In 1957 when Bruno Walter—a frequent and beloved guest conductor as well as a highly regarded Mozart specialist—informed CSO management that his March 1958 appearances would be his last in Chicago, Eric Oldberg, president of The Orchestral Association, insisted that he should conduct the composer’s Requiem with the newly formed Chicago Symphony Chorus, prepared by its founder, Margaret Hillis.

Read more: Mozart’s Requiem and an auspicious debut