Chicago Philharmonic Presents Mozart and Schubert Masterworks

October 31, 2010 8:00:55 AM PDT
Acclaimed conductor Joel Smirnoff returns to lead the renowned Chicago Philharmonic in Schubert's Symphony No. 5. Principal Horn, Neil Kimel is featured in Mozart's dazzling Horn Concerto No. 3.

The concert opens with one of Mozart's finest symphonic works, the Symphony No. 38 in D Major, known as "The Prague." Mozart and Schubert Masterworks takes place Sunday, November 7 at 7 p.m. at Pick-Staiger Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive in Evanston.

Smirnoff was hailed by the Boston Globe for being "a gifted and sympathetic conductor moving with balletic fluency and assuring an intimate relationship between the words and rhythms of the singers and the colors of the chamber orchestra." He will return to Pick-Staiger to conduct the Chicago Philharmonic in their second concert of the season. Smirnoff is known for his high energy and great attention to the stylistic demands of each work.

The evening begins with Mozart's Symphony No. 38 in D major, K. 504. Known popularly as the "Prague Symphony", Mozart wrote this work in 1786 intending it to be performed in Prague, the city that saw the premiere of his opera, Don Giovanni, only a year later. The symphony is followed by Mozart's Horn Concerto No. 3 in E flat major. It is one of four such works written by Mozart for horn. He wrote this concerto as a friendly gesture for an extraordinary hornist by the name of Joseph Leutgeb during Mozart's Vienna period. The piece requires a greatly skilled performer as it is filled with trills, hand-stomping and other challenging maneuvers. The Chicago Philharmonic's principal horn Neil Kimel is featured as the soloist in this magnificent piece. Kimel is an exceptional performer who is also a member of both Chicago's Lyric Opera Orchestra and the Grant Park Orchestra.

And rounding out the program is another masterpiece - Schubert's Symphony No. 5. Despite his early death at the age of thirty-one, Schubert wrote almost 1000 works in a remarkably short career. He is now widely considered to be one of the greatest of all composers. His Symphony No. 5 was created for a small group of musical friends. The exquisite Symphony No. 5's delicate scoring is perfectly matched with the modest orchestration (one flute, two oboes, two bassoons, two horns, and strings). It has often been noted that this work has an extraordinarily Mozartean quality. It therefore perfectly complements the music of the first half. The intimate Pick-Staiger with its outstanding acoustics will provide a perfect venue for this delightful piece.

The CPO's Symphonic Season Continues: Celebrated organist and harpsichordist David Schrader will conduct the Chicago Philharmonic's third concert on Sunday, April 17 at 7:00 p.m. Schrader, who is well-known to devotees of Baroque music, will perform Concerto for Harpsichord in D Minor by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach accompanied by the Chicago Philharmonic. CPO Piccolo player Alyce Johnson is featured in the virtuoso Concerto in C Major for Piccolo and Orchestra by Vivaldi. Other Baroque sensations will round out the program. Larry Rachleff, Conductor and Music Director, will return to the Chicago Philharmonic to end the season on Sunday, May 15 at 7 p.m. in a blaze of excitement with Brahms' Symphony No. 1. Brahms declared that Symphony No. 1, from sketches to finishing touches, took 21 years - from 1855 to 1876. Internationally-renowned pianist Jeffrey Siegel will be featured in Beethoven's Emperor Concerto.

Celebrating Twenty Years as Chicago's Other Great Orchestra: As the Chicago Philharmonic wraps up its 20th anniversary season, the orchestra continues its mission to offer exceptional music at a reasonable price. Located on Chicago's beautiful North Shore, the acoustic warmth and intimacy of Pick-Staiger Hall brings the audience and performers together like no other venue. The Chicago Philharmonic offers programming that captivates both experienced listeners and those new to classical music. The orchestra has singular strengths: Many of its members are drawn from the Lyric Opera Orchestra and therefore have been meticulously screened for some of the country's most coveted positions. Other members are proven top-flight career musicians from the Chicago area. The orchestra's cadre of seasoned professional musicians has performed together over many years developing a special ensemble virtuosity that thrills the listener. The orchestra has featured world-renowned conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Sir Andrew Davis and Jesus Lopez-Cobos, and distinguished guest artists such as John Browning, Jorge Osario, Sharon Isbin and Vladimir Ovchinnikov.

Ticket Information: Single ticket prices range from $20 - $75 for each concert. Student tickets are $10. Visit www.chicagophilharmonic.org or call the Chicago Philharmonic office at (847) 866-6888. Concerts take place at Pick-Staiger Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, IL 60201.


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