In the Sunday (5/31) edition of the Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein previews the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s three-week Dvorák Festival, which begins on Wednesday. “Audiences will be able to experience the full spectrum of Dvorák’s art, from symphonies and concertos to choral and operatic music to chamber music played by the Emerson String Quartet. The festival will span 13 concerts, lectures, a conversation with festival director Mark Elder, a documentary, and various pre- and post-concert events… ‘I thought a three-week festival would allow us to take some risks, to do something that would never normally be done,’ says Elder, the British conductor who planned the event along with Martha Gilmer, the CSO’s vice president of artistic administration.” Von Rhein traces Dvorák’s Chicago connection: “The Chicago Orchestra (as the CSO was then named) first played Dvorák’s ‘New World’ Symphony in November 1894, little more than a year after the distinguished Czech composer took Chicago by storm. Dvorák’s one and only appearance here was in August 1893… Dvorák conducted some of his own music, inspiring thunderous ovations and worshipful reviews from the press.”

Posted June 2, 2009