Chicago Symphony’s 2020 gala fundraiser goes on—online

Posted on: October 27, 2020

“The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association has staged uncounted gala fundraisers through the years, but never one quite like Saturday night’s affair,” writes Howard Reich in Sunday’s (10/25) Chicago Tribune. “Musical luminaries from around the world reflected on what the orchestra means to them. CSO and Civic Orchestra musicians performed repertoire both populist and rarefied. And CSO members told their stories. But it was all online…. The prerecorded ‘Sounds of Celebration: An Evening at Home with the CSO’ … raised $910,000 so far.… ‘We are fine here,’ said CSO music director Riccardo Muti, speaking from Ravenna, Italy…. ‘But … my family, music family, is the Chicago Symphony. So practically I am a sort of father without the family around.’ ” Participants included cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who “performed a duet with cellist Dara Hankins, a Civic Orchestra member in the 2019-20 season.… The program opened with CSO musicians playing the exuberant march from Verne Reynolds’ Suite for Brass Quintet. CSO principal percussion Cynthia Yeh [performed] Elden ‘Buster’ Bailey’s whimsical ‘Two Sticks in Search of a Waltz’ for xylophone. And CSO concertmaster Robert Chen and principal cello John Sharp dispatched the finale of Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Cello with considerable technical elan and sensitivity.” Read about virtual galas in the new issue of Symphony magazine.