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Wishing a very happy eightieth-fifth birthday to Zubin Mehta!

Zubin Mehta in 2016 (Wilfried Hösl photo)

A frequent and favorite guest conductor in Chicago, Mehta has appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on numerous occasions, both at Orchestra Hall and the Ravinia Festival.

December 1, 1986, Orchestra Hall
BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 15
BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 83
Daniel Barenboim, piano

November 17, 18, 19, and 22, 1988, Orchestra Hall
MAHLER Symphony No. 2 in C Minor (Resurrection)
Marvis Martin, soprano
Maureen Forrester, contralto
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

November 23, 25, and 27, 1988, Orchestra Hall
MESSIAEN Turangalîla-symphonie
Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano
Jeanne Loriod, ondès martenot

August 9, 1991, Ravinia Festival
BRUCH Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 26
Midori, violin
MAHLER Symphony No. 5

August 10, 1991, Ravinia Festival
BEETHOVEN Overture to Egmont, Op. 84
BARBER Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Op. 24
Marvis Martin, soprano
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125
Marvis Martin, soprano
Gweneth Bean, contralto
Ben Heppner, tenor
Julien Robbins, baritone
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

February 19, 20, 21, and 22, 1992, Orchestra Hall
BRAHMS Symphony No. 3 in F Major, Op. 90
FOSS Symphony No. 3 (Symphony of Sorrows) (world premiere)
RAVEL Suite No. 2 from Daphnis and Chloe

February 26, 27, 28, and 29, 1992, Orchestra Hall
MAHLER Symphony No. 3 in D Minor
Florence Quivar, mezzo-soprano
Women of the Chicago Symphony Chorus
Richard Garrin, director
Chicago Children’s Choir
Lucy Ding, director

February 2, 1993, Orchestra Hall
BEETHOVEN Leonore Overture No. 3, Op. 72
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 73 (Emperor)
Daniel Barenboim, piano

Zubin Mehta at La Scala in 2010 (Marco Brescia photo)

December 16, 17, and 19, 1993, Orchestra Hall
WEBERN Passacaglia for Orchestra, Op. 1
WEBERN Six Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 6
WEBERN Concerto, Op. 24
Richard Graef, flute
Michael Henoch, oboe
Larry Combs, clarinet
Gail Williams, horn
William Scarlett, trumpet
Jay Friedman, trombone
Samuel Magad, violin
Charles Pikler, viola
Mary Sauer, piano
SCHUBERT Symphony No. 9 in C Major, D. 944 (Great)

January 26, 27, and 31, 1995, Orchestra Hall
SCHUBERT Symphony No. 6 in C Major, D. 589
ORFF Carmina burana
Janet Williams, soprano
Frank Lopardo, tenor
Bo Skovhus, baritone
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Duain Wolfe, director
Chicago Children’s Choir
William Chin, director

February 2, 4, and 5, 1995
MOZART Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550
SCHOENBERG Chamber Symphony No. 1, Op. 9
Richard Graef, flute
Michael Henoch, oboe
Grover Schiltz, English horn
Larry Combs, clarinet
John Bruce Yeh, clarinet
J. Lawrie Bloom, bass clarinet
Willard Elliot, bassoon
Burl Lane, contrabassoon
Dale Clevenger, horn
Gail Williams, horn
Rubén González, violin
Joseph Golan, violin
Charles Pikler, viola
John Sharp, cello
Joseph Guastafeste, bass
WAGNER Siegfried Idyll
Donald Peck, flute
Michael Henoch, oboe
Larry Combs, clarinet
Gregory Smith, clarinet
Bruce Grainger, bassoon
Dale Clevenger, horn
Gail Williams, horn
Adolph Herseth, trumpet
Rubén González, violin
Joseph Golan, violin
Charles Pikler, viola
John Sharp, cello
Joseph Guastafeste, bass
MOZART Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K. 551 (Jupiter)

June 22 and 23, 1995, Ravinia Festival
WAGNER Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3, C minor, Op. 37
Emanuel Ax, piano
GERSHWIN An American in Paris
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Capriccio espagnol, Op. 34

June 24, 1995, Ravinia Festival
PUCCINI Tosca
Floria Tosca Elizabeth Holleque, soprano
Mario Cavaradossi Richard Leech, tenor
Baron Scarpia Sergei Leiferkus, baritone
Angelotti Stephen Morscheck, bass-baritone
Sacristan David Evitts, baritone
Spoletta Matthew Polenzani, tenor
Sciarrone Victor Benedetti, baritone
Jailer Mark McCrory, bass-baritone
A Young Shepherd Suzanne Shields, soprano
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Duain Wolfe, director
Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus
Lisa Sirvatka, director

