What Chicago organization fits this description:
Was formed at the turn of the century
Has thousands of aficionados ranging from casual fans who enjoy them at home to big supporters who buy season tickets
Is known worldwide for being among the very best at what they do
I’ll give you a hint – it’s not the Cubs.
Founded in 1891, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is consistently ranked as one of the best orchestras in the world. When it comes to the big leagues of music, the Windy City is definitely home of the champions! We are incredibly lucky to have such a talent rich and well-run institution in our city. If you’ve never seen them live, this is a great year to start.
But maybe you feel classical music can be a little intimidating. And…isn’t it boring?
To both, I give a resounding NO! All it takes is a little knowledge to break down the intimidation. The CSO’s web site is treasure trove of information, including the handy Plan your Experience page which includes answers to afraid-to-ask-questions such as “What should I wear?” and “When do I clap?”
As for boredom, here are two things to remember:
1) The CSO’s signature sound is their bombastic brass section. If you pick the right concert, you’ll be pinned to the back of your seat and far from bored!
2) The key to enjoying a classical concert is to listen to a piece at home before you hear it live. You’ll have a deeper appreciation after you’ve heard it the first time. YouTube is a great resource for free orchestral music.
I’ve put together a small selection of upcoming concerts you might enjoy. Many programs are repeated, so see the links for a complete listing of dates…
Relaxing: Melt your troubles away with sonatas by Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms on November 17, 2010 8:00 PM
Music & Movies: The CSO will play along to a showing of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Shower scene violins, anyone? November 19, 2010 8:00pm
Holiday: Welcome Yule! starts December 17, 2010 7:00pm. Kids love this series.
Big and LOUD: Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony is one of my favorites! Crank your speakers and listen to the 4th movement. This piece will be performed at the series starting February 3rd and again on April 8th.
There’s a huge world of fun and emotional music waiting to be discovered! Want to learn more? Check out the CSO’s Beyond the Score video series. Their educational department has paired popular works with narration and video to provide a sensory immersion in the music.
Symphony Center is a hive of activity, so be sure to consult the complete 2010-2011 schedule. I think you’ll be surprised at the amount and variety of programs. See you there!
Photo Credit: via Flickr by Jordan Fischer