Performance Thursday, October 4, 2012 | 8 PM

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Parisian audiences didn’t take to Franck’s Symphony at its 1889 premiere, but its contagious melodies and breathtaking dramatic sweep have since made it one of classical music’s most treasured works. This program also includes Wagner’s Flying Dutchman Overture and a new work by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s composer-in-residence, Mason Bates.

The contemporary work on this program is part of My Time, My Music.


  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    Riccardo Muti, Music Director and Conductor


  • WAGNER Overture to The Flying Dutchman
  • MASON BATES Alternative Energy (NY Premiere)
  • FRANCK Symphony in D Minor


  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra

    The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) is consistently hailed as one of today's leading orchestras. In the 2010-2011 season-the orchestra's 120th-Riccardo Muti began his tenure as the CSO's 10th music director.

    Throughout its history, the CSO has enjoyed leadership from an illustrious list of music directors, beginning with Theodore Thomas, who founded the orchestra in 1891, followed by Frederick Stock, Désiré Defauw, Artur Rodzinski, Rafael Kubelík, Fritz Reiner, Jean Martinon, Sir Georg Solti, and Daniel Barenboim. From 2006 to 2010, Bernard Haitink led the orchestra as principal conductor, the first in CSO history. Pierre Boulez, who was appointed principal guest conductor in 1995, has served as the Helen Regenstein Conductor Emeritus since 2006.

    The CSO performs well over 150 concerts each year at Symphony Center and at the Ravinia Festival, where it is in residence each summer. The ensemble has embarked on 38 overseas tours since Sir Georg Solti led the first European tour in 1971, most recently visiting Italy and Russia in spring 2012, making that trip the 29th tour to Europe and second to Russia. The CSO has traveled to the Far East six times, as well as once each to Australia and South America.

    Recording has been a significant part of the CSO's history since 1916, and in 2007 the orchestra launched its own record label, CSO Resound. CSO recordings have earned 62 Grammy Awards from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, most recently in 2011 for Best Classical Album and Best Choral Performance for Verdi's Requiem, conducted by Riccardo Muti.

    In 2007, the CSO returned to the national airwaves with its self-produced weekly broadcast series, which is syndicated to more than 300 markets nationwide on the WFMT Radio Network as well as on Visit for more information.

    Riccardo Muti

    Born in Naples, Italy, Riccardo Muti first came to the attention of critics and the public in 1967, when he won the Guido Cantelli Competition for conductors in Milan. In 1971, Mr. Muti was invited by Herbert von Karajan to conduct at the Salzburg Festival, the first of many occasions which led to the celebration of 40 years of splendid collaboration with this glorious Austrian festival. Mr. Muti has served as music director of international institutions that include the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Philharmonia Orchestra of London, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and Teatro alla Scala. In 2004, Mr. Muti founded the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra, which consists of young musicians selected from throughout Italy.

    Over the course of his extraordinary career, Riccardo Muti has conducted the world's most important orchestras, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. He made his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival in July 1973, and began his tenure as the CSO's 10th music director in September 2010. He won his first two Grammy Awards for his recording of Verdi's Messa da Requiem with the CSO and Chorus.

    Innumerable honors have been bestowed on Mr. Muti. He received the decoration of Officer of the Legion of Honor from French President Nicolas Sarkozy in a private ceremony held at the Élysée Palace, and was also was made an honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in Britain. In 2011, he was awarded Spain's Prince of Asturias Prize, and was named an honorary member of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and an honorary director for life at the Rome Opera; he is also the recipient of the 2011 Birgit Nilsson Prize. In May 2012, he was awarded the highest papal honor: the Knight of the Grand Cross First Class of the Order of St. Gregory the Great by Pope Benedict XVI, as well as the McKim Medal from the American Academy in Rome.



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Franck's Symphony in D minor, M 48, Allegro non troppo
Chicago Symphony Orchestra | Pierre Monteux, Conductor
RCA Victor

At a Glance

RICHARD WAGNER  Overture to The Flying Dutchman

Among the earliest of Wagner's champions in the US was Theodore Thomas, the founder of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, who conducted the American premiere of The Flying Dutchman Overture in New York in 1862 and also introduced to the US such important works as the Prelude to Tristan und Isolde and the Overture to Die Meistersinger. The Flying Dutchman Overture is based on two themes—the Dutchman and his redemption—interwoven with musical mottoes associated with the sailors and their lovers' spinning wheels, and highlighted by a hair-raising forecast of one of music's fiercest storms.

MASON BATES  Alternative Energy

Mason Bates's career, like his music, is a singular mix of old-world establishment and New Age culture. One of the Chicago Symphony's Mead Composers-in-Residence since 2010, he has been lavished with honors from such institutions as the American Academy in Rome and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Alternative Energy, which was written expressly for the CSO and which occupied Bates for much of 2011, marks a new stage in his approach to integrating electronics into the orchestra.

CÉSAR FRANCK  Symphony in D Minor

A child prodigy who later won fame as an organist and a composer of organ music, Franck devoted himself in middle age to teaching; he came into his own as a composer late in his career. His major works, including this Symphony in D Minor, were all written between 1880 and 1890, the last decade of his life. Although the D-Minor Symphony initially received a cool reception, it began to be played more after Franck's death, eventually becoming the most popular work in Franck's small but prime catalog.

Program Notes
Bank of America Logo 8/18/11
This performance is sponsored by Bank of America, Carnegie Hall's Proud Season Sponsor.