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The Chicago Symphony performs at its summer home at the Ravinia Festiva but the orchestra’s next season downtown promises to offer an exciting mixture of programs that showcase the dynamic relationship that has developed between Music Director Riccardo Muti and the musicians of the CSO. 

The season opens in what is becoming an annual tradition of including a free performance in September in Millennium Park.  The program includes Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana with the CSO and the Chicago Symphony Chorus on September 21.  This is a repeat of the excellent performance these forces gave last January during Muti’s winter residency and will be included in the orchestra’s three concert series that opens New York’s Carnegie Hall’s 2012-2013 season.

Three programmatic themes weave through the 2012-2013 season, creating connections and cornerstones across many of the CSO’s series: The Wagner Effect; Rivers; Nature, Power, Culture; and the centennial celebration of Sir Georg Solti’s birth.

The Wagner Effect explores the tremendous influence that Richard Wagner had on the way his contemporaries and successors thought about drama, literature, the visual arts, and music forever changing the way music was heard and written.  During the bicentennial of Wagner’s birth the CSO will highlight works by composers who were influenced by Wagner’s approach, from those who deeply embraced his techniques of those who purposely rejected and rebelled against his ideas. 

Rivers: Nature, Power, Culture will explore the exchange of commerce and culture that rivers have facilitated over the centuries, providing inspiration to musicians, as well as to writers, visual artists, and others.  As with past festivals, the CSO has reached out to a number of collaborative partners for this and details will be announced at a later date.

The third program thread is dedicated to Sir Georg Solti, the eight music director of the CSO.  October 21, 2012 will mark the centennial of Solti’s birth and the CSO will pay homage to this legendary musician by presenting artists with whom he collaborated and works with which he was closely associated.  The World Orchestra for Peace, which Solti founded in 1995, will present a concert to mark the centennial and will include several CSO musicians, led by Valery Gergiev and featuring Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Placido Domingo, and Rene Pape as soloists. 

In all, Riccardo Muti will lead 10 weeks of concerts in Chicago this coming season in programs that showcase the versatility and virtuosity of the Chicago Symphony Orches-tra.The subscription season opens on September 20th with Maestro Muti leading Dvorak’s Fifth Symphony, Giuseppe

Martucci’s Notturno and Respighi’s Feste Romane.  Muti will led the orchestra for Symphony Ball on September 29th.  The special guest soloist for this evening will be violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter.  The program will include works by Wagner, Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky.  The concert will be followed by a post-concert dinner and dancing at the Fairmont Hotel hosted by the CSO’s Women’s Board.

Other highlights of Muti’s season are performances of Bach’s great Mass in b-minor with the Chicago Symphony Chorus, Brahms’ Fourth Symphony,  Beethoven’s Third Symphony (Eroica), Scriabin’s The Divine Poem, Verdi’s Four Sacred Pieces, and Vivaldi’s Magnificat.

Conductors Pierre Boulez and Bernard Haitink will be returning next season for several weeks.  Pierre Boulez will lead two weeks of concerts in March that feature the CSO’s premiere performance of Messiaen’s Chronochromie and Bar tok’s Second Piano Concerto with pianist Yefim Bronfman. The second week of concerts with Pierre Boulez will feature the Schoenberg Violin Concerto with violinist Michael Baren-boim and the Adagio from Mahler’s Symphony No. 10. Bernard Haitink will spend two weeks with the orchestra starting on October 18.  During his first week he leads an all Brahms program featuring the Double Concerto for Violin and Cello with brother violinist Renaud and cellist Gautier Capucon as soloists and the Symphony No. 1 in c-minor.  In his second week Bernard Haitink will lead one of great choral masterpieces, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis.  The CSO will be joined by the Chicago Symphony Chorus, soprano, Christine Brewer, mezzo-soprano Bernarda Fink, tenor Anthony Dean Griffey, and bass baritone Hanno Muller-Brachman as soloists.

Twenty artists will make the subscription debuts during the upcoming season.  Among them are Pablo Heras-Casado,Vasily Petrenko, music director of the Royal Liver-pool Philharmonic, violinists Jennifer Koh, and Michael Barenboin, and pianist Daniil Trifonov – the Gold Medal wi-iner of the XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition.  

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