“Overseas touring has been integral to the operation of the Chicago Symphony since 1971, when Georg Solti took the orchestra on a six-week, nine-country swing through the cultural citadels of Europe,” writes John von Rhein in Wednesday’s (1/11) Chicago Tribune. “The CSO’s latest Continental invasion [is] a tight 11-concert, seven-city, two-week swing through France, Germany, Denmark and Italy that’s set to launch Friday in Paris…. ‘International touring enables us to represent Chicago and its vibrant arts and culture community … and to maintain our ranking among the world’s greatest symphonic ensembles,’ said Jeff Alexander, president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association…. This weekend … the Chicago Symphony will become the first foreign orchestra to perform in the three-week opening festival of Hamburg’s … Elbphilharmonie…. Various educational and outreach activities supported by the CSO’s Negaunee Music Institute will occupy CSO players in several tour cities. In Paris, two members will perform for hospital patients, and six orchestra principals will give master classes at the National Conservatory for Music and Dance.” Says Music Director Riccardo Muti, “You don’t build on your reputation as one of the world’s greatest orchestras by playing only to local admirers. The orchestra must physically be there.” 

Posted January 12, 2017

Pictured: Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Vienna, 2014. Photo by Todd Rosenberg