To cheer you through the holiday season and beyond, the CSO has wonderful offerings.
Merry, Merry Chicago! Celebrates the Spirit of the Holidays in Program Featuring Broadway Star Jessica Vosk Singing Festive Songs of the Season — December 17-23
The 2021-22 season continues with holiday and December programming presented by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA) at Symphony Center and several offsite locations.
Holiday programming at Symphony Center reaches a joyful high note as festive music of the season is performed by members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Alastair Willis and featuring Broadway star Jessica Vosk in Merry, Merry Chicago! on December 17-23.
Holiday and December 2021 concerts at Symphony Center are presented without audience capacity restrictions and align with current public health guidelines and safety protocols. Ticket information is available at cso.org and additional patron information is available at cso.org/safeandsound.
A chronological list of holiday and December 2021 concert programs is available here. Chicago Symphony Orchestra Concerts
Merry, Merry Chicago! (December 17, 18, 21, 22 and 23)
Chicago’s favorite musical holiday celebration, Merry, Merry Chicago!, returns to Symphony Center under the baton of Grammy-nominated conductor Alastair Willis. Members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra share music of the season in this program for the whole family — with a much-anticipated appearance by a certain gentleman in red. Festive musical selections include “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and more, along with orchestral music of the season including Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Greensleeves and music from Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Snow Maiden and Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite.
Acclaimed Broadway star Jessica Vosk is the featured vocalist in this year’s Merry, Merry Chicago! program, coming to Chicago following her sold-out November 8 debut at Carnegie Hall in a solo show titled “My Golden Age.” Her Broadway credits include The Bridges of Madison County, Finding Neverland, Fiddler on the Roof, and most notably, her star turn as Elphaba in Wicked the musical both on tour and in the 15th Anniversary Broadway company. The recording of Vosk’s performance as Anita in West Side Story was also nominated for a Grammy. She made her solo debut on the Billboard charts in 2018 with her album Wild and Free and released a Christmas album in 2020 titled A Very Coco Christmas.
Coming to CSOtv
Audiences in Chicago and worldwide can connect with the extraordinary artistry of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with free access to a wide variety of content available through the CSOtv video portal. Content includes the critically acclaimed CSO Sessions series, as well as the CSO for Kids and Civic Orchestra of Chicago series, archival concert performances and more. In December, CSO Sessions Episode 24: Strauss and Mozart will premiere along with a new feature-length video on the history of the legendary Chicago Symphony Orchestra brass section hosted by CSO trumpet John Hagstrom. Visit cso.tv for more information.
Patron Information | Safe and Sound at Symphony Center
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA) is committed to creating a comfortable, enjoyable and safe environment for its musicians, patrons and staff. To ensure everyone’s visit to Symphony Center is safe and sound, the CSOA will continue to modify guidelines and the concert experience, based on the latest public health recommendations and in consultation with leading health experts.
Patrons will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test upon arrival at all performances. Options for proof of vaccination include presentation of a vaccination card or by the use of the mobile app My Bindle, which is accepted at Symphony Center and other Chicago-area performing arts venues. Alternatively, proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours of the performance date or antigen test within six hours of the performance must be shown upon arrival. Anyone currently unable to get a vaccination, including children under 12, is required to present proof of a negative test.
Since restrictions at Chicago-area concert venues eased in spring of 2021, Symphony Center has welcomed audiences for three weeks of Chicago Symphony Orchestra programs in May and June, as well as for many more Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Center Presents concerts since the beginning of the 2021-22 season in September.
Before each concert, ticket holders will receive specific instructions for entry. Beginning November 26, concerts are presented with intermission and in-person preconcert conversations will resume. Visit cso.org for more information. Patrons are encouraged to visit cso.org/safeandsound for audience protocol instructions and the most recent information.
Round-trip shuttle service is now available for an additional fee of $25 per person for patrons traveling to Symphony Center from the North Shore or western suburbs. The North Shore Shuttle will be offered for CSO Friday matinee performances, with more information available here.
Patron Services representatives are available to assist with ticket purchases by web chat at cso.org, by calling 312-294-3000 (Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.) or by emailing [email protected]
All artists and programs are subject to change.
United Airlines is the Official Airline of the CSO.
The world premiere of Magnus Lindberg’s Serenades is co-commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Radio France through the Helen Zell Commissioning Program.
The world premiere of Gabriela Lena Frank’s Haillí-Serenata is commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra through the generous support of the Edward F. Schmidt Family Commissioning Fund.
The 2021-22 Civic Orchestra of Chicago season is generously sponsored by The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation. The performance on December 6 and is part of The Year of Chicago Music 2021.
The Artist-in-Residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is made possible through a generous gift from James and Brenda Grusecki.
The appearance of Yulia Van Doren, Reginald Mobley, Ben Bliss and Dashon Burton for the December 16-19 performances of Handel’s Messiah is made possible by the Grainger Fund for Excellence.
