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Music Director Riccardo Muti Returns to Chicago in September to Launch Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s 2021-22 Season

Music Director Riccardo Muti (photo: Todd Rosenberg)

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA) announces that Riccardo Muti will return to Chicago this September to launch his 12th season as Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) with a three-week residency (Sep 23–Oct 8). Featuring the CSO premieres of works by Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, Florence Price and Missy Mazzoli; Beethoven and Tchaikovsky symphonies; and a collaboration with violinist Leonidas Kavakos, Muti’s season-opening programs with the orchestra represent their first performances together in Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center since February 2020.

Additional 2021-22 season highlights for Muti with the CSO include the world premieres of works by current and incoming Mead Composers-in-Residence Missy Mazzoli and Jessie Montgomery; the CSO premieres of Florence Price’s Third Symphony and Philip Glass’s Eleventh Symphony; and performances of Beethoven’s Fourth, Sixth and Ninth Symphonies, the latter featuring the Chicago Symphony Chorus, prepared by Chorus Director Duain Wolfe.

Riccardo Muti comments:

“I am delighted to rejoin my Chicago Symphony Orchestra family once again to share the sound of this great orchestra with audiences in Chicago. As it has for many years, the spiritual food of culture will bring us together, but this time with a special poignancy after being so long apart.”

Full CSO and Symphony Center Presents (SCP) programming for fall 2021 will be announced on July 13. Create Your Own series ticket packages of three or more programs, including the opening programs of the 2021-22 season, go on sale to the public beginning July 13 at 10am CDT, with single tickets going on sale later this summer. More information is available at

Muti Conducts Saint-Georges, Price & Beethoven “Eroica” (Sep 23–25)

The first program of the 2021–22 season opens with the CSO premiere of the Overture to L’Amant anonyme (“The Anonymous Lover”), an 18th-century comic opera by Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, who was born in Guadeloupe to a French father and Senagalese mother. An accomplished composer, conductor and violinist, Bologne lived in Paris during the Classical period, where he wrote small ensemble and orchestral works, as well as several operas including L’Amant anonyme, which is his only surviving opera score still performed today. The program continues with the CSO premiere of Andante moderato, a lyrical work for string orchestra by Black American composer Florence Price, whose First Symphony received its world premiere performance by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1933. To complete their program, Muti and the orchestra perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica”), marking the first of several of the composer’s symphonies to feature in the 2021-22 season.

Muti, Kavakos & Beethoven 7 (Sep 30–Oct 2)

Muti and the CSO welcome violinist Leonidas Kavakos back to Orchestra Hall for a collaboration that builds on their critically acclaimed performances of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in 2019. In the upcoming program, Muti leads the Kavakos and the CSO in Brahms’s Violin Concerto, a landmark work of depth and melodic expression, before concluding with the orchestra’s account of Beethoven’s exuberant Seventh Symphony.

Muti Conducts Mazzoli & Tchaikovsky “Pathétique” (Oct 7–9)

The final program of Muti’s fall 2021 residency opens with the CSO premiere of Missy Mazzoli’s 2006 orchestral work, These Worlds in Us. Drawing inspiration from her father’s military service and a poem honoring a military pilot’s life, her piece is scored for a colorful array of orchestral instruments, including an eclectic selection of percussion. Two 19th-century Russian works complete the program: Liadov’s tranquil tone poem The Enchanted Lake and Tchaikovsky’s dark and tempestuous Symphony No. 6 (“Pathétique”).

Additional 2021-22 programming highlights for Riccardo Muti and the CSO

-World premiere performance of Orpheus Undone, a CSO commission from current Mead Composer-in Residence Missy Mazzoli (spring 2022)
-World premiere performance of a new CSO commission from incoming Mead Composer-in-Residence Jessie Montgomery (spring 2022)
-CSO premiere of Florence Price’s Third Symphony (spring 2022)
-CSO premiere of Philip Glass’s Eleventh Symphony (winter 2022)
-Beethoven’s Fourth, Sixth and Ninth Symphonies (winter/spring 2022)
-Symphony Ball concert and gala (April 2, 2022 TBC)
-Season finale programs including Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera in concert and free “Concert for Chicago” in Millennium Park (June 2022)

More information about the concert experience at Symphony Center will continue to be updated at For additional questions, contact Patron Services at [email protected] or (312) 294-3000.

The CSO’s music director position is endowed in perpetuity by a generous gift from the Zell Family Foundation. United Airlines is the Official Airline of the CSO.

Click here for high-resolution photos and more.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) & Music Director Riccardo Muti

Season-opening concerts, 2021-22
Orchestra Hall, Symphony Center, Chicago

Sep 23 at 7:30pm, Sep 24 at 1:30pm & Sep 25 at 8pm
“Muti Conducts Saint-Georges, Price & Beethoven 3”
Saint-Georges: Overture to L’Amant anonyme (CSO premiere)
Price: Andante Moderato (CSO premiere)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica”)

Sep 30 at 7:30pm, Oct 1 at 1:30pm & Oct 2 at 8pm
“Muti, Kavakos & Beethoven 7”
Brahms: Violin Concerto (with Leonidas Kavakos, violin)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7

Oct 7 at 7:30pm, Oct 8 at 1:30pm & Oct 9 at 8pm
“Muti Conducts Mazzoli & Tchaikovsky Pathétique”
Missy Mazzoli: These Worlds in Us (CSO premiere)
Liadov: The Enchanted Lake
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 (“Pathétique”)

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© 21C Media Group, June 2021


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