Rozhdestvensky to replace ailing Muti; Tiknis to leave Harris Theater

Sat Feb 06, 2016 at 3:16 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Michael Tiknis
Michael Tiknis

The Russians are coming–to the rescue.

Gennady Rozhdestvensky, who is conducting tonight’s Chicago Symphony Orchestra program of Shostakovich (Symphonies Nos. 1 and 15) has agreed to stay in town to lead next week’s concerts as well, replacing the ailing Riccardo Muti.

The orchestra announced earlier this week that the CSO music director had cancelled his two weeks of February programs following surgery for a hip injury suffered in Europe following the recent Asian tour.

The February 11-16 program, now to be led by Rozhdestvensky, will remain the same: Ligeti’s Ramifications, Arvo Pärt’s Orient and Occident, Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings and Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with principal Stephen Williamson as soloist.

No conductor has yet been named to direct Muti’s second cancelled week of concerts, which begins February 18.

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The CSO announced that Matous Michal and Simon Machal have joined the second violin section, effective February 1.

The Czech brothers each served as concertmaster of the Verbier Festival. Matous Michal played in the first violin section of the Grant Park Orchestra last summer.

Both men completed undergraduate studies at the Prague Conservatory and received bachelor’s degrees from Juilliard. Matous has a master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music while his younger brother Simon is currently completing his masters at the same school.

The Czech brothers will be the second pair of siblings in the CSO ranks, along with sisters Lei Hou and Qing Hou.

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The Harris Theater has announced that Michael Tiknis will be leaving his post as president in December after 12 years.

“With the completion of the Theater’s renovation and expansion, the culmination of a milestone twelfth season, and the strong progress made towards the $38 million goal of the Imagine campaign, I have decided it is the right and natural time for the Theater to begin the succession planning process,” said Tiknis in a released statement.

“In these twelve years, the Harris Theater has become an internationally known institution, respected for its commitment to artistic excellence, collaboration and innovation.  All of this has been accomplished by a team of remarkable Trustees and a skilled and dedicated professional staff, all of whom display overwhelming commitment to the complex mission of the Harris.”

The Harris Theater board has already started the search process to select a successor.

“While Michael will not be an easy act to follow after his enormously successful 12 years of leadership, our search committee is confident we will find the best possible leader to guide the Theater through the next chapter of its growth,” said board chair Alexandra Nichols.

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