The Chicago Symphony Orchestra -- just back from their whirlwind, inaugural tour around Far East Asia -- has just announced their 2009-2010 season, and we're all over it like the Exxon Valdez was all over Prince William Sound. That's right...like crude oil all over a sweet little baby penguin.
If we were to adapt that quirky fantasy that Major League Baseball fans so often reenact, and create a scorecard of symphony's heaviest hitters, the CSO's upcoming season pretty much nails a chunk of our dream roster. Principal Conductor Bernard Haitink, Conductor Emeritus Pierre Boulez and Music Director designate Riccardo Muti have made good use of their trifecta of scary coolness.
Kicking off the 119th season on Saturday, October 3, 2009 Paavo Järvi will conduct the CSO with Renée Fleming in a selection of Bernstein, Barber & Strauss.
The list of twenty-four visiting conductors boasts Roberto Abbado, Christoph von Dohnányi, Pierre Boulez (the CSO also offers a month long celebration of the French composer/conductor with "A Tribute to Pierre Boulez at 85", a set of 4 concerts of Messiaen, Berg, and Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring), Sir Andrew Davis, Michael Tilson Thomas, Gianandrea Noseda, Vladimir Jurowski, Esa-Pekka Salonen...and of course, our main man Riccardo Muti (conducting Mozart's Haffner, Bruckner's second, and Brahm's German Requiem).
Special events are myriad: an end-of-January-2010 New York Tour @ Carnegie Hall (with Pierre Boulez conducting); an early summer Beethoven Festival (with Haitink conducting a complete cycle of all nine symphonies, which incidentally closes the season during the weekend of Friday, June 18, 2010 with the Ninth...soloists include Jessica Rivera and Eric Owens); A Passion Week in March 2010, with Golijov's "La Pasión según San Marcos" and Bach's "The Passion According to Saint John".
Visiting musicians are Joshua Bell, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Nicole Cabell, Yefim Bronfman, Radu Lupu, Mitsuko Uchida (conducting and playing in an all Mozart program) Peter Serkin, Emanuel Ax, Christian Tetzlaff, and Yo-Yo Ma.
And lastly, crossover fun is provided via John William's musical tribute to the late English film writer David Lean, featuring Lynn Redgrave & Michael York as narrators...and music from Harry Potter. heh.