Upholding the orchestra’s longtime commitment to touring, Riccardo Muti will lead the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on two major U.S. tours during the 2017-18 season. Both tours will showcase new music, with performances of works by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon, and CSO Mead Composers-in-Residence Elizabeth Ogonek and Samuel Adams.
● Oct. 11-22: The CSO and Muti embark on an eight-concert tour of California, including the orchestra’s debut at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. From L.A., Muti and the CSO move on to Berkeley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, Palm Desert and Santa Barbara. The tour, which begins with a one-off concert Oct. 11 in Kansas City, will feature three programs: the West Coast premiere of a new work by Ogonek, Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony and Rossini’s overture to William Tell, music by Schubert and Schumann, and Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto (featuring CSO Principal Clarinet Stephen Williamson), and the second and third symphonies of Johannes Brahms.
● Feb. 7-15: In the winter, Muti takes the CSO on a weeklong East Coast tour, with two performances at Carnegie Hall in New York City, followed by stops at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.; the Carolina Performing Arts Center in Chapel Hill, N.C.; two concerts at the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach., Fla., and a program in Naples, Fla., presented by Artis Naples. Tour repertoire features the East Coast premieres of works by Higdon and Samuel Adams, as well as selections by Verdi, Stravinsky, Brahms, Chausson and Mozart. Higdon’s low brass concerto features as soloists Jay Friedman, principal trombone; trombone Michael Mulcahy; bass trombone Charles Vernon, and Gene Pokorny, principal tuba.
Along with its national tours, the CSO will perform regionally, with run-out concerts at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and the Hancher Auditorium at the University of Iowa.
● Oct. 28: Guest conductor James Gaffigan conducts the CSO in a one-night-only performance at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, in Bernstein’s Symphonic Suite from On the Waterfront, Barber’s Violin Concerto with James Ehnes as soloist and Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances.
● May 6: Guest conductor Semyon Bychkov leads the CSO at the University of Iowa’s Hancher Auditorium in Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony, as well as Bruch’s rarely performed Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra, featuring Katia and Marielle Labèque.
Wheaton College Series
For the second season, the CSO will present a three-concert series at Wheaton College’s Edman Memorial Chapel in Wheaton. The concerts may be purchased individually or as a series; subscriptions to this series are now available.
● Nov. 10: Guest conductor Christoph von Dohnányi directs a program that celebrates late works by two generations of Austrian composers, Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 and Berg’s Violin Concerto with Arabella Steinbacher as soloist.
● Jan. 26: Guest conductor Manfred Honeck leads the CSO in Mahler’s Fifth Symphony and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 with Till Fellner as soloist.
● March 16: Muti and the CSO highlight works by classical masters Mozart and Haydn. Renowned violist Paul Neubauer joins CSO Concertmaster Robert Chen for Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante, followed by Mozart’s Symphony No. 36 (Linz) and Haydn’s rarely performed Symphony No. 89.
TOP: The CSO and Riccardo Muti stand for bows after a 2015 performance at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City. | © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2015