Critic’s Choice

Wed Feb 20, 2019 at 9:56 am

By Lawrence A. Johnson

William Schuman

One of the great American 20th-century symphonists gets some belated attention from Riccardo Muti in the ninth year of his reign as music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. On Thursday night Muti will lead the CSO in William Schuman’s Symphony No. 9.

Subtitled “Le fosse ardeatine,” Schuman wrote his symphony in 1968 after visiting the Ardeatine Caves, where 335 Italian civilians were massacred by the Nazis in 1944. This week’s performances mark the work’s Chicago premiere. Mozart’s Requiem will make up the second half of the program. Performances are 8 p.m. Thursday, 1:30 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday.; 312-294-3000.


Those looking to get an early start on the Beethoven year of 2020 will have an excellent opportunity this week, courtesy of the University of Chicago Presents series.

Cellist Steven Isserlis and fortepianist Robert Levin will perform Beethoven’s complete music for cello and piano over two nights. Thursday night’s program will offer the First and Third Cello Sonatas alongside two sets of variations, while Friday will bring Sonatas Nos. 2, 4 and 5. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the Logan Center.

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