RICCARDO MUTI TO LEAD CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA IN
THREE WEEKS OF CONCERTS IN JANUARY 2022
INCLUDING TWO FREE COMMUNITY CONCERTS IN
CHICAGO AREA NEIGHBORHOODS
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA) announces that Music Director Riccardo Muti will return to Chicago in January 2022 for a special series of concerts that will include three programs between January 13-29, with six performances at Symphony Center and two, free community concerts at neighborhood venues where Muti and the CSO have previously performed during his tenure as music director. Originally scheduled to perform together in Asia in January 2022, Muti and the Orchestra will reunite in Chicago in the new year following a set of critically acclaimed concerts in September and October 2021, their first performances together since the pandemic began in 2020.
Muti’s three-week residency features performances of Beethoven’s Fifth and Eighth symphonies (January 13-15), a program with Tchaikovsky’s suites from the ballets Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty, along with Johann Strauss, Jr.’s Emperor Waltz and the overture from the comic opera Donna Diana by Emil Reznicek (January 20 & 23), and a Baroque program including three Vivaldi concertos featuring CSO musician as soloists and the first suite from Handel’s Water Music (January 27-29). The Beethoven program will be performed January 14 in Chodl Auditorium at Morton East High School in Cicero, where Muti and the CSO last appeared in 2013. The Baroque program will be performed January 28 at Apostolic Church of God in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood, where Muti and the CSO previously performed in 2011 and 2016. Single tickets for the January concerts at Symphony Center with Riccardo Muti and the CSO go on sale on Monday, November 15. Free reservations for the January 14 and 28 community concerts will become available in December at cso.org.
“Returning to Chicago for concerts with the musicians of the orchestra was the first step to reconnecting with this great city and our audiences,” said Riccardo Muti. “In this difficult time, we must focus on discovering Beauty and Culture again. We have created these programs as an invitation for all Chicagoans to share in the joy, power and harmony of music.”
Chicago Symphony Orchestra: cso.org
Founded by Theodore Thomas in 1891, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is consistently hailed as one of the greatest orchestras in the world. Since 2010, the pre-eminent conductor Riccardo Muti has served as its 10th music director. Jessie Montgomery is Mead Composer-in-Residence, and Hilary Hahn is CSO Artist-in-Residence.
From baroque through contemporary music, the CSO commands a vast repertoire. Its renowned musicians annually perform more than 150 concerts, most at Symphony Center in Chicago and, each summer, at the suburban Ravinia Festival. They regularly tour nationally and internationally. Since 1892, the CSO has made 62 international tours, performing in 29 countries on five continents.
People around the globe listen to weekly radio broadcasts of CSO concerts and recordings on the WFMT radio network and online at cso.org/radio. Recordings by the CSO have earned 63 Grammy Awards, including two in 2011 for Muti’s recording with the CSO and Chorus of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem (Muti’s first of eight releases with the CSO to date). Find details on these and many other CSO recordings at cso.org/resound.
The CSO is part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, which also includes the Chicago Symphony Chorus (Duain Wolfe, Director and Conductor) and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago (Ken-David Masur, Principal Conductor), a training ensemble for emerging professionals. Through its prestigious Symphony Center Presents series, the CSOA presents guest artists and ensembles from a variety of genres—classical, jazz, world and contemporary.
The Negaunee Music Institute at the CSO offers community and education programs that annually engage more than 200,000 people of diverse ages and backgrounds. Through the Institute and other activities, including a free annual concert led by Muti, the CSO is committed to using the power of music to create connections and build community.
The CSO is supported by thousands of patrons, volunteers and institutional and individual donors. The CSO’s music director position is endowed in perpetuity by a generous gift from the Zell Family Foundation. The Negaunee Foundation provides generous support in perpetuity for the work of the Negaunee Music Institute.
Additional 2022 Programming Highlights Featuring Riccardo Muti and the CSO
Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with Mitsuko Uchida as soloist and the CSO’s first
performances of Philip Glass’ Symphony No. 11. (February 17-19, 2022)
Performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Chicago Symphony Chorus
and distinguished soloists. (February 24-27, 2022)
World premiere performances of the CSO-commissioned work Orpheus Undone by
former Mead Composer-in-Residence Missy Mazzoli on a program that includes
Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder with mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča in her CSO debut.
Orpheus Undone is commissioned through the generous support of the Helen
Zell Commissioning Program.
(March 31-April 5, 2022)
Performances of Britten’s Piano Concerto with Leif Ove Andsnes as soloist.
(April 7-12, 2022)
World premiere performances of a CSO-commissioned work by Mead Composer-in-
Residence Jessie Montgomery on a program that includes Beethoven’s Symphony
6 (Pastoral) and Bottesini’s Double Bass Concerto No. 2 with Principal Bass
Hanna as soloist. Jessie Montgomery’s new work is commissioned through the
generous support of the Helen Zell Commissioning Program. (April 28-May 3, 2022)
The CSO’s first performances of Florence Price’s Symphony No. 3 on a program with
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 and Mother and Child by William Grant Still.
(May 5-7, 2022)
Celebrated violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter as soloist in Beethoven’s Violin Concerto on a
program that also includes Brahms’ Symphony No. 1. (June 16-18, 2022)
Season finale programs including Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera performed in concert
(June 23-28, 2022) and a free Concert for Chicago in Millennium Park on June 27,
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