Chicago Philharmonic Chamber Players to Open Groundbreaking Series at City Winery, 10/25

Following the success of its first series at City Winery in the 2014-15 season, cp2 (Chicago Philharmonic Chamber Players) returns to the venue for a fall series pairing unique mixed instrumental groups with vocalists. Three one-hour programs at noon on October 25, November 22, and December 20 each feature a different singer showcasing styles including classical, soul, and jazz. Brunch will be available for purchase before and during the performances, and patrons are encouraged to dress casually.

In its first of the three concerts, cp2 features a brilliant trio performing rich works by Schubert, Cook, and Mahler. Mezzo-soprano Susan Platts - the Washington Post wrote, "Her voice is startlingly attractive from top to bottom" - brings her expert technique and finely crafted artistry to rewarding songs about love, death, and transcendence. Neil Kimel (horn) and Alan Darling (piano) add an orchestral range of color and harmony to this unique trio. The group begins with Schubert's "Auf dem Strom," which depicts a contemplative speaker who is being whisked away from home and love on a river's current. Next they perform a set of lesser known but equally evocative nocturnes by British composer Arnold Cooke. The trio closes with Gustav Mahler's hauntingly beautiful Kindertotenlieder, in which love ultimately triumphs over loss.


Susan Platts, Mezzo-Soprano

British-born Canadian mezzo-soprano Susan Platts brings a uniquely rich and wide-ranging voice to concert and recital repertoire for alto and mezzo-soprano. She is particularly esteemed for her performances of Gustav Mahler's works. Ms. Platts has performed at Royal Albert Hall, Teatro alla Scala, Teatro di San Carlo, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center as well as with the Philadelphia, Cleveland and Minnesota Orchestras, Orchestre de Paris, BBC Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Montreal, Toronto, American, Detroit, Milwaukee, Baltimore and Houston Symphonies, Les Violons du Roy, Boston's Handel and Haydn Society, as well as the Los Angeles and St. Paul Chamber Orchestras. She has collaborated with many of today's leading conductors including Marin Alsop, Roberto Abbado, Sir Andrew Davis, Ludovic Morlot, Leon Botstein, Andreas Delfs, John Adams, Christoph Eschenbach, Jane Glover, Jeffrey Kahane, Bernard Labadie, Keith Lockhart, Kent Nagano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Sir Roger Norrington, Peter Oundjian, Itzhak Perlman, Bramwell Tovey, Osmo Vänska and Pinchas Zuckerman. Ms. Platts' recent highlights include her London and Berlin debuts, in John Adams' Nixon in China (BBC Symphony), her staged opera debut as Florence Pike in Britten's Albert Herring (Pacific Opera, Vancouver Opera), Erda in Wagner's Das Rheingold (Pacific Opera), and Bernstein's A Quiet Place (Montreal Symphony Orchestra).

Neil Kimel, Horn

Neil Kimel's career as a horn player began as anything but a traditional or predictable one. After receiving a B.A. in Cinema Studies from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, he was invited to join the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, FL where he performed under the baton of its music director, Michael Tilson Thomas. Mr. Kimel then returned to his home town of Chicago, where he won the position of second horn with the Grant Park Orchestra in 2000. Neil has performed with the Symphony Orchestras of Kansas City, Nashville, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Toronto, and Chicago as well as the Cleveland Orchestra. Sir Andrew Davis appointed Mr. Kimel as second horn of the Lyric Opera Orchestra of Chicago in 2008. When Mr. Kimel leaves the opera pit, he is the principal horn of the Chicago Philharmonic, with whom he has appeared as soloist, a member of Tower Brass of Chicago, as well as a chamber music coach at Northwestern University and Adjunct Professor of Horn at DePaul University.

Alan Darling, Piano

Scottish pianist Alan Darling has performed recitals throughout Europe, Canada, and the United States, collaborating with artists such as Isabel Bayrakdarian, Nicole Cabell, Elizabeth Futral, Lynn Harrell, Dina Kuznetsova, Amanda Majeski, Susanna Phillips, Amber Wagner, and Erin Wall. He performed annually at the Ravinia Festival from 1993-2005. Mr. Darling is a founding member of the ensemble (no tiny birds), a group that is dedicated to rethinking the presentation of art song recitals. He is also passionate about new music and has premiered works for voice and piano by Christopher Berg, Tom Cipullo, Russell Platt, and Scott Wheeler. He was a faculty member at Yale University from 1994 to 1998 and is currently on the faculty of the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University. Mr. Darling has been on the music staff of Lyric Opera of Chicago's Ryan Opera Center since 1999 and is a master teacher at San Francisco Opera's Merola Opera Program.


Cp2 (Chicago Philharmonic Chamber Players) is a collection of chamber ensembles of varied instrumentation performing under the auspices of the Chicago Philharmonic. Cp2 is dedicated to the original concept of chamber music as "the music of friends," by capturing the jam-session feel of great music played by great musicians. Its groups have been delighting audiences with virtuosic performances in a wealth of musical styles since 2010. Cp2 presentations are set in diverse venues around the Chicago area, from churches in Hinsdale to jazz clubs in Chicago, giving each ensemble a chance to speak with its own unique voice.


The Chicago Philharmonic is a collaboration of over 200 of the highest-level classical musicians performing in the Chicago metropolitan area. Founded 26 years ago by principal musicians from the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra, the Chicago Philharmonic has consistently won accolades from music critics and audiences alike. Its symphonic and chamber concerts at locations throughout the Chicago area cover the full spectrum of classical music, from Bach to Britten and beyond. Governed under a groundbreaking structure of musician leadership, the Chicago Philharmonic's mission is to excite, engage, and transform diverse audiences with the beauty and power of great music. Its outreach programs - which connect Chicago-area youth to classical music and provide public performance opportunities for members of the community - play a crucial role in achieving this objective. The Chicago Philharmonic proudly serves as the official orchestra of the Joffrey Ballet, a 21-year associate of the Ravinia Festival, and a new resident company at the Harris Theater.

Related Articles View More Classical Music Stories

More Hot Stories For You

Before you go...

Never Miss a Story
Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow Us On Instagram instagram