You may know his work if you are a frequent visitor to Symphony Center, but some still might not be aware of another great artist who is part of the CSOA family: Todd Rosenberg. He has photographed the CSO and events at Symphony Center for 17 seasons, and he has toured with the CSO since 2005. We asked him to pick 10 of his favorite photos taken for the CSOA in 2014, and to tell us a bit about each. (To see the images, click on the red VIEW GALLERY tab above.)
A well-known photographer, Todd also is appreciated by many other clients, including Lyric Opera of Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, the Second City, Lincoln Park Zoo, Sports Illustrated and the National Football League. Learn more about him at his website and on Instagram.
Following are Todd’s comments:
1. The beginning of the New Year brought a tour and the reunion of Music Director Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Alfredo Kraus Auditorium in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria — on Spain’s Canary Islands — has a huge window that gave me the opportunity to photograph some amazing silhouettes as well as reflections during the evening. I knew this would give me a chance to get a fun image of Maestro with the orchestra during rehearsal.
2. This year also marked the end of an amazing working relationship with former CSOA President Deborah Rutter. This photo was taken in January on the night of the last concert, in Luxembourg, of what would be Deborah’s last tour with the CSO. The moment says so much in so many ways to me.
3. This was the year that two Chicago powerhouse bands collided for a pair of amazing concerts. The rock band Chicago and the CSO took the stage at Symphony Center in January. I was only supposed to photograph one concert, but I ended up photographing both. Great concerts, great collaboration.
4. I love photographing the audience’s reaction on top of the action at Symphony Center. During the Mavis Staples concert in April, this woman was loving every moment. She made my job very easy.
5. The CSO’s Corporate Night, held this year in June, is another event where the CSO performs with a special guest. I have loved Melissa Etheridge’s music for years, and I even had a chance to photograph her at the Chicago Theatre early in my career. She has the same energy she did back then. Great concert.
6. Everyone asks me, “What is Maestro Muti like?” Here’s the answer: You are not going to find a more engaging, more energetic man around. Everyone who meets him feels that energy. There are very few people who can captivate audiences from 8 to 80. Maestro does just that. He walks in the room, and people can feel it. I took this just before Maestro gave the commencement address at Northwestern University in June. Walking down the aisle laughing with Northwestern’s president, Morton Schapiro. Great day.
7. The start of the 2014/15 season in September began with a great concert, Beethoven’s Ninth. Hearing this piece live is amazing. Hearing it with Maestro Muti and the CSO is perfect. One of my rules is that I try to create images where if you look long enough, a viewer might be able to hear what is going on.
8. A perfect evening in the park. The CSO performing its annual free concert for the public in September. Millennium Park was packed; 20,000 people attended. If anyone thinks that classical music is a dying art form, look at this.
9. From Millennium Park to one of the most famous venues for classical music, Vienna’s famed Musikverein and Verdi’s Requiem. The sound of this concert in this hall was breathtaking. The power of the orchestra could be felt in every corner of the hall. For this tour, in October and November, I had invited my father to come with me. Before the tour, I told him if there was only one concert he had to make sure he attended, it was this one.
10. This December marked the end of 20 years of the ever-popular holiday revue Welcome Yule! Created by Duain Wolfe, Chicago Symphony chorus director and conductor, the holiday tradition was something my family and I always looked forward to. Christmas in Chicago will always include the sounds of the CSO.