At its annual meeting today, Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association President Deborah F. Rutter and Music Director Designate Riccardo Muti outlined several major initiatives and partnerships that will define Maestro Muti’s tenure as music director and solidify his vision for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO).
Since his appointment in May 2008, Maestro Muti and the CSO have been developing meaningful ways to deepen the Orchestra’s engagement with the Chicago community, to nurture the legacy of the CSO and symphonic music while supporting a new generation of musicians and patrons, and to collaborate with visionary partners who will bring unparalleled musical experiences to the CSO’s audiences while sustaining the distinguished artistic profile of the Orchestra.
In September 2010, when he assumes his post, Maestro Muti and the CSO will begin to realize his vision through new initiatives, artistic partnerships and collaborations in and around Chicago, with an emphasis on providing expanded opportunities for access to the CSO.
Among these new initiatives are:
- the appointments of Mason Bates and Anna Clyne as new CSO Mead Composers-in-Residence
- the development of special programs intended to benefit juvenile offenders and youth at risk
- the creation of the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Competition and Apprenticeship
Complementing these initiatives and furthering Maestro Muti’s vision of expanding the reach of the CSO into the Chicago community, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, along with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, will join with partners in the Mexican-American community to offer performances in celebration of two historic milestones: the 200th anniversary of Mexican Independence and the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution.
Programs that celebrate the culture and history of the city’s Mexican-American residents will be offered at community venues throughout Chicago from September through November 2010.
Additionally, and most notably, Maestro Muti announced at the CSO Association’s annual meeting the continuation of the important relationships with conductors Bernard Haitink and Pierre Boulez in future seasons. Programming for the 2010-2011 season will be announced in February 2010.
“I am very happy to be here in Chicago, sharing many of the exciting plans for the future of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra,” said Riccardo Muti, CSO music director designate. “While making great music is at the heart of what we do, preserving the legacy of symphonic music and providing opportunities for all to have access to the art form are of equal importance.”
“Today is a very exciting day for the CSO and the Chicago community,” commented Deborah F. Rutter, president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association.
“The initiatives and appointments announced today are a testament to Maestro Muti’s wide-reaching vision for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, and they clearly define his dedication to serving the Chicago community and his commitment to preserving and deepening the legacy of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.”
“We are all truly energized and inspired by what has been outlined,” said William A. Osborn, chairman of the CSO Association Board of Trustees. “The dynamic partnership between the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Muti will take the institution to new heights and solidify Chicago’s standing as one of the world’s most important cultural capitals.
The human element of his vision will bring to the forefront the importance of cultural exchange in our society and raise awareness of the need for supporting the legacy of the arts for future generations.”
“The musicians are extremely pleased that Maestro Muti has made such important and far reaching plans for the Orchestra,” commented Stephen Lester, chairman of the CSO Members Committee.
“These plans show not only a deep commitment to the highest artistic standards, but a keen awareness of our community here in Chicago. Maestro Muti believes, as we do, that the music we perform has the power to change lives and communities. We look forward to working with him and making great music.”
CSO Mead Composers-in-Residence: Mason Bates and Anna Clyne
Riccardo Muti has named composers Mason Bates and Anna Clyne as the new CSO Mead Composers-in-Residence.
Both Bates and Clyne share Muti’s deep interest in reaching and establishing roots and partnerships in the Chicago community, and they have committed to extending their art of composition to be inclusive of other art forms such as film, dance and the visual arts.
Their term will begin in September 2010 and will last for two years. In their roles as CSO Mead Composers-in-Residence, both Bates and Clyne will curate the CSO’s contemporary music series, MusicNOW, and act as advocates within the Chicago community to further the understanding and appreciation of all music.
“Both Mason Bates and Anna Clyne are artists who write from the heart, who defy categorization and who reach across all barriers and boundaries” commented CSO Music Director Designate Riccardo Muti.
“Their compositions are meant to be played by great musicians and listened to by enthusiastic audiences no matter what their background. I know that we will do very important work, not only by deepening a connection to those who already know the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, but by bringing music to those who have not had many opportunities to experience it firsthand.”
