Chicago Philharmonic to chart an adventurous course in 2014-15

Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 4:59 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Scott Speck will open the Chicago Philharmonic's season September 21 at Pick-Staiger Hall.
Scott Speck will open the Chicago Philharmonic’s season September 21 at Pick-Staiger Hall.

The Chicago Philharmonic is clearly embarking on a more adventurous course of programming under new artistic director Scott Speck, with the ensemble’s 25th anniversary season serving up several choice rarities.

Speck will open the season September 21 with a substantially Scandinavian program that includes Nielsen’s Symphony No. 1, Arvo Pärt’s Wenn Bach Bienen gezüchtet hätte, Tchaikovsky’s Hamlet Overture and Niels Gade’s Violin Concerto with soloist Christina Åstrand.

Regular podium guest Joel Smirnoff returns November 16. The program will be framed by Rossini’s Overture to La scala di seta and Haydn’s Symphony No. 103 “Drumroll.” Soprano Asako Tamura is featured in two arias from Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915.

Concertmaster David Perry will lead the February 15 concert, which will include Strauss’s Champagne Polka, Martinu’s La revue de cuisine, Milhaud’s Le boeuf sur le toit and Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat major, with Perry and violist Carol Cook as soloists.

French and Spanish music will be featured April 19, with Scott Speck leading the Philharmonic in Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun and La mer. Jorge Federico Osorio will be the soloist in de Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain and Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand.

For the final program of the season on June 7 Speck will direct a program of showpieces including Jennifer Higdon’s blue cathedral
, Kenji Bunch’s Symphony No. 1 “Lichtenstein Triptych,” and the Mussorgsky/Ravel Pictures at an Exhibition.

Concerts will be divided between Pick-Staiger Hall and Nichols Hall in Evanston. Subscriptins are now on sale. Call 312-957-0000 or go to

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