- Type: Classical Music/Opera
NileGuide Expert Says:
How can you go wrong with a 110 year old orchestra that is one of the best in the world? The CSO is a truly wonderful Chicago gem.
NileGuide Expert tip:
Parking downtown can be difficult and expensive, your best bet is to park in the Grant Park South garage. Also, for cheaper tickets call for "day-of" tickets.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is considered among the best in the world; a legacy of the late maestro Sir Georg Solti, who captured a record-breaking 31 Grammy awards for his CSO recordings and showcased the orchestra at other major musical capitals during frequent overseas tours. With the recent appointment of superstar conductor Riccardo Muti as musical director, the symphony will likely maintain -- or even enhance -- its international reputation. (Muti doesn't officially take over until Sept 2010, but he will conduct a number of concerts during the preceding seasons.) In recent years, the symphony has added more modern works into their repertoire, but crowd-pleasing favorites by Beethoven or Brahms are performed regularly as well.
Like many other orchestras around the country, the CSO has diversified its programming to attract younger audiences. The "Symphony Center Presents" series has recently included some of the top jazz, world beat, Latin, and cabaret artists in the world. Although demand is high, good seats for concerts -- turned in by subscribers who can't make it -- often become available on concert days. Call Symphony Center, or stop by the box office to check availability.
Summertime visitors have an opportunity to hear a CSO performance at the delightful Ravinia Festival (tel. 847/266-5100) in suburban Highland Park, led by music director Christoph Eschenbach.
The highly regarded Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the CSO's training orchestra since 1919, presents free programs at Orchestra Hall. The Chicago Symphony Chorus also performs there.
- © Frommer's 2013
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- Highly Recommended 2010