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September 2015
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Historic CSO Broadcast Live from Millennium Park

9/19/10 6:07:38 PM  Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Music Director Riccardo Muti at the Concert for Chicago in Millennium Park in Chicago, IL. ©Todd Rosenberg Photography

9/19/10 6:07:38 PM Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Music Director Riccardo Muti at the Concert for Chicago in Millennium Park in Chicago, IL. ©Todd Rosenberg Photography

WFMT is proud to present the first live broadcast of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performing in its hometown in more than a decade beginning at 6:25 pm, CDT on Friday, September 18, 2015. The broadcast features the CSO’s sixth annual Concert for Chicago in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. This year’s concert is part of the festivities celebrating the beginning of the CSO’s 125th anniversary season.

Before the beginning of Riccardo Muti’s first season as music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, he conducted a free “Concert for Chicago” in Millennium Park in September 2010. The people of Chicago responded by turning out in spades. An estimated 25,000 people attended – so many that some had to be turned away!

To capture the excitement of tonight’s broadcast, we’ll be providing live updates throughout the day. If you can’t make tonight’s concert, featuring Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3 and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, be sure to tune in to our live broadcast. And check online to see the excitement build in Millennium Park.

2:00 PM


The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has just finished its rehearsals, which several people stopped by to enjoy despite some light drizzle. Eager CSO fans brought their umbrellas to hear the musicians rehearse Beethoven and Mahler before tonight’s concert. Some musician linger even though rehearsal is done to visit with each other, or to practice a bit more by themselves before taking a break.

3:00 PM


All of the musicians have safely put away their instruments and are taking a break before tonight’s concert, though there are a few music lovers waiting in the audience to stake out the perfect spot for tonight’s concert! The light rain has finally let up and smells fresh on the Great Lawn. The clouds are beginning to dissipate, and minute by minute the sky is becoming more and more clear. There’s a quiet stillness in the air. Soon, thousands will flood Millennium Park to get their fill of free, live music before summer turns to fall.

4:00 pm


The CSO’s Civic Orchestra Brass Ensemble is playing music from the 1890s by Cloud Gate, one of the most iconic sites in the city of Chicago. Cloud Gate is especially popular today because of the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final taking place in downtown Chicago. There are lots of athletes who seem glad to relax with some free, live music in Millennium Park.


5:00 pm


Just as the Civic Orchestra Brass Ensemble was winding down, the seating to the Pritzker Pavilion opened to the public. People were lining up to grab seats as early as 4:15 pm for the 6:30 pm concert. But, when the seating opened at 5:00 pm, the rain started. Audience members filed into to seats with raincoats and umbrellas determined to kick off the CSO’s 125th anniversary season.

6:00 pm


Things are getting wet outside, but WFMT Host and Chief Announcer Peter Van de Graaff is preparing for our broadcast of the CSO’s Concert for Chicago. Come rain or shine, the show must go on! The Pavilion is filling up with CSO fans who are happy to get a little wet to hear some great live music.



To learn more about the CSO, visit the CSO’s website.

To learn more about Riccardo Muti, visit his website.

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