Symphony Night

Monday evenings at 7 on KNAU Classical


The Chicago Symphony, that is. The pizza there is already deep and the Bears remain pretty hopeless, but this season’s Symphony Night broadcasts go deep into the CSO’s legendary archives.

With live performances on hold at Orchestra Hall, there is no shortage of great recorded performances in the audio vault. These recordings will make for an amazing fall season.

We’ll open Monday with pianist Andras Schiff, playing concertos by Bach and Beethoven. Working from the conductor’s podium, he also has a late Haydn symphony up his tuxedo sleeve as well as Bela Bartok’s wonderful Divertimento for String Orchestra.

The conductor list this season also includes Edo de Waart, Andrew Davis, Carlo Maria Giulini, current Music Director Riccardo Muti, Georg Solti, Fritz Reiner. Pretty good list.

The schedule of visiting guest artists is equally impressive: soprano Leontyne Price, mandolin virtuoso Avi Avital, violinist James Ehnes. Soloists drawn from within the ranks of the CSO include Adolph Herseth, Ray Still, Clark Brody and Dale Clevenger.

Two world premier performances will keep things up to date: the orchestra’s bass trombonist Charles Vernon gets solo time with a new concerto by American composer James Stephenson and, on the eve of his CSO retirement, bass clarinetist J. Lawrie Bloom debuts a work by French composer Nicolas Bacri.

If not having live performances is a dark storm cloud, the silver lining is this magnificent archive season from the Chicago Symphony: Listen this fall to Symphony Night, Monday evenings at 7 on the stations of Classical KNAU and online at