Lacking a music director, the orchestra will turn its podium over to principal guest conductor Pierre Boulez, who will spend three weeks with the ensemble in Chicago and New York, and a long list of prominent guest conductors, including Christoph von Dohnšnyi, Charles Dutoit, Riccardo Muti, Kent Nagano, David Robertson, and Esa-Pekka Salonen.
As previously reported, the entire season will feature cellist Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project, which is the subject of a yearlong citywide festival hosted by the CSO and the Art Institute of Chicago. Ma will be a part of the CSO's free Marshall Field's Day of Music on September 16 and its opening-night gala on September 30 (Miguel Harth-Bedoya will conduct), and he and the Silk Road Ensemble will visit Chicago for a week-long residency in April 2007, to include three subscription concerts and other events.
In addition, the CSO will play music inspired by the project throughout the season. These include works by Asian composers, including Toru Takemitsu; works by Western composers on Eastern themes such as Bart‹k's The Miraculous Mandarin; and other works connected to the Silk Road "historically, geographically, and metaphorically."
Other highlights include performances of Wynton Marsalis's All Rise in collaboration with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra; season-closing performances of the Verdi Requiem and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony; and a pension fund benefit featuring mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves.
Among the new music on the schedule is Christian Lindberg's Trombone Concerto, which will get its world premiere in Chicago; a new work by composer-in-residence Mark-Anthony Turnage (who, with Osvaldo Golijov, begins his tenure in 2006-07); and the American premiere of conductor and harpsichordist Ton Koopman's arrangement of Bach's Concerto for Three Harpichords for flute, oboe, and violin.
Guest soloists include pianists H_lne Grimaud (making her CSO debut), Lang Lang, and Mitsuko Uchida (who will conduct the CSO from the piano); violinists Gil Shaham, Hilary Hahn, and Pinchas Zukerman; and mezzo-soprano Susan Graham.