Chicago Symphony Orchestra graces Foellinger Great Hall

Heading back to the U.S. from the European section of their fall tour, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will grace the stage Tuesday, Sept. 23 at the Foellinger Great Hall for a special evening of incredible 19th century music. Maestro Charles Dutoit will conduct the orchestra through the overture to “The Thieving Magpie” by Gioacchino Rossini, “Symphonie Espagnole for Violin and Orchestra” by Eduard Lalo and finally, “Symphony No. 5” by the great Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
Dutoit is the principal conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the chief conductor and music advisor of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He also has a long-standing history of international conducting with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France, the NHK Symphony Orchestra of Tokyo and many other prestigious international orchestras.
At the first wave of Dutoit’s baton, the evening will start off with the overture to Rossini’s “La Gazza Ladra,” or “The Thieving Magpie,” first performed in 1817 as an opera semiseria, or melodrama. In the overture, the work has been best noted for its snare drum parts. With the amazing acoustics in the Foellinger Great Hall, it will be a stunning work to witness.
Next in the program will be Lalo’s “Symphonie Espagnole for Violin and Orchestra,” first composed in 1874. It will be featuring CSO’s concertmaster Robert Chen. Violinist Chen has been the concertmaster of CSO since 1999. The concerto by Lalo is one of the more well-known works from the Romantic era and will entrance listeners with its colorful Spanish melodies.
Finally, our ears will taste the sweet and sundry tones of all four movements of Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 5,” first performed in 1888. Popularized in World War II during the Siege of Leningrad (where the Leningrad Radio Symphony Orchestra broadcast the work live from Leningrad to London, playing until the very last note as bombs peppered the surrounding area), Tchaikovsy’s “Symphony No. 5” stands not only as a breathtaking piece but also as an ironic historical marking of optimistic fate in regards to the Siege of Leningrad and Tchaikovsky’s originally intended theme for “Symphony No. 5” of “Providence.”
The opportunity to see this amazing orchestra, which has 58 Grammy Awards to its name, should be taken advantage of, so strap on your suspenders and Sunday’s best for Tuesday, Sept. 23. Balcony seats are $15 for the public and $10 for University students and youth, while main floor seats range from $50 to $52 for the public, $45 to $47 for senior citizens, $35 to $37 for students and $30 to $32 for University students and youth. Beware though, it has fallen on the misfortune of many to become confused with the location of the Foellinger Great Hall (myself included), in regards to Foellinger Auditorium. This event will take place in the Foellinger Great Hall, located in the Krannert Center on S. Goodwin Avenue in Urbana ­­— check your Google maps just to be sure!

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