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chicago symphony orchestra

Corigliano’s “AIDS Symphony,” 25 Years Later

Corigliano

By the time John Corigliano presented his First Symphony in 1990, America had witnessed years of hate speech directed at those most vulnerable to AIDS. AIDS patients lived in fear of persecution. Their right to privacy was pitted against a perceived threat to public safety, while research and public education were only just beginning to make inroads against the disease.

The Language of Pierre Boulez

Pierre

Just about everyone in the classical music world holds Mr. Boulez in the highest esteem, though some might add to that a hint of perplexity. Barbara Jepson in The Wall Street Journal put it this way,”[He is a] pioneering composer of thorny modernist works.” She then argues “Why Pierre Boulez’s Répons Is a Masterpiece.”

Panufnik at 100

andrzejimage

He was one of the leading Polish conductors and composers of his time – but his was a time defined by brutality and oppression. For five years, Andrzej Panufnik’s homeland was occupied by the Nazis. Jewish Poles, Polish intellectuals, religious and political leaders were murdered; the Roman Catholic majority was classified as untermensch, inferior people. Polish property deemed

A Grande Dame, Dame Kiri at Ravinia

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Skypes with composer Jake Heggie from her home in England

When she made an appearance on Downton Abbey as the turn of the century opera singer Dame Nellie Melba, producer Gareth Neame told “The Telegraph” the whole crew rushed to hear her sing, “It was the sight of all these tough electricians and grips and all the people you see on a film set with tears

CSO at Millennium Park: Allegro con Muti

Fans crowd Millennium Park to see Riccardo Muti conduct the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Update: 7:43 pm CDT

Friday’s crowd is estimated at over 20,000 people. Hundreds more are being turned away at the park entrance.

Riccardo Muti brings the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to Millennium Park on Friday for a free, all-Tchaikovsky concert. It’s been four years to the day since Maestro Muti gave his inaugural concert in the park’s

CSO Will Roll Out with a Bang

Riccardo Muti on stage at Millennium Park, c. Todd Rosenberg

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra makes a joyful noise this weekend, performing to capacity crowds. Riccardo Muti opens the concert season with four sold-out performances of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, and a free Tchaikovsky concert at Millennium Park.

With orchestra and chorus declaring Friedrich Schiller’s Ode to Joy

Carlos Kleiber, A Reclusive Genius

CarlosKleiber

“Carlos has a genius for conducting, but he doesn’t enjoy doing it. He tells me, ‘I conduct only when I’m hungry’. And it’s true. He has a deep-freeze. He fills it up and cooks for himself and when it gets down to a certain level, then he thinks ‘Now I might do a concert’.” That

Christopher Maltman Tweets and Sings Beethoven, John Adams

Baritone Christopher Maltman, c. Pia Clodi

It is well established that opera singers can sing like canaries. Now we’re finding they tweet like them, too. Baritone Christopher Maltman used Twitter to share something of the on-stage and off-stage energy during his concerts with the Milwaukee Symphony earlier this year

CSO Principal talks Elgar and Muti

CSO Principal Cello John Sharp, Madrid, c. Todd Rosenberg

Anyone who has seen Riccardo Muti catch air on the podium, might be hard-pressed to think of him as an old dog. Last spring, the youthful, now 73-year-old conductor demonstrated his willingness to learn new tricks: he led the CSO in his first-ever performance of the Elgar Cello Concerto.

Summer Migration, Payoff for Chicago

Harris Hall, c. Timothy Hursley

If you’ve ever seen a nature documentary about the Serengeti, you might have some sense of the migratory patterns of classical musicians. There are music centers, like watering holes, to which players journey in order to refresh, commune with others, and nurture the young. The Aspen Music Festival is one of those places. One only has to read the biographies of Chicago’s top musicians