Chicago Philharmonic Finishes 2016-17 With Compilation of Masterpieces and New Works, 4/9

The final concert in Chicago Philharmonic's 2016-2017 season explores the infinite diversity of love in all its forms. With guest conductor Gerhardt Zimmermann, Paths of Passion features the technical and lyrical mastery of Robert Hanford in both Frank Waxman's Carmen Fantasy and Dvorak's Romance in F Minor in a breathtaking display of violin virtuosity. New World, the symphony that Neil Armstrong reportedly took with him during his successful Apollo 11 mission to the moon, explores patriotic devotion and Zimmermann presents his own labor of love: an intricate transcription of Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 7 for chamber symphony.

Richie Hofmann, award-winning poet, author and performer, will present his own passionate poetry. Also featured in Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 are five young Chicago area musicians from the Birch Creek Symphony Program, a summer music academy in Door County, as part of our spotlight mentoring program.

This multi-faceted, collaborative event is an excellent finale to the Chicago Philharmonic's season.

Paths of Passion
Sunday, April 9, 2017, 3 pm
Pick-Staiger Hall
50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston

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)

Gerhardt Zimmermann conductor
Robert Hanford violin
Richie Hofmann poet and performer
Members of the Dover Quartet Residency Program
at the Bienen School of Music, Northwestern Next! Foyer Music

Tickets from $25 to $75. For more information, visit


Gerhardt Zimmermann, conductor, begins his 36th year as Music Director and Conductor of the Canton Symphony Orchestra. His energetic and vibrant performances have drawn invitations to appear on the podium with the Cleveland, Chicago, National, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, New Jersey, Syracuse, Rochester, and San Antonio Symphonies. Other guest appearances include the Warsaw Philharmonic, the OrchestreSymphonique de Paris, the Toronto Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic, Tulsa Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago's Grant Park Music Festival, and the Colorado Philharmonic. As comfortable with opera as on the concert stage, the Maestro has conducted staged works of Mozart, Verdi, Strauss Jr, Puccini, and Gershwin.

In 2006, Zimmermann was named Director of Orchestral Activities at The University of Texas, at Austin. Zimmermann served as the Music Director and Conductor of the North Carolina Symphony for 21 seasons from 1982-2002 and Conductor Laureate from 2002-2007. He also served as Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Breckenridge Music Festival from 1993-2014.

Born in Ohio, Gerhardt and his wife Sharon, have two children, Anna Marie and Peter Karl Irum, and have five grandchildren.

Robert Hanford, violin, concertmaster of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and frequently serves as concertmaster of the Chicago Philharmonic. In the summers, he serves as a concertmaster at the Aspen Music Festival. Previously, Mr. Hanford was the Associate Principal Second Violinist of the Minnesota Orchestra, a member of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and a member of Chicago's Grant Park Symphony. He has appeared as a soloist on many occasions with the Chicago Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony, and other Midwestern orchestras. He has performed with numerous chamber ensembles, most recently as a member of the Rembrandt Chamber Players. Mr. Hanford attended Northwestern University and is currently on their faculty as a violin instructor. He graduated with first prize from the Orpheus Conservatory in Athens, Greece. For many summers, he was concertmaster and violin instructor at the Birch Creek Music Festival in Wisconsin and performed and taught at the MidAmerica Chamber Music Festival, the Milwaukee Chamber Music Festival, and the Roycroft Chamber Music Festival.

In addition to his professional career as a violinist, Robert has studied and performed on the theremin, one of the first electronic instruments. Robert is also an amateur artist blacksmith, having attended courses in Wyoming and Illinois. Older interests have been table tennis, juggling, unicycling, and high-voltage electronics.

Mr. Hanford lives in Evanston, Illinois, with his wife Sheila, also a violinist. They have three sons.

Richie Hofmann is the author of a collection of poems, Second Empire (2015), winner of the 2014 Beatrice Hawley Award. He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, and his poems appear in the New Yorker, Kenyon Review, the New Republic, Ploughshares, New England Review, the New Criterion, Yale Review, and Poetry. He has been featured in the New York Times Style Magazine, on Poetry Daily, on the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, in the anthology, Best New Poets 2014, and in Poets & Writers Featured Debuts of 2015. He has received the John Ciardi Scholarship from Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Peter Taylor Fellowship from Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, the Tennessee Williams Scholarship from Sewanee Writers' Conference, a scholarship from the New York State Summer Writers Institute, and the Michael Peich Scholarship from West Chester Poetry Conference. A graduate of the University Professors Program at Boston University and the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars MFA program, he is a doctoral candidate at Emory University, where he has held the Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry. He has also taught summer workshops for the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop and for Northwestern University's Center for Talent Development. With Kara van de Graaf, he founded Lightbox, an online educational resource featuring original interviews with poets and materials for classroom use. He lives in Chicago.

About The Chicago Philharmonic Society

The Chicago Philharmonic Society is a collaboration of over 200 of the highest-level classical musicians performing in the Chicago metropolitan area. Governed under a groundbreaking structure of musician leadership, the Society presents concerts at venues throughout the Chicago area that cover the full spectrum of classical music, from Bach to Britten and beyond. The Society's orchestra, known simply as the Chicago Philharmonic, has been called "one of the country's finest symphonic orchestras" (Chicago Tribune), and its unique chamber music ensembles, which perform as the Chicago Philharmonic Chamber Players (cp2), draw from its vast pool of versatile musicians. The Society's outreach programs connect Chicago-area youth to classical music and provide performance opportunities for members of the community. Founded 26 years ago by principal musicians from the Lyric Opera Orchestra, the Chicago Philharmonic currently serves as the official orchestra of the Joffrey Ballet, continues its decades-long association with the Ravinia Festival, and presents symphonic concerts in Chicago's North Shore region and, since May 2016, at the Harris Theater.


The Chicago Philharmonic established its NEXT! initiativeto give extraordinary musicians the opportunity to be heard by Chicago Philharmonic patrons, musicians and conductors. These fresh talents of merit are showcased in the foyer before Chicago Philharmonic concerts. In recent seasons we have welcomed specially selected students from the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, Music Institute of Chicago, Wheaton College and DePaul University.


Spotlight is a mentoring program designed to give professional symphonic performance opportunities to exceptional young musicians. The program provides these students an opportunity to perform with orchestra mentors in rehearsal sessions, followed by a professional performance of a major classical work. Past participants have been drawn from throughout the Chicago metropolitan area and have included students from New Trier High School, Protégé Philharmonic, Music Institute of Chicago, Midwest Young Artists and Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras.

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From This Author Molly Tracy