CSO to spotlight Tchaikovsky, Scriabin and French music in 2014-15 season

Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 1:00 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky's six symphonies will all be performed by Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the 2014-15 season.

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s six symphonies will be performed by Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the 2014-15 season.

Riccardo Muti’s fifth season as music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will spotlight works of Tchaikovsky and Scriabin, and explore two centuries of French music, from Berlioz to Boulez. The 2014-15 season, which was announced Monday, will also include three performances at Carnegie Hall in January and a three-week European tour in October-November, including a weeklong residency in Vienna.

With a few exceptions, the CSO’s 2014-15 season largely continues the trend towards conservative Eurocentric repertory that has characterized Muti’s tenure as music director. There are only a handful of works composed after 1950 and just three works by American composers slated for the entire season–one is by Mason Bates and the other is An American in Paris.

Riccardo Muti will lead ten weeks of Chicago concerts, which will include performances of all six Tchaikovsky symphonies as well as the Scriabin symphonies previously unperformed here by Muti.

The CSO music director will conduct a free all-Tchaikovsky concert September 19 at the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park. The season proper will open September 18 with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Other works to be led by Muti next season include Mozart’s Requiem and Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky.

There will also be a season-long emphasis on French music. In May Esa-Pekka Salonen will direct a three-week festival, “Reveries and Passions,” that will include concert performances of two French operas, Debussy’s Pelleas et Melisande and Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges.

Even more than in previous Muti seasons, the emphasis is largely centered on core Austro-German repertory of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner and Mahler.

In addition to the Vienna residency, the fall European tour will include a return to Paris and the CSO’s first performance in Warsaw, Poland. Other cities will be announced.

Bernard Haitink will return for just one week, in April, which will include a single work, Mahler’s Symphony No. 7.

Other guest conductors include Charles Dutoit, Jaap van Zweden, Semyon Bychkov, Ludovic Morlot, Manfred Honeck, Harry Bicket, Nicholas Kraemer, Cristian Macelaru, Ingo Metzmacher, Vasily Petrenko, Carlos Miguel Prieto, and Edo De Waart.

Soloists include pianists Mitsuko Uchida, Jonathan Biss, Yefim Bronfman, Rudolf Buchbinder, Paul Lewis, Louis Lortie, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Daniil Trifonov, Orion Weiss, and Kristian Bezuidenhout.

In a programming oddity, Jennifer Koh, Elena Urioste and Yo-Yo Ma are the only string soloists next season who are not members of the orchestra. Orchestra members performing as soloists include flutist Mathieu Dufour, trumpeter Christopher Martin, violinists Robert Chen and Stephanie Jeong, cellist Kenneth Olsen, and percussionist Cynthia Yeh.

Vocal soloists include Stéphane Degout, Rosa Feola, Matthias Goerne, Alisa Kolosova, Camilla Nylund,Eric Owens, Saimir Pirgu, Michele Pertusi, and Christopher Ventris.

The CSO also announced the lineup for Symphony Center Presents next season. The three visiting orchestras will be the London Philharmonic led by Vladimir Jurowski; the Rotterdam Philharmonic led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin; and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra led by Myung-Whun Chung.

The Chamber Music Series includes the Takacs String Quartet, and violinists Anne-Sophie Mutter, Hilary Hahn, Gil Shaham and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. The Piano Series will present Maurizio Pollini, Pierre Laurent Aimard, Garrick Ohlsson, Olli Mustonen, Andras Schiff, Murray Perahia, Evgeny Kissin, Cedric Tiberghien, Alexandre Tharaud and Orl Shaham.

Subscriptions for the 2014-15 season go on sale today. cso.org; 312-294-3000.

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3 Responses to “CSO to spotlight Tchaikovsky, Scriabin and French music in 2014-15 season”

  1. Posted Feb 03, 2014 at 1:54 pm by Odradek

    A disappointing season – playing it safe with a vengeance.

  2. Posted Feb 03, 2014 at 3:39 pm by Edward

    Love the season! Especially all the Scriabin and French Composers. Safe with a vengeance in a good way. Superb programming with enough standards to keep most happy along with enough rarities. Don’t understand complaining about not enough recent works or American artists. Simply put, very few want to hear it.

  3. Posted Feb 04, 2014 at 10:03 am by Anne-Marie

    To hear the greatest music composed played by a great orchestra and conducted by such a maestro is not enough for one lifetime’s experience. I consider myself fortunate to be thus uplifted and enriched! It is food for the soul and will nourish me for the days when sight, hearing, and mind are gone, as Shakespeare said. This is why people subscribe to the season. I’m not complaining.