June 27, 1995, Ravinia Festival
BRAHMS Tragic Overture, Opus 81
BRAHMS Concerto for Violin and Cello A Minor, Op. 102 (Double)
Pinchas Zukerman, violin
Ralph Kirshbaum, cello
BRAHMS Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73

January 18, 19, and 20, 1996, Orchestra Hall
SCHUBERT Overture to Rosamunde, D. 644
SCHUBERT Symphony in B Minor, D. 759 (Unfinished)
STRAUSS Domestic Symphony, Op. 53

Zubin Mehta in 2007 (Oded Antman photo)

February 20, 21, 22, and 25, 1997, Orchestra Hall
LUTOSŁAWSKI Symphony No. 4
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55 (Eroica)

February 27, 28, and March 1, 1997, Orchestra Hall
KORNGOLD Suite from Much Ado About Nothing
BARTÓK Piano Concerto No. 2
Yefim Bronfman, piano
MENDELSSOHN Octet for Strings in E-flat Major, Op. 20

February 18, 20, and 22, 1998, Orchestra Hall
WAGNER A Faust Overture
HINDEMITH Symphony, Mathis der Maler
BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 15
Daniel Barenboim, piano

February 26, 27, 28, and March 3, 1998, Orchestra Hall
CRUMB Ancient Voices of Children
Barbara Ann Martin, soprano
R. Anton Briones, boy soprano
Alex Klein, oboe and harmonica
Frederic Chrislip, mandolin and musical saw
Sarah Bullen, harp
Mary Sauer, electric piano and toy piano
Gordon Peters, percussion
Patricia Dash, percussion
Edward Atkatz, percussion
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 4 in E-flat Major (Romantic)

February 8, 9, and 10, 2001, Orchestra Hall
BERLIOZ The Trojans, Op. 29, Part 1: The Fall of Troy
Cassandra Deborah Voigt, soprano
Chorebus Roman Trekel, baritone
Aeneas Jon Villars, tenor
Ascanius Nancy Pifer, soprano
Hecuba Stacy Eckert, mezzo-soprano
Helenus James Cornelison, tenor
Panthus and A Soldier Timothy J. Quistorff, baritone
Priam, Spirit of Hector, and Greek Captain Andrew Funk, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Duain Wolfe, director

April 4, 5, and 6, 2002, Orchestra Hall
STRAVINSKY Fireworks, Op. 4
STRAVINSKY Circus Polka
PROKOFIEV Violin Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 63
Nikolaj Znaider, violin
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92

April 11, 12, and 13, 2002, Orchestra Hall
BERLIOZ The Trojans, Op. 29, Part 2: The Trojans at Carthage
Dido Nadja Michael, mezzo-soprano
Anna Nancy Maultsby, mezzo-soprano
Ascanius Meredith Barber, soprano
Spirit of Cassandra Stacy Eckert, mezzo-soprano
Aeneas Jon Villars, tenor
Iopas Nicholas Phan, tenor
Hylas Michael Sommese, tenor
Mercury and Spirit of Chorebus Michael Brauer, baritone
First Sentinel and Spirit of Hector Timothy J. Quistorff, baritone
Second Sentinel and Sprit of Priam Terry Cook, bass
Narbal Stephen Milling, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Duain Wolfe, director

February 24, 2006, Orchestra Hall
BRAHMS Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68
BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 15
Daniel Barenboim, piano

Happy, happy birthday!

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra family joins the music world in mourning the death of the remarkable German tenor and conductor Peter Schreier, who died in Dresden on December 25, 2019, following a long illness. He was 84.

Schreier appeared in recital and with the Orchestra, both in Orchestra Hall and at the Ravinia Festival, as follows:

March 13, 1995, Orchestra Hall
SCHUBERT Winterreise, D. 911
Peter Schreier, tenor
Daniel Barenboim, piano

August 4, 1996, Ravinia Festival
SCHUMANN Scenes from Goethe’s Faust
Christoph Eschenbach, conductor
Rebecca Evans, soprano
Michelle DeYoung, mezzo-soprano
Peter Schreier, tenor
Bo Skovhus, baritone
Alan Held, bass-baritone
Franz-Josef Selig, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Duain Wolfe, director
Barrington Children’s Choir

