Chicago Symphony Opens Season (Officially) With Gala Featuring Yo-Yo Ma and Cyndia Sieden

Classic Arts News   Chicago Symphony Opens Season (Officially) With Gala Featuring Yo-Yo Ma and Cyndia Sieden
Okay, so they've already been giving concerts for a few weeks. They even gave a world premiere last night. But the Chicago Symphony officially opens its season this evening with a gala concert featuring superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma and coloratura soprano Cyndia Sieden, who has been thrilling audiences and critics with her performance as Ariel in Thomas Ads's operatic version of The Tempest. The program includes the overture to Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri, Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky's Night Music: Voices in the Leaves, Stravinsky's Le Rossignol ("The Nightingale") and Dvoršk's Cello Concerto. The CSO being between music directors right now — Daniel Barenboim departed at the end of the past season, with Bernard Haitink serving as Principal Conductor for the interim — conducting will be Miguel Harth-Bedoya, the fast-rising conductor who is currently music director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.

Featured throughout the season will be Ma's famous Silk Road Project, which is the subject of a yearlong citywide festival hosted by the CSO and the Art Institute of Chicago. The cellist and his Silk Road Ensemble will visit Chicago for a week-long residency in April 2007, to include three CSO subscription concerts and other events.

In addition, the orchestra 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."

Among the new music on the schedule this season (in addition to the trombone concerto premiered last night) is 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.

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.

Lacking a music director, the orchestra will turn its podium over to a long list of prominent guest conductors, including Christoph von Dohnšnyi, Charles Dutoit, Riccardo Muti, Kent Nagano, David Robertson and Esa-Pekka Salonen. Principal guest conductor Pierre Boulez will spend three weeks with the ensemble in Chicago and New York.

Among the guest soloists this season are pianists H_lne Grimaud (making her CSO debut), Lang Lang and Mitsuko Uchida (who will lead the CSO from the piano); violinists Gil Shaham, Hilary Hahn and Pinchas Zukerman; and mezzo-soprano Susan Graham.

Information on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's 2006-07 season is available at

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