In the 2019-20 season, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will give world-premiere performances of commissioned works by French composer Nicolas Bacri, American composer Missy Mazzoli and British-American composer Bernard Rands. In addition, the CSO will present the U.S. premiere of Israeli composer Avner Dorman’s percussion concerto, Eternal Rhythm.

Eternal Rhythm, Oct. 3-5: Avner Dorman has looked to the connection between humans and rhythm for his new percussion concerto, Eternal Rhythm. CSO Principal Percussionist Cynthia Yeh will be the soloist in the U.S. premiere of the work.

Dream, Nov. 1-2 and 5: Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Bernard Rands is a legendary figure in new classical music, with more than 100 published works and many recordings. His music is meticulously crafted, yet always possesses a dramatic intensity. He has worked with the world’s finest orchestras and musicians, and his new work was commissioned by the Edward F. Schmidt Family Commissioning Fund for the CSO. Its premiere will be conducted by Riccardo Muti.

Ophelia’s Tears, Feb. 20-23: Though his music is performed by some of world’s finest musicians across Europe, Nicolas Bacri is relatively unknown in America. His new concerto for bass clarinet, Ophelia’s Tears, was written for CSO Bass Clarinet J. Lawrie Bloom and commissioned by the CSO. Riccardo Muti leads the world premiere performances.

Orpheus Undone, April 30 and May 1-3:Appointed CSO Mead Composer-in-Residence in 2018, Missy Mazzoli is one of today’s most accomplished and innovative American composers. Her work delivers a raw emotional authenticity that has garnered the attention of audiences and critics alike. Other credits include her past role as composer-in-residence with Opera Philadelphia, and composing a third opera, Proving Up, which was commissioned by Washington National Opera, Opera Omaha and New York’s Miller Theatre. Her orchestral suite Orpheus Undone was commissioned by the CSO; its premiere will be conducted by Riccardo Muti.

First Performances

In addition to the world premieres of commissions, the CSO will perform 18 works for the first time during the 2019-20 season:

Thomas Adès: Dances from Powder Her Face (April 2-4)

Samuel Barber: Two Scenes from Antony and Cleopatra (Nov. 21-24)

Mason Bates: Resurrexit (Dec. 12-14)

G.F. Handel: “Who calls my parting soul” from Esther, “Rompo I lacci” from Flavio, “Da tempeste” from Giulio Cesare, “Ombra cara” from Radamisto and “To thee thou glorious son” from Theodora (March 26-28)

Jennifer Higdon: blue cathedral (Dec. 5-7 and 10)

James Lee III: Sukkot Through Orion’s Nebula (Nov. 21-24)

Astor Piazzolla/Desyatnikov: The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires (Oct. 17-20)

Florence Price: Symphony No. 3 in C Minor (April 23-25 and 28)

Alexander Scriabin: Rêverie (Sept. 19-20)

William Grant Still: Mother and Child (April 23-25 and 28)

Johann Strauss Jr: Furioso Polka, Op. 260 (Dec. 12-14)

Sir Michael Tippett: Little Music for String Orchestra and Praeludium for Brass, Bells and Percussion (Jan. 30-31, Feb. 1 and 4)

Henryk Wieniawski: Violin Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp Minor, Op. 14 (Dec. 5-7 and 10)