Chinese New Year is just weeks away, on Feb. 16, and with it begins the Year of the Dog. The Chinese zodiac moves in a 12-year cycle, and an animal represents each of the 12 years. The dog, the eleventh animal in Chinese zodiac, symbolizes loyalty and honesty. The most recent Dog Years have been 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970, 1958, 1946 and 1934. People born in the Year of the Dog possess the best traits of human nature. They are said to be honest, friendly, faithful, loyal, smart, straightforward, venerable and responsible.

Among the many classical music composers once born in the Year of the Dog are Samuel Barber and William Schuman (1910), Arnold Schoenberg and Gustav Holst (1874), Claude Debussy (1862) and Georges Bizet (1838).

Symphony Center Presents once again offers a Chinese New Year concert, this year on Feb. 17 at 3 p.m., featuring the Chongqing Chuanju Opera Theatre and the Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra, with pre-concert activities at 1:45 to 2:30 p.m. in Buntrock Hall.

And it will remain the Year of the Dog throughout 2018 at Symphony Center, with the following composers programmed for this season: Barber, Second Essay for Orchestra, Op. 17, on March 25 (Civic Orchestra of Chicago), and Debussy, La mer, March 8-10; (orch. Ravel) Sarabande and Danse, April 5-7, and Sacred and Profane Dances, and Nocturnes, April 19-21 (all CSO performances).

Happy Year of the Dog!