Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
Acclaimed conductor Manfred Honeck makes his return to Symphony Center this January to lead the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) in subscription concerts featuring Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 and pianist Till Fellner opening the program as soloist in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25.
Recognized as one of the composer’s finest works for the instrument, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 demonstrates Mozart’s gift for variety and contrast—moving from the grandiose opening movement, with its rich orchestral accompaniment, into a spare but poignantly lyrical second movement, and concluding with the bold finale that is filled with clever musical surprises. Mahler’s landmark Symphony No. 5, a marked departure from his more pictorial symphonies, will complete the program. The symphony is more lean and introspective, examining the tragedy and triumph in Mahler’s own life and offering musical contrasts of haunting melodies and sweeping, dramatic gestures.
Manfred Honeck is uniquely suited to the disparately voiced program. An internationally-renowned conductor and artist, Honeck began his career as an assistant to Claudio Abbado and Artistic Leader of the Vienna Jeunesse Orchestra, which led to his engagement with the Zurich Opera House, where he was bestowed the 1993 European Conductor’s Award. Throughout his continued career, Honeck has served as Musical Director of the Norwegian National Opera, Stuttgart State Opera and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stockholm. Honeck has also appeared as Guest Conductor for the world’s leading orchestras, the London Symphony Orchestra, Paris Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He is a Grammy nominated recording artist and was recently awarded the title of Honorary Professor by the Austrian Federal President.
The program will be performed at Symphony Center on Thursday, January 25 and Saturday, January 27 at 8 p.m., Tuesday, January 30 and Friday, January 26 at 7:30 p.m. and at Edman Memorial Chapel as part of CSO’s annual concert series at Wheaton College on Friday, January 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets for all CSOA-presented concerts can be purchased by phone at 800‑223‑7114 or 312-294‑3000; online at cso.org, or at the Symphony Center box office: 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60604.
Conductor Manifred Honeck (photo courtesy of Maestro Honeck).