Chicago Symphony Orchestra, expanding beyond the concert hall

Posted on: February 6, 2015

In his Wednesday (2/4) New York Times review of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s three Carnegie Hall concerts led by Music Director Riccardo Muti last weekend, James Oestreich includes a discussion of the CSO’s visit to Bellevue Hospital while in New York City. “Orchestras have been re-examining their missions: often expanding their activities to produce other sources of revenue, create good will among donors and patrons and demonstrate their social value to their communities…. The Chicago Symphony has been in the forefront of this, deploying players in its Citizen Musician program.” On Friday afternoon, “Touching, sometimes shattering, moments occurred … at Bellevue Hospital, where the four players—Yuan-Qing Yu, assistant concertmaster; Gina DiBello, violinist; Weijing Wang, violist; and Katinka Kleijn, cellist—played for seriously ill patients, with other patients or medical staff members gathered around. In one case, a patient seemingly in a coma managed to express appreciation, the medical attendants said, through a measurable increase in her heart rate. Others found more direct ways. ‘One more,’ a patient burst out after Ms. Kleijn had played a movement of solo Bach. Ms. Kleijn played one more.” The review also includes coverage of CSO master classes in Carnegie’s Resnick Education Wing.

Posted February 6, 2015