CHICAGO—Music Director Riccardo Muti led historic and critically acclaimed performances of Philip Glass’ Symphony No. 11 on February 17-19, representing the Orchestra’s first performances of the work in Chicago. The Chicago Sun-Times called it a “milestone performance.” Philip Glass was present at the performances and Muti invited the composer to the podium, where he received enthusiastic applause and a standing ovation from the audience and the musicians of the Orchestra. Glass also acknowledged the great performances by the CSO, led by Muti.

In a personal message included in the concert program book for the occasion, Glass noted that he had attended CSO concerts led by then Music Director Fritz Reiner in the 1950s, while a student at University of Chicago and “heard much of what turned out to be the masterpieces of twentieth century music…and learned more about symphonic music during that time than perhaps any other.” His note went on to add: “It might go unsaid, but I’m going to say it: The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is one of the finest orchestras in the world. It’s a great privilege for any composer to have their work performed by this world class ensemble — doubly so with the delight of having Maestro Riccardo Muti conducting and Mitsuko Uchida performing Beethoven on the first half of the program.” A link to the full message is available here.

The CSO’s music director position is endowed in perpetuity by a generous gift from the Zell Family Foundation.