Bruckner was a favorite composer of the two most recent CSO music directors, Sir Georg Solti and Daniel Barenboim, both of whom recorded complete Bruckner symphony sets with the orchestra. By contrast, music director designate Riccardo Muti has performed few Bruckner symphonies over his long career, although the early Bruckner Second, which he did offer in his fall residency here, is a particular specialty and his performances of the piece were indeed revelatory. Muti has never traversed the later and longer Bruckner symphonies, although these have long been specialties of Bernard Haitink and, as such, this week’s partnership of the CSO and Haitink in Bruckner’s last and unfinished Ninth Symphony should be a particular highlight of the 2009-10 season. Although Muti recently expressed that he wanted to keep Haitink and Boulez as regular guest conductors during his tenure here, it is by no means certain what repertoire will be left to them, so this could be a one-shot repertoire deal for Haitink and the CSO. Opening the concert will be Haydn’s Sinfonia concertante with CSO co-concertmaster Robert Chen, principal oboist Eugene Izotov, principal bassoonist David McGill and principal cellist John Sharp. (Dennis Polkow)
8pm November 12, 1:30pm November 13, 8pm November 14, Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. $18-$199.
Dennis Polkow is an award-winning veteran journalist, critic, author, broadcaster and educator. He made his stage debut at age five, was a child art prodigy and began playing keyboards in clubs at the age of fourteen. He holds degrees in music theory, composition, religious studies and philosophy from DePaul University in Chicago. Polkow spent his early years performing and recording in rock and jazz bands while concertizing as a classical pianist, organist and harpsichordist and composing, arranging and producing for other artists. As a scholar, Polkow has published and lectured extensively and taught at several colleges and universities in various departments. As an actor, narrator and consultant, Polkow has been involved with numerous films, plays, broadcasts and documentaries. As a journalist, Polkow helped co-create the experiential Chicago Musicale and Spotlight, the award-winning tabloid arts and entertainment section of the Press Publications chain of newspapers, which he later edited. He also created and ran the nationally recognized journalism program at Oakton College and was faculty advisor to its award-winning student newspaper; many former students went on to major media careers, including Channel Awesome’s the Nostalgia Critic. Polkow’s research, interviews, features, reviews and commentaries have appeared across national and international media and he has corresponded from the Middle East, Asia and Africa for the Chicago Tribune. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org