Along with classical music, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association annually presents hundreds of concerts, including jazz, world music and new music, and single tickets for all CSOA-presented events for the 2014/15 season will go on sale at 10 a.m. Aug. 12 online at cso.org, by phone (312) 294-3000 or in person at the Symphony Center box office, 220 S. Michigan.
Earlier this summer, single tickets became available for certain fall and holiday concerts, but now the entire season is open for non-subscription purchases. Along with launching single-ticket sales, the CSOA also announced programming updates, repertoire details and additional concerts. All concerts are at Symphony Center, unless otherwise noted.
Chinese New Year Celebration, Jan. 29: In what has become an annual tradition, Symphony Center Presents offers a Chinese New Year celebration featuring traditional and contemporary Chinese music. This year’s program includes The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto by 20th century Chinese composers He Zhanhao and Chen Gang, performed by the Civic Orchestra of Chicago with CSO Concertmaster Robert Chen as soloist. This SCP Special Concert also features a guest ensemble direct from China performing on traditional Chinese instruments.
Seven Last Words, Feb. 17: This is the rescheduled date for a one-night-only performance by CSO members and Riccardo Muti at Holy Name Cathedral, 735 N. State, in Haydn’s The Seven Last Words of Our Savior on the Cross, a nine-movement orchestral work that recounts Christ’s final moments. The performance, which begins at 7:30 p.m., also features the Most Reverend Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, who will offer reflections between the work’s movements. The CSO will donate a portion of this concert’s ticket revenue to Holy Name Cathedral to support its faith and outreach programs. General admission tickets are $75 apiece.
Mavis Staples, Feb. 17: This SCP Special Concert features the Grammy-winning singer, best known for her extensive career in gospel, soul and R&B. As a civil rights activist, she has collaborated with artists ranging from Bob Dylan to Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy. Her 15th studio album, “Livin’ on a High Note,” was released in February.
KODO, Feb. 26: The Japanese percussion ensemble will appear in an SCP Special Concert to perform its new show Dadan: 2017, a mix of traditional Japanese music, compositions from collaborators, and some music written by KODO members themselves, which recall the sights and sounds of their native Sado Island in Japan.
Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn; the Del McCoury Band, May 12: Acclaimed banjo players Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn and opening act the Del McCoury Band appear in an SCP Special Concert. The Grammy-winning, husband-and-wife duo of Fleck and Washburn will perform songs inspired by Appalachian ballads, gospel music, blues and chamber music. Opening for the duo will be the Grammy-winning bluegrass group the Del McCoury Band in selections and hits from the band’s long history of recording and performance.
CSO CHAMBER AT THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO
This Sunday matinee series at the Art Institute’s Fullerton Hall features CSO members in music by 11 composers spanning three centuries. All concerts are at 2 p.m.
Soviet Images & Russian Sounds, Oct. 23: The Meridian String Quartet (Cornelius Chiu, violin; Kozue Funakoshi, violin; Danny Lai, viola; Daniel Katz, cello) performs Prokofiev’s String Quartet No. 2 (Kabardinian) and Bartók’s String Quartet No. 4.
Our Kind of Town, Feb. 12: The Pressenda Trio (David Taylor, violin; Gary Stucka, cello; Andrea Swan, guest pianist) performs Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 1, Robert Muczynski’s Cello Sonata and Brahms’ Piano Trio No. 1.
Contemporary Core, March 12: The Burnham Chamber Ensemble (Susan Synnestvedt, violin; Kozue Funakoshi, violin; Diane Mues, viola; Loren Brown, cello; Andrea Swan, guest pianist) performs John Adams’ John’s Book of Alleged Dances and Dvořák’s Piano Quintet No. 2.
Música del Sur, April 9: The Civitas Ensemble (Yuan-Qing Yu, violin; Youming Chen, viola; Kenneth Olsen, cello; J. Lawrie Bloom, clarinet; Winston Choi, guest pianist) performs Osvaldo Golijov’s The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind and Astor Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons for piano trio.
Thoroughly Modern, June 11: The Oberon Ensemble (Lei Hou, violin; Catherine Brubaker, viola; Karen Basrak; cello; Victor Asuncion, guest pianist) performs Hindemith’s Viola Sonata Op. 11, No. 4, Mahler’s Piano Quartet and Dvořák’s Piano Quartet No. 2.
ALL-ACCESS CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES
Featuring CSO musicians in personally curated programs, this free series expands to three venues on Chicago’s South Side, as well as continuing at Symphony Center’s Buntrock Hall.
Concerts are Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 6:30 p.m. at Symphony Center’s Buntrock Hall, 220 S. Michigan; Sunday, Nov. 13 at 3 p.m. at the South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Dr.; Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at Buntrock Hall; Sunday, April 2 at 3 p.m. at Kenwood Academy, 5015 S. Blackstone; Sunday, May 21 at 3 p.m. at the David and Reva Logan Center of the Arts at the University of Chicago, 915 E 60th St.; Wednesday, June 7 at 6:30 p.m. at Buntrock Hall.
Tickets are not required for the performances at the South Shore Cultural Center, Kenwood Academy or the Logan Center; tickets are required for all concerts at Symphony Center’s Buntrock Hall. Tickets can be reserved by phone at (312) 294-3000, in person at the Symphony Center Box Office (220 S. Michigan) or online at cso.org.
All MusicNOW concerts are at 7 p.m. Mondays at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 206 E. Randolph.
Oct. 10: Composer Marc Mellits’ Splinter and New York-based composer Sam Pluta’s Tile Mosaic (After Chagall) have been added to the program.
Nov. 21: The 80th birthday of American composer Steve Reich is the focus, with Alan Pierson conducting CSO musicians in Reich’s Proverb, with musicians from the Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music. Next will be Reich’s three-movement work for string quartet and tape, Different Trains, which reflects on the role of train travel in Europe during World War II, as well as Reich’s own frequent childhood train trips across the United States. The program closes with the composer’s Double Sextet.
April 3: Titled “Illuminating Boulez,” the third concert features three works by the composer-conductor, who died in January: Memoriale (…explosance-fixe… Originel), Anthèmes 2 and Messagesquisse, along with the world premieres of two MusicNOW commissions from Chicago-based composer Marcos Balter and American composer Pauline Oliveros.
Programming details of the fourth MusicNOW concert will be announced at a later date.