THE SCOOP | The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Will Visit Toronto’s Koerner Hall In 2023

By Anya Wassenberg on October 6, 2022

Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Photo: Todd Rosenberg)
Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Photo: Todd Rosenberg)

For the first time in over a century, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) will perform on a Toronto stage. The Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) will kick off its new International Orchestra Series with two concerts by the CSO with conductor Riccardo Muti on February 1 and 2, 2023.

“I remember with great joy my visit and concerts in Toronto with the Philadelphia Orchestra,” said Riccardo Muti in a statement. “Toronto is a very musical city with an audience that loves music deeply and follows the performances with knowledge and with great discipline and involvement. I look forward to making music again in your wonderful city.”

The CSO’s first Canadian tour took place in 1892, and the last one was in 1914. The CSO is considered one of the world’s premiere orchestras, with 63 Grammy Awards in its history. It was voted the best orchestra in the United States and the fifth-best orchestra in the world by editors of Gramophone in 2008, among other recognition and accolades.

It is the final year of Maestro Muti’s 13-year tenure as the music director of the CSO, so it represents a unique opportunity for Toronto audiences.

“Toronto audiences will be able to bask in the glory of the famous ‘Chicago sound’ in our spectacular Koerner Hall – a match made in heaven! In the 1990s, I spent several years working with the CSO at the Ravinia Festival and in their Symphony Center home, and it is a personal thrill and a dream come true to present them here,” said Mervon Mehta, Executive Director of Performing Arts in a release.

Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Photo: Todd Rosenberg)
Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Photo: Todd Rosenberg)

The Program

“The Royal Conservatory is very proud to host one of the greatest orchestras in the world in its first performance in Toronto in more than 100 years,” said Dr. Peter Simon, President & CEO of The Royal Conservatory. “Led by the legendary Maestro Riccardo Muti, hailed as one of the world’s most preeminent conductors, we look forward to celebrating his legacy as he leads the CSO in performances of two different programs featuring the works of Beethoven, Liadov, Mussorgsky, and Prokofiev.”

Here’s a look at the programs for two distinct concerts.

February 1, 2023:

  • Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A Major, op. 92
  • Sergei Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5 in B flat Major, op. 100

February 2, 2023:

  • Ludwig van Beethoven: Coriolan Overture, op. 62
  • Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 8 in F Major, op. 93
  • Anatoly Liadov: The Enchanted Lake, op. 62
  • Modest Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition

On January 31, as part of the Music on Film series and in conjunction with the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, there will be a screening of two short documentaries on Maestro Muti. Mervon Mehta will lead a Q&A with members of the orchestra after the screening.

Musicians of the CSO will also conduct master classes with students at the Glenn Gould School. Students will also be invited to a CSO rehearsal.

As the first in its International Orchestra Series, Toronto audiences can expect many more global classical music superstars to visit Koerner Hall in the future.

“This is but the beginning in a series of the world’s greatest orchestras and conductors visiting the RCM over the next few seasons,” Mehta says.

Tickets for the CSO in Toronto are on sale now at the link.

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