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Free CSO Tickets Available Tomorrow

By Alexander Hough in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 7, 2009 4:10PM

Photo by Alexander Hough
Ah yes, the loyal Chicagoist readers. Perhaps we don't let you know how much you mean to us as often as we should, but your devotion - reading our site on a national holiday, no less! - will be rewarded, for now you are the only ones who will be reminded to reserve your tickets tomorrow for the free events at Symphony Center on October 17.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra's performance of Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 2 conducted by CSO Music Director Designate Riccardo Muti will headline a day of activities celebrating the 100th anniversary of Daniel Burnham's Plan of Chicago. While nothing about the CSO is directly related to the Plan - the tenuous connection is that Burnham designed Orchestra Hall (which was completed in 1894, fifteen years prior) - it's still being used as an excuse to give folks a rare opportunity to see the orchestra for free. Afterward, ticketholders may stick around for the even rarer event of interacting with the conductor during a town hall meeting led by Muti and CSO President Deborah Rutter. Hopefully this is a harbinger of greater community engagement by the new music director, something Chicago could use after the tenure of the brilliant but aloof Daniel Barenboim, who cited the extramusical duties required of the American music director as his reason for leaving.

Other of the day's free events include a concert in Buntrock Hall of Mozart's Piano Quartet in G Minor and Robert Schumann's Piano Quartet in E-Flat Major performed by members of the CSO and pianist Kuang-Hao Huang, which also requires a reserved ticket. Reservations are also required for the morning tours of Symphony Center led by Chicago Architectural Foundation docents. In addition, there will be non-ticketed performances in the Rotunda by youth groups affiliated with the CSO.

A couple brief bits of vital information for those who are annoyance-prone: Tickets to the CSO performance will actually cost $1 due to a handling fee, and you have to show up to the ticketed events fifteen minutes beforehand or else your ticket will be forfeited. Tickets and reservations can be made tomorrow when the box office opens at 10:00 a.m. by either calling (312) 294-3000 or stopping by in person.

Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan, Saturday, October 17, CAF Tours 10:00 a.m.-noon, chamber concert 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., CSO concert and town hall meeting 3:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m., FREE