On July 24, 2014 five CSO string players and guitarist/composer Jason Seed played a benefit concert for the Marjorie Kovler Center, an agency which advocates for and provides treatment for asylum seekers and refugees who have been victims of torture. The concert featured compositions and arrangements by Jason Seed and Dan Armstrong in musical styles from Africa, Asia, South America and Eastern Europe, as well as the Dvorak Quintet op. 77. We are also grateful to the Pianoforte Foundation for hosting the concert and the sponsorship of the Citizen Musican initiative of the CSO.
CSO musicians involved were Cornelius Chiu and So Young Bae, violins, Danny Lai, viola, Dan Katz, cello, and Dan Armstrong, double bass.
The concert opened with a lively tune called Pinch by Jason Seed for four players.
Dan Armstrong’s Hurdygurdy Dances is based on a pieces by Montreal hurdygurdy player Tobie Miller and Silk Road pipa player Yang Wei.
In celebration of the CSO's 125th season, Riccardo Muti and the CSO present a free concert to the City of Chicago. This performance is part of the 125 community concerts the CSO will present during its 125th season. The program includes Beethoven: Leonore Overture No. 3 and Mahler: Symphony No. 1.
Seating is general admission and tickets are not required.
Click here for more information about this exciting concert at CSO.org
The June, 2014 Chicago Tribune review of the CSO performance of the Mahler First Symphony was extraordinary.
.... Sure enough, a great roar went up from the crowd at the end of Thursday's performance of the Mahler First, and the applause continued in full as a beaming Muti made his way through the orchestra ranks, shaking the hands of key musicians and signaling for various first-desk players and choirs to rise for solo bows.
But it didn't feel like your typical kneejerk audience reaction to a mammoth Mahlerian peroration; rather, it came across as an honest, heartfelt response to an interpretation that had been prepared with uncommon attention to detail, and realized with uncommon brilliance, by an orchestra that makes just about any other Mahler orchestra on the planet sound like slackers.
While never attempting to blow listeners away in any cheaply theatrical way (as so many conductors are wont to do with this masterpiece), Muti succeeded in blowing them away anyway, for the best possible reason: He respected what's in the score and gave it back to them whole.
Read the entire review at Chicagotribune.com
On June 7, Rachel Goldstein, violin, Wei-Ting Kuo, viola, Gary Stucka, cello, Steve Lester, bass, and Mio Nakamura, piano, gave a performance of the Trout Quintet of Franz Schubert. It was one of the first performances in the newly renovated Studebaker Theater in the Fine Arts Building. In addition to the Trout Quintet, the four strings players were joined by violinist Susan Synnestvedt for the String Quintet by William Lester (1889-1956), the grandfather of Steve Lester, who taught, composed and was an organist in Chicago all of his life. He had a studio in the Fine Arts Building for many years.