The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Take Note: Symphony Center's Fall Highlights

By Alexander Hough in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 19, 2009 6:20PM

Photo by Alexander Hough
Late summer is here, which for many classical musicians is one of the few times of year without commitments. At the conclusion of last Saturday's concert at Ravinia, members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra were mercifully unchained from their endowed chairs and allowed a few weeks of freedom.

But fear not, gentle music lovers, they shall return, although you'll have to wait until October, after they complete a two-week European tour. Yes, there is no end to the horrors of being a musician in a top orchestra. Below are some highlights of the first half of their upcoming season, as well as other Symphony Center treats. There are, of course, other great concerts, but these are the ones you need to jump on now if you want to attend.

  • October 2: The CSO returns to Symphony Center, playing Béla Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra and a couple pieces by Leonard Bernstein.
  • October 3: Have some nice duds and money burning a hole in your pocket? Tickets are still available for the Opening Night Gala, which features soprano Renée Fleming performing songs by Richard Strauss.
  • October 17: To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Burnham Plan, the CSO will put on a free concert featuring Anton Bruckner's Second Symphony conducted by Riccardo Muti, who will take over as the CSO's music director in 2010. Tickets "go on sale" on September 8.
  • October 30: Doozy of a jazz show. The Vijay Iyer Trio opens, and Dave Holland (who, by the way, will also be at the Jazz Festival in September) plays with Chris Potter, Jason Moran, and Eric Harland to fill the second half. Orchestra Hall isn't a very good jazz venue, but the chance to see big names like this on the same program isn't likely to occur outside of a major festival.
  • November 16: The Berlin Philharmonic will come through with its Teutonic chronic for the first time since 2003. Simon Rattle will lead a program that's right in the orchestra's wheelhouse, featuring core repertoire by Johannes Brahms, Richard Wagner, and Arnold Schoenberg.