Civic Orchestra of Chicago gears up for conductorless Beethoven Sixth

Posted on: May 6, 2013

In Sunday’s (5/5) Chicago Tribune, Mark Caro writes, “The young musicians of the Civic Orchestra, as enamored as they were of the prospect of being mentored by Yo-Yo Ma, didn’t see it coming. The world’s most celebrated cellist, who’s the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s creative consultant, was chatting with the Civic members on the Orchestra Hall stage in October about their May performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, aka the Pastoral Symphony. … Pondering their Beethoven’s Sixth performance, the 57-year-old cellist suggested: ‘Maybe you could do it outdoors. And maybe you could do it without music. And maybe you might want to do it without a conductor.’ … Seven months later, May 11, members of the Civic Orchestra will perform portions of Beethoven’s Sixth at a couple of locations along North Michigan Avenue, beginning with a chamber ensemble tackling the first movement from memory without a conductor at the Apple Store at 3 p.m. before the full Civic ensemble moves to another unannounced (i.e. surprise) location. These performances are in conjunction with the Friends of the Chicago River’s annual Chicago River Day, as well as the CSO’s own Rivers Festival. The Civic will play the entire Pastoral Symphony on May 13 at Orchestra Hall, with the orchestra again working without a conductor and playing from memory. The program, also part of the Rivers Festival, will feature Ma as soloist on Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C major as well.”

Posted May 6, 2013