The Mead Composers-in-Residence are generously supported by Cindy Sargent and the late Sally Hands.
Programs for Juvenile Offenders and Youth at Risk
Maestro Muti and the CSO share a strong belief that music can transform lives, enact social change and transcend cultural divides.
Acting on this belief, Maestro Muti and the CSO’s Institute for Learning, Access and Training are designing programming that will touch an often overlooked segment of society—juvenile offenders and youth at risk.
Currently, the CSO Association and Maestro Muti are developing innovative programming that will provide juvenile offenders and youth at risk with the opportunity to participate in music—as students, performers, composers and audience members.
These experiences will offer outlets for self-expression and creativity and will contribute to the development of positive self-image.
By providing incarcerated youth with opportunities to work together, develop musical skills and showcase these skills in the presence of friends and family members, it is intended that they will leave detention facilities with a sense of empowerment that will help counteract any stigma of having been there.
In partnership with several organizations in the Chicago area currently offering programs that serve incarcerated youth through the arts, the CSO will help to address the great need for this kind of programming.
Through the extraordinarily diverse musical resources of the CSO and the Institute—including the musicians of the CSO, Chicago Symphony Chorus and the Civic Orchestra, as well as the CSO’s Percussion Scholarship Group, CSO Mead Composers-in-Residence, and Maestro Muti—the CSO Association will develop a compelling program that includes role modeling, hands-on instruction and training, youth-generated compositions and inspirational music making.
Further details associated with the programs for juvenile offenders and youth at risk will be announced at a later date.
The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Competition and Apprenticeship
Building on its great tradition of training young musicians, and as a vital investment in the future of the art form, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Muti, in collaboration with Lady Valerie Solti, have developed the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Competition and Apprenticeship.
The program is so named not only because of the deep and long connection Solti had with the CSO, but in honor of his commitment to connecting with young musicians in the same way that he himself developed as a conductor through his work as a repetiteur in the opera house.
This new program will offer a conductor at the start of his or her career the opportunity to come to Chicago to study and train with Riccardo Muti and with other distinguished CSO guest conductors. The selection of an apprentice will be held through a competitive process.
After a preliminary and objective review of applicants, finalists will be invited for a round of auditions, after which a winner will be selected. The apprentice will receive direct financial support annually for two years. Full details and application forms will be available after Jan. 1, 2010 at cso.org.
“Maestro Muti’s immense talent, experience and wisdom will ensure that the traditions, standards and innovations of this renowned ensemble continue,” said Lady Valerie Solti.
“I am very touched that Maestro Muti expressed his wishes to name the project after my husband, Sir Georg Solti, whose belief was that experienced musicians should pass their expertise to future generations. There could be no finer example of that than the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, who have traditionally been outstanding music educators and builders of the future.”
Funding for the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Competition and Apprenticeship is provided by a grant from The Claire Rosen & Samuel Edes Foundation.
The foundation’s deep commitment to education and the arts in America will provide a promising young artist the financial means to focus exclusively on their work with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Muti and the rare opportunities it presents.
About the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
The CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA is consistently hailed as one of today’s leading orchestras. Live performances by the CSO are much in demand at home and in the most prestigious musical venues around the world.
In collaboration with preeminent conductors and guest artists on the international music scene, the CSO performs well over 150 concerts each year at its downtown home, Symphony Center, and at the Ravinia Festival on Chicago’s North Shore, where it is in residence each summer.
With the launch of its Institute for Learning, Access and Training, the CSO engages more than 150,000 Chicago-area residents annually.
Music lovers outside Chicago enjoy the sounds of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra not only through its BP Chicago Symphony Orchestra Radio Broadcast Series and best-selling recordings on its highly acclaimed record label CSO Resound, but also through frequent sold-out tour performances in the United States and around the globe.
Since 1971, the CSO has undertaken 36 overseas tours: 27 to Europe, six to the Far East, as well as one each to Russia, Australia and South America.
For more information about the CSO, visit cso.org.