Tag Archives: Chicago Symphony Orchestra


Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  Saturday evening subscription concert.

Juanjo Mena conducts the CSO in a program featuring Holst’s powerful and haunting The Planets. Sally Matthews, a soprano of “incandescent verve” (The Times, London), performs two scenes from Barber’s 1966 opera that opened the Metropolitan Opera’s new house at Lincoln Center. Detroit-based composer James Lee III’s celebratory Sukkot Through Orion’s Nebula illustrates an ancient Hebrew harvest festival refracted through the lens of the Book of Revelation.

My soul thus refreshed, I am ready for the annual meeting of the National Association of Schools of Music.

Saturday in Chicago

I spent an active day in Chicago yesterday.

Breakfast was at the Corner Bakery by my hotel. Then I took off for the Newberry Library and their magnificent exhibition about the 1893 Columbian Exposition here in Chicago.

I bought a few greeting cards too, then headed to the Art Institute. Since I have never done the whole Chinese collection, I spent most of my time there on Saturday. What a glorious permanent collection this is!

I met up with my friend Ramelle and two of her friends for a quick dinner and drinks at the Purple Pig, then went to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for their subscription concert Saturday evening. Michael Tilson Thomas conducted, with the second half being the heart-churning Symphony No. 6 by Tchaikovsky.

A quick late call with Yufei brought me back the hotel for a drink and a blog entry. And some Amazon time looking up books I saw today….

I also stopped by a few shops today, and have now a few extra [smaller] bags of goodies to bring home.

Chicago scenes

I love Chicago.

On this business trip, I took an extra day to catch up with alumni and go the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Prokofiev, Poulenc, and Gounod, with the magnificent Chicago Symphony Chorus).

The Chicago visit (Amtrak both directions) included a huge meal at Berghoff’s, a college fair at Northwestern University, a late dinner with my voice studio alum Charlie Ingram, brunch with Ball State alum Josh Stierley, the symphony concert, drinks with my dear friend Adam Hendrickson, and dinner around the corner at an Irish pub.

And my new favorite Hampton Inn, just off Michigan Avenue, a block south of the Chicago River.

As I write on Saturday morning, I’ve spent some time in the Metropolitan Lounge at Chicago Union Station.  I’m so pleased to see some Amtrak operations moved back into the splendor of the old terminal, and to find a dedicated & comfortable business class lounge at the station as well.


Beloved former student Josh Stierley, now working on a doctorate at UIC.
Chicago River from my hotel room, with Wacker Drive.
Rahm schnitzel at Berghoff’s.
With Webster alum Charlie Ingram, my former voice student.



Performances to attend

My fall performances-to-attend schedule is coming into focus, and I’ve purchased quite a few tickets in the past few days.

September 11 — our own jazz series

September 12 — South Pacific at Stages

September 13 — Curious Incident at Rep

September 15 — Harry Potter at SLSO

September 17 — Daniel Schene, piano, at Webster

September 18 — Paul DeMarinis Ensemble at Webster

September 24 — my own studio recital at Webster, and then a faculty recital that evening

September 25 — jazz series at Webster

September 29 — [title of show] at WebCo

September 30 — Lizzie at New Line

October 2 — Debby Lennon jazz concert at Webster

October 6 — Chicago Symphony Orchestra, in Chicago!

October 8 — Webster University Orchestra

October 9 — faculty recital at Webster

October 11 — The Bodyguard at the Fox

October 12 — Spring Awakening at Stray Dog

October 15 — two events at Webster

October 16 — Wind Ensemble at Webster

October 17 — faculty recital at Webster

October 18 — Muny Magic at the Sheldon

October 20 — Hamlet at the Rep

October 21 — The Wizard of Oz by Variety Club at the Touhill

October 22 — SLSO

October 30 — Webster University Chamber Singers pre-conference concert

I shan’t even think yet about November and December.

And there’s also five trips in October and November, which means I’m missing some other things here in town!

In Chicago

I enjoyed a full and rich day in Chicago yesterday!

Departure from home was at 6.30 a.m.  Arriving at the airport, I found no line whatsoever for security.  But Lambert was mobbed with men and women in uniform on their way home for a holiday break.  I got called ‘sir’ so many times I felt positively old.

My day plans in Chicago changed abruptly the night before, so I regrouped and decided to be an architectural tourist.  Leaving my bags at the Palmer House, I stepped out on the green line for Oak Park and the Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio.  I also stopped by Unity Temple in Oak Brook, the last of the public FLW buildings still in use, to view the wonders of his architecture there.  Pictures from the visits will wait for a better internet connection, although I’ll post a few here.

Kyle, snagged from his Facebook page.
Kyle, snagged from his Facebook page.

After a quick nap in my corner room at the Palmer House Hilton, I walked over to the blue line and a short hop northwest to Grand and Milwaukee.  I met my old student Kyle Cothern (Ball State ’05) for a long dinner and catch-up.  Kyle is now working for GIA Publications here in Chicago.  We’d not seen each other in eight years, and we had a delightful dinner!

By the way, our dinner at The Dawson was grand, with wonderful food and a stunning appetizer of grilled leeks.

And now it’s Saturday.  I shall today visit the Art Institute of Chicago, then go Symphony Center for not one but two concerts by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  This afternoon: a pops concert with Duain Wolfe conducting, and my friend Adam Hendrickson singing in the chorus.  Tonight: Eschenbach conducting the Bruckner 9th symphony.

And then tomorrow, God willing, I fly home for a final rush of things to do before Christmas.



Last evening, instead of catching the first few innings of the baseball game, I watched the Verdi 200th birthday concert of his Requiem as performed by the Muti and the Chicago Symphony.  My former student Adam is in the chorus.

I was especially smitten by the choral singing in this work!  My opinion about whole differs somewhat from the rapturous reviews from the Chicago critics, but we can’t all see eye to eye . . .

Here is the stream.  Enjoy!