David Herbert, timpanist, in the world premiere recording of William Kraft's" Concerto No. 2: The Grand Encounter for Timpani and Orchestra".
Laurel Records is proud to announce the release of the world premiere recording of William Kraft's "Concerto No 2: The Grand Encounter for Timpani and Orchestra". This virtuosic work, commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony and Maestro Michael Tilson Thomas for timpanist David Herbert and scored for a 15-timpani array, breaks new ground in the melodic and harmonic aspects of the timpani. A 9 piccolo timpani array was constructed especially for this work, extending the range to a high A (440). The Concerto is performed by David Herbert with Symphony Silicon Valley and Paul Polivnick conducting. Mr. Herbert personally oversaw the construction of the piccolo timpani, which were manufactured by American Drum Manufacturing Company (with the help of Marshall Light). The disc also features "Octopus, an Etude for 15 Timpani" written by Mr. Kraft for David Herbert in preparation for the Second Concerto and the re-release of Kraft's "Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra No. 1" with Thomas Akins and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, also conducted by Maestro Polivnick. These recordings represent a landmark in both the timpani and American classical music repertoire.
Available from Laurel Records: www.laurelrecords.com ($15.99) or Amazon.com ($16.95)
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On December 5, 2015, we celebrate Maestro Muti’s 250th concert with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony, Scriabin’s Prometheus: Poem of Fire, and Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture and Eighth Symphony.
Maestro Muti’s musical relationship with the CSO began in 1973, when he made his debut with the Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival. His subscription debut followed in March 1975. After a 32-year absence, during which he served as Principal Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra and as Music Director of both the Philadelphia Orchestra and Teatro alla Scala, Maestro Muti returned to lead the CSO in September 2007 with two weeks of concerts at Orchestra Hall, followed by a highly acclaimed European tour. Maestro Muti became Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in September 2010, starting his tenure with a free concert for the City of Chicago in the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park that was attended by over 25,000 people. Since then, Maestro Muti and the Musicians of the CSO have performed in Chicago and other U.S. cities, as well as in Europe and Mexico. In January 2016, the CSO and Maestro Muti will embark on their first Asian tour together, with concerts scheduled in Taiwan, Japan, China and South Korea. The CSO has flourished with Maestro Muti as Music Director. His message that music has the power to bring peace to the world is one that the musicians of the Orchestra strive to bring to each concert.
We look forward to the next 250 concerts! Bravo, Maestro!
For the past 25-plus years, Charlie Vernon, CSO trombonist, has put together Christmas Carol Sings for the public involving mostly trombones, pipe organ, informal choir and audience participation. This event has grown more popular each year and for the past 7-8 years the event has raised money for the Chicago Food Depository. This year's event will have more audience caroling opportunities than ever before.
Joining Charlie from the CSO, as he has for the last 10 years, is John Hagstrom, playing trumpet and soprano trombone. From the Atlanta Symphony is Michael Moore, tuba. Rounding out the ensemble are several members of the Chicago Civic Orchestra as well as members of the DePaul University trombone studio and area free-lancers. Charlie's wife Alison Vernon is the conductor.
Please join us as we kick-off the Christmas season with carol singing accompanied by 15 brass players, pipe organ and choir. AND be a part of the Chicago-land COMMUNITY helping COMMUNITY by raising money for the great Chicago Food Depository.
From October 27-30, 2015, the CSO embarked on a tour to Kansas City, Missouri, Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Dubbed by some the CSO Barbecue tour, 45 members of the Orchestra, including Maestro Muti, enjoyed dinner after the concert in Kansas City at Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue. On the last leg of the tour, in Chapel Hill, 23 members of the Orchestra enjoyed the wonderful Eastern North Carolina barbecue at Allen and Son. In addition, three concerts were played to very enthusiastic audiences!
Read about the tour here at Sound and Stories on CSO.org.
Read the report by cellist David Sanders about his barbecue and other eating experiences during the tour, and on his trip to Charleston and Savannah during the vacation week that followed the tour on Roadfood.com.
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.