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Chicago Symphony Orchestra Announces Fall and Holiday 2021 Season


Program information for the remainder of the 2021/22 season will be announced in October.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Announces Fall and Holiday 2021 Season

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA) announces details of its Fall and Holiday 2021 programming at Symphony Center. Programs include Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) concerts with Music Director Riccardo Muti and distinguished guest conductors and artists including the CSO's Artist-in-Residence Hilary Hahn, Symphony Center Presents (SCP) concerts on the Jazz, Chamber Music and Piano series, the first CSO MusicNOW program curated by Jessie Montgomery, the newly appointed Mead Composer-in-Residence, Civic Orchestra of Chicago and CSO for Kids concerts, as well as holiday programming that opens with a CSO at the Movies presentation on Thanksgiving weekend.

In accordance with current public health and safety guidelines, audience capacity will not be limited for these performances unless conditions and guidelines change.

Patrons may purchase ticket packages of three or more Fall or Holiday 2021 programs and single tickets for the Herbie Hancock concert that opens the SCP Jazz series on September 2, with single tickets for Fall and Holiday 2021 programs going on sale in August.

Program information for the remainder of the 2021/22 season will be announced in October. Detailed program information can be found at with Safe and Sound guidelines for audiences at

As previously announced, Riccardo Muti returns in September 2021 for three weeks of concerts to open the CSO's 2021/22 season at Symphony Center, the Orchestra's 131st season and Muti's 12th season as Music Director. In these programs, which represent the first performances for Muti and the CSO together since February 2020, Muti will conduct works by Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges; Florence Price and Missy Mazzoli; symphonies of Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, and Brahms' Violin Concerto with Leonidas Kavakos as soloist. In 2022, additional program highlights for Muti and the CSO include performances of Beethoven's Fourth, Sixth and Ninth symphonies, as well as world premieres of CSO-commissioned works by former and current Mead Composers-in-Residence, Missy Mazzoli and Jessie Montgomery, and the first CSO performances of Florence Price's Symphony No. 3 and Philip Glass' Symphony No. 11. Muti's season finale programs with the CSO in June 2022 include Verdi's Un ballo in maschera, performed in concert, and a free Concert for Chicago in Millennium Park.

Special focal points during Fall 2021 include world premieres of CSO-commissioned works by Magnus Lindberg and Gabriela Lena Frank, and programs that mark centenary moments connected to composers Sergei Prokofiev and Astor Piazzolla.

Prokofiev, whose music received several premieres by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, came to Chicago in 1921 to perform the premiere of his Piano Concerto No. 3 as soloist with the CSO and Music Director Frederick Stock. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of this historic performance, the CSO, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, will perform Piano Concerto No.

3 with Denis Matsuev as soloist in October. The centennial celebration also features Tilson Thomas leading October performances of Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 1 with Alexander Gavrylyuk as soloist, and Daniil Trifonov performing Prokofiev's Sarcasms, Op. 17 as part of a Symphony Center Presents Piano recital in November.

This season also marks the centenary of Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992), the great Argentine bandoneón virtuoso and composer known for the transformation of the tango through his use of classical counterpoint and jazz. Two November programs celebrate this gifted composer's music: a CSO concert led by guest conductor Giancarlo Guerrero featuring Piazzolla's Aconcagua Concerto for Bandoneón and Orchestra, with soloist Daniel Binelli and a Symphony Center Presents program featuring Latin Grammy Award-winning Quinteto Astor Piazzolla, who will make its first appearance at Symphony Center.

Additional 2021 program highlights include solo appearances with the Orchestra for CSO Concertmaster Robert Chen and Principal Cello John Sharp, as well as the November 1 opening program of CSO MusicNOW, curated by Mead Composer-in-Residence Jessie Montgomery and featuring her compositions Lunar Songs and Loisaida, My Love, as well as works by Nathalie Joachim, Elijah Daniel Smith and Ted Hearne. Symphony Center Presents welcomes keyboard legend and NEA Jazz Master Herbie Hancock to open the SCP Jazz series on September 2, as well as pianist Lang Lang to perform Bach's Goldberg Variations and internationally acclaimed artists Leonidas Kavakos and Yuja Wang, who will join forces for an SCP chamber music recital featuring works of Bach, Busoni and Shostakovich. In December, the Chicago Symphony Chorus, prepared by Chorus Director Duain Wolfe, marks its official return to Symphony Center for the first time since February 2020 in performances with the CSO of Handel's Messiah, led by conductor Nicholas McGegan. Civic Orchestra Principal Conductor Ken-David Masur joins the Civic Orchestra for a program in December and guest conductor Thomas Wilkins marks a return to the podium in Civic Orchestra of Chicago and CSO for Kids concerts.

A chronological list of CSOA-presented Fall 2021 and Holiday programs is available here.

Learn more and purchase tickets at and

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