2016-17 Season: Love

The Chicago Philharmonic continues to astonish me with its spirit, virtuosity, and emotional range. What comes across in every performance is a warmhearted, affectionate love of making music. We’ve decided to make that theme explicit in this year’s programming. Here’s a season about love in its many forms.
— Artistic Director Scott Speck

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2016-17 Concerts

Emily Birsan and John IrvinLegendary Lovers
Sunday, September 18, 2016, 3 pm
Pick-Staiger Hall, Evanston

Scott Speck conductor
Emily Birsan soprano
John Irvin tenor

Wagner Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde
Gounod Love Duet from Romeo and Juliet
Glinka Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila
Verdi “Signor né principe” from Rigoletto
Diamond Music for Romeo and Juliet
Bernstein Balcony Scene from West Side Story
Ravel Daphnis and Chloé, Suite 2

The Chicago Philharmonic season kicks off with a celebration of Love’s great couples: Romeo and Juliet, Tony and Maria, Daphnis and Chloé, Tristan and Isolde, and Ruslan and Ludmila. The orchestra performs colorful music of blissful excitement, heart-wrenching longing, and everything in between as soprano Emily Birsan and tenor John Irvin, both recently engaged by the Lyric Opera, bring their knock-out voices to this afternoon of orchestral works and love duets. Harpists Krista Hagglund and Anna Hirons of the Belle Harmonie duo will perform in the foyer for an afternoon of romance!

Haunted HeartsJory Vinikour
Sunday, October 30, 2016, 3 pm
Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Chicago

Scott Speck conductor
Jory Vinikour harpsichord

C.P.E. Bach Symphony No. 5
Piazzolla Oblivion
Nyman Concerto for Amplified Harpsichord and Strings
Herrmann Car Ride and Shower Scene from Psycho
Woolf My Insect Bride
J.S. Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 5

Hearts haunted by bittersweet past loves, torrid affairs, nightmarish scenes, or just the bug that got away. Join the Chicago Philharmonic at the Harris Theater for an electric afternoon of music guaranteed to make your heart race, including Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, Nyman’s Concerto for Amplified Harpsichord, Piazzolla’s Oblivion, and music from Psycho. Actor Tim Hopper, ensemble member at Steppenwolf, will provide narration for the evening’s events, and Mysterion, the theremin player will join us in the foyer!

Daring Duos TicketPagePhoto-Daring
Sunday, February 12, 2017, 3 pm
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, Skokie

Scott Speck conductor
Bill Denton trumpet
Robert Sullivan trumpet

Beethoven Leonore Overture No. 3
Gluck “Dance of the Blessed Spirits” from Orfeo and Euridice
Vivaldi Two Trumpet Concerto
Plog Two Trumpet Concerto
Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4 (Italian)

The Chicago Philharmonic explores the dizzying heights of courage that faithful friends and lovers can reach for each other. Beethoven’s Leonore Overture is named for the ultimate faithful spouse who risks everything, in disguise as the jailer’s assistant, Fidelio, to free her wrongly imprisoned husband. In “Dance of the Blessed Spirits,” Orpheus literally goes to hell and back for his beloved wife. Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony lives in the sweet embrace between an endlessly reverent pilgrims’ processional and the wild abandon of the final tarantella. Trumpeters Bill Denton and Robert Sullivan put great faith in their technique – and each other – in a pairing of two virtuosic concertos. From Vivaldi to Plog, these pieces are full of exhilarating exchanges that push the instruments to their limits. Composer Anthony Plog will give a talk before the concert, and Zvonimir Tot, guitar, and Victor Garcia, trumpet, will perform jazz in the foyer.

The DreamVisceral Dance Chicago
Chicago Philharmonic + Visceral Dance Chicago
Sunday, March 5, 2017, 3 pm

Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Chicago

Scott Speck conductor
Nick Pupillo choreographer

The Chicago Philharmonic joins forces with Visceral Dance Chicago and award-winning choreographer Nick Pupillo for one performance only. Music, dance, and literature converge in this dazzling, theatrical reimagining of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s story, “The Dream of a Ridiculous Man.” Musical masterpieces of Dmitri Shostakovich, Osvaldo Golijov, and Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood are highlights in this remarkable collaboration. Professor Robert Bird, a published author on the subject of Dostoyevsky and Chair of the Slavic Languages and Literatures Department at The University of Chicago, will give a talk at 2 p.m. before the concert about Dostoyevsky’s work.

Paths of PassionGerhardt Zimmermann and Robert Hanford
Sunday, April 9, 2017, 3 pm
Pick-Staiger Hall, Evanston

Gerhardt Zimmermann conductor
Robert Hanford violin

Shostakovich/Zimmermann Chamber Symphony in F# minor (after String Quartet No. 7)
Dvorak Romance in F minor
Waxman Carmen Fantasy
Dvorak Symphony No. 9 in E minor (New World)

The final concert in our 2016-17 Love series explores the infinite diversity of love in all its forms. Antonin Dvorak’s Romance, featuring the Chicago Philharmonic’s own violinist Robert Hanford, evokes sweet moments of bliss in its glorious harmonies. Franz Waxman’s violin showpiece, bursting with technical fireworks, veers from passion to celebration to brutal revenge, all hallmarks of the opera Carmen. In the New World Symphony, Dvorak sings of patriotic love, for both his native Bohemia and his adopted homeland. And guest conductor Gerhardt Zimmermann presents the labor of his love: his own orchestral transcription of Dmitri Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 7,with its poignant depictions of love and loss. Four special poems will illuminate the many kinds of love expressed in our season finale.

Season Sponsor

The Chicago Philharmonic’s 2016-17 season is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.

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