CHICAGO—The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA) announces that the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s October 2010 concert performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 led by Helen Regenstein Conductor Emeritus Pierre Boulez will be presented in a digital premiere on the composer’s birthday, Tuesday, July 7, at 7:00 p.m. (CDT) on cso.org and on the CSO’s Facebook and YouTube channels. The concert, which was featured in a 2011 PBS Great Performances telecast, will remain available for on-demand streaming through August 21, 2020. The digital premiere is presented by the CSOA as part of an ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has interrupted live concert performances around the world. The July 7 presentation offers viewers an opportunity to share in a virtual concert experience that includes interactive commentary on the CSO’s Facebook and YouTube channels.
This CSO digital premiere features Mahler’s Symphony No. 7, a five-movement work nearly 80 minutes long, which received its U.S. premiere by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra led by music director Frederick Stock in 1921. Written by Gustav Mahler (born July 7, 1860) from his idyllic retreat near the Wörthersee in Austria over the summers of 1904 and 1905, the music evokes the sound and sweep of nature. The musical journey begins with an extended opening movement featuring distinctive tenor horn calls, followed by an inner trio of movements that includes two nocturnes and a scherzo marked by Mahler as “shadowy” before reaching the brilliant C major finale that the composer once referred to as a “bright day.”
Throughout his distinguished career, Pierre Boulez, who led this 2010 performance, sustained a lasting and celebrated artistic collaboration with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He made his CSO podium debut in 1969, later becoming the Orchestra’s third principal guest conductor in 1995 and ultimately serving as the CSO’s Helen Regenstein Conductor Emeritus from 2006 until his death in 2016. Winner of the Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015, Boulez earned eight of his 26 Grammy awards for recordings with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.
The CSO’s digital premiere of Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 on July 7 is part of expanded audio and video content accessible through the “CSO From Home” content portal cso.org/csofromhome that includes the new CSO radio series—From the CSO’s Archives: Maestro’s Choice, presented in partnership with WFMT (Chicago’s Classical Music Station), “Gems from the Vault” archival audio concert programs and personal video messages from musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra which are also being posted regularly on the CSO’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube channels. Additional digital content will continue to come online throughout Summer 2020.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra October 2010 concert was recorded in Orchestra Hall in Chicago for national telecast on PBS by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET as part of public television’s performing arts series Great Performances.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is grateful to the Grainger Foundation, Lake Forest, IL for their major support of the 2011 telecast. Great Performances is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, Vivian Milstein, the Irene Diamond Fund, the Starr Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, public television viewers, and PBS. Major additional funding is provided by The Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund and the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust.
The July 7 program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.