The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Salutes Dvořák

dvorakCSO's Dvořák Festival featured in Conference program


The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s 2008/09 season culminates with the Dvořák Festival, from May 30 to June 20, saluting the life and work of Antonín Dvořák. His pioneering visit to America in the 1890s had a great influence on his music and the development of the American symphonic voice. Building on some of Dvořák’s most popular works conceived and performed during his stay in the U.S. (including time spent in Chicago and Spillville, Iowa), the festival celebrates the composer’s native Czech culture through music, film, poetry and song.

Festival links:

At Conference:

Wednesday, June 10

Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center
Conference Concert

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Sir Mark Elder, conductor
Alisa Weilerstein, cello


 From L-R: Sir Mark Elder, Alisa Weilerstein (photos: Sheila Rock)

  • Antonín Dvořák        In Nature’s Realm, Op. 91
  • Antonín Dvořák        Cello Concerto in B Minor, Op. 104,
                                    Alisa Weilerstein, Cello
  • Antonín Dvořák        Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88

Twenty-five-year-old American virtuosa Alisa Weilerstein is featured in Dvorák’s Cello Concerto, one of the most beloved concertos ever written. The pastoral Eighth Symphony is a late-Romantic treasure. A portrait of country life, complete with rustic dances and birdsong, this is one of the Czech composer’s most infectious and familiar works.

Tonight’s performance is part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s three-week Dvořák Festival. 

Thursday, June 11


Beyond the Score ®
Sir Mark Elder, conductor
Gerard McBurney, narrator and creative director
Civic Orchestra of Chicago


From L-R: Sir Mark Elder, Gerard McBurney

  • Paul Dukas            Fanfare from La péri
  • Beyond the Score: Dvořák Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95 (From the New World)
  • Antonín Dvořák            Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95 (From the New World)

Designed not only for classical music aficionados, but also for newcomers looking to delve deeper into the world of classical music, the first half of each Beyond the Score program offers a live multimedia documentary of the selected score—its context in history, how it fits into the composer’s output of works, the details of a composer’s life that influenced its creation—on the stage of Orchestra Hall, sharing the illuminating stories found “inside” the music.  Live musical examples by the Orchestra are called upon to illustrate the structure of each composition.  After an intermission, concertgoers return to the hall with newly discovered knowledge to hear a performance of the score, played in its entirety by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Today’s performance is part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s three-week Dvořák Festival.

The Dvořák Festival receives support from the following generous donors:  Mr. & Mrs. Joseph B. Glossberg • Chet Gougis and Shelley Ochab • Mr. & Mrs. Thomas C. Heagy • Judy and Verne Istock • The Kapnick Family • Nancy and Donald Kempf • Kirkland & Ellis, LLP • Robert Kohl and Clark Pellett   Jim and Kay Mabie • James and Susan Matson • Molex, Inc. • The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust • National Endowment for the Arts • Mr. & Mrs. T. Paul B. O’Donovan • Cathy and Bill Osborn • Mr. & Mrs. Albert Pawlick • Jerry Rose • Mr. John Schmidt and Dr. Janet Gilboy • In honor and loving memory of Alice Welsh Skilling • And from a major challenge grant from The Jentes Family.

Major support for Beyond the Score is provided by The Davee Foundation.