additionally, he recently made recordings with the English Chamber Orchestra and violinist Fanny Clamagirand, as well as with the Stavanger Symphony.
TOP: Ken-David Masur leads the Civic Orchestra of Chicago in concert on May 12. | ©Todd Rosenberg Photography 2019