Chicago Symphony Orchestra announces program details for fall concerts

Tue Jul 13, 2021 at 11:00 am

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Michael Tilson Thomas will conduct two weeks of Chicago Symphony Orchestra programs centered on Brahms and Prokofiev in October.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra released details of the rest of its fall 2021 concerts Tuesday, following the announcement of Riccardo Muti’s season-opening programs (September 23-October 9) last month. 

Rather than release the 2021-22 season at once as is traditional, the CSO has adopted a flexible, rolling approach to programming based on evolving performance conditions due to Covid-19.  

There will be two world premieres this fall by Magnus Lindberg and Gabriela Lena Frank, both led by guest conductors.

Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider leads CSO concerts October 14-17 featuring Schumann’s Symphony No. 2, Augusta Holmès’ La Nuit et l’Amour and Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto with CSO principal John Sharp as soloist. 

Popular podium guest Michael Tilson Thomas returns for two weeks of programs centered on Brahms and Prokofiev. From October 21-23 he will conduct Brahms’ Serenade No. 1 and Grieg’s The Last Spring, with Alexander Gavrylyuk as soloist in Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 1. MTT then leads Brahms’ Serenade No. 2, William Grant Still’s Patterns and Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with Denis Matsuev as soloist October 28-30. These performances will mark the 100th anniversary of the Third Piano Concerto’s world premiere (December 16, 1921), with Prokofiev as soloist and Frederick Stock conducting the CSO.

Marek Janowski is on the podium November 4-6 for Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 and Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with concertmaster Robert Chen.

Jakub Hrůša who made a memorable CSO debut leading Smetana’s Ma vlast in 2017 returns November 11-13 to conduct Dvořák’s Symphony No. 6, Coleridge-Taylor’s Ballade in A minor, and Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with soprano Joelle Harvey.

From November 18-21 Giancarlo Guerrero conducts Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1, the Buxtehude/Chavez Chaconne in E minor and Piazzolla’s Bandoneon Concerto with soloist Daniel Binelli, in observance of the Argentinian tango composer’s centennial season.

Hannu Lintu returns December 2-4 to lead the world premiere of Serenades by fellow Finn Magnus Lindberg, along with Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 and Lalo’s Symphonie espaganole with soloist Ray Chen. Andres Orozco-Estrada conducts the world premiere of Gabriela Lena Frank’s Hailli-Serenata December 9-11 on a program with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 and Dvořák’s Violin Concerto with new CSO artist-in-residence Hilary Hahn as soloist.

Nicholas McGegan conducts Handel’s Messiah December 16-19 with soloists Yulia Van Doren, Reginald Mobley, Ben Bliss and Dashon Burton. And the new year will open (January 6-8, 2022) with Andre de Ridder leading a Gershwin/Ravel program with Inon Barnatan as the double-barreled soloist in Rhapsody in Blue and the Concerto in G, alongside Bolero and Symphonic Portrait of Porgy and Bess.

The fall’s Symphony Center Presents events offer Lang Lang performing the Goldberg Variations October 8; Leonidas Kavakos and Yuja Wang in violin sonatas by Bach, Busoni and Shostakovich November 7; Daniil Trifonov November 12 (Prokofiev, Szymanowski, Debussy and Brahms); Quinteto Astor Piazzolla November 19; Chanticleer December 7 and 8; and the Vienna Boys Choir December 21. 

The CSO’s 2022 programs will be announced in October.

Three-program packages are available for fall events beginning today with single tickets going on sale in August.; 312-294-3000.

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