March 6, 7, 8, and 11, 1997, Orchestra Hall
BACH The Passion According to Saint Matthew, BWV 244
Peter Schreier, conductor and evangelist
Julie Kaufmann, soprano
Monica Groop, mezzo-soprano
Steve Davislim, tenor
Klaus Mertens, baritone
Peter Lika, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Duain Wolfe, chorus director
Chicago Children’s Choir
William Chin, director

December 16, 17, and 18, 1999
BACH Parts 1, 2, and 3 from Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248
Peter Schreier, conductor and evangelist
Ute Selbig, soprano
Rosemarie Lang, mezzo-soprano
Thomas Cooley, tenor
Egbert Junghanns, baritone
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Duain Wolfe, director

June 7, 8, 9, and 10, 2001
BACH The Passion According to Saint John, BWV 245
Peter Schreier, conductor and evangelist
Camilla Nylund, soprano
Annette Markert, mezzo-soprano
Marcus Ullmann, tenor
Jörg Hempel, baritone
Stephan Loges, baritone
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Duain Wolfe, director

March 11, 12, 13, 14, and 16, 2004
HANDEL Messiah
Peter Schreier, conductor
Esther Heideman, soprano
Jane Gilbert, mezzo-soprano
Randal Rushing, tenor
Kevin Burdette, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Duain Wolfe, director

Numerous tributes have been posted online at BBC News and AP News, among many others.

Orchestra Hall, January 19, 1958

On January 19, 1958, fifteen-year-old Daniel Barenboim made his piano recital debut at Orchestra Hall, with the following program:

BACH/Liszt Prelude and Fugue in A Minor, BWV 543
BEETHOVEN Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57 (Appassionata)
BRAHMS Sonata No. 1 in C Major, Op. 1
BEN-HAIM Intermezzo and Toccata, Op. 34

The next day in the American, Roger Dettmer wrote, “Only very occasionally some youngster will happen along who seems to have been born adult . . . The prodigy turned out yesterday afternoon to be Daniel Barenboim, born fifteen years ago in Argentina. The talent is huge, the technique already formidable and he applied both to a virtuoso program [with] secure musical training and uncommon sensitivity of touch.”

He returned in November of that year and again every couple of years after that for more solo piano recitals, including—over the course of a month between February 26 and March 27, 1986—a series of eight concerts, traversing Beethoven’s complete cycle of piano sonatas.

After becoming the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s ninth music director in September 1991, Barenboim made regular appearances as piano recitalist and chamber musician, collaborating with an extraordinary roster of instrumentalists and singers. He performed a dizzying array of repertoire, including Albéniz’s Iberia; Bach’s Goldberg Variations; Bartók’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion; Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations; Berg’s Chamber Concerto for Piano, Violin, and Thirteen Wind Instruments (with Pierre Boulez conducting); Brahms’s cello sonatas; Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn, Songs of a Wayfarer, and Rückert Lieder; Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time; Mozart’s complete violin sonatas; Schubert’s Winterreise; Schumann’s Frauenliebe und -leben; Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll and Wesendonk Lieder; and Wolf’s Italian Songbook; along with other piano works by Chopin, Debussy, Liszt, Schoenberg, and Schubert, among others.

Barenboim’s collaborators included instrumentalists Héctor Console, Lang Lang, Radu Lupu, Yo-Yo Ma, Rodolfo Mederos, Itzhak Perlman, András Schiff, Deborah Sobol, Maxim Vengerov, and Pinchas Zukerman, along with singers Kathleen BattleCecilia Bartoli, Angela Denoke, Plácido Domingo, Thomas Hampson, Robert Holl, Waltraud Meier, Thomas Quasthoff, Peter Schreier, and Bo Skovhus. He also invited countless members of the Orchestra to join him, including Stephen Balderston, Li-Kuo Chang, Robert Chen, Dale Clevenger, Larry Combs, Louise Dixon, Edward Druzinsky, Jay Friedman, Rubén González, Richard Graef, Joseph Guastafeste, John Hagstrom, Adolph Herseth, Richard Hirschl, Alex Klein, Donald Koss, Burl Lane, Samuel Magad, David McGill, Michael Mulcahy, Lawrence Neuman, Bradley Opland, Nancy Park, Donald Peck, Gene Pokorny, Mark Ridenour, James Ross, Norman Schweikert, John Sharp, Gregory Smith, Charles Vernon, Gail Williams, and members of the Chicago Symphony Chorus (prepared by Duain Wolfe), among many others.

June 4 and 11, 2006

During the final residency of his tenure as music director, Barenboim presented Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier in two piano recitals: the first book on June 4, 2006; and the second book a week later, on June 11.

Reviewing the June 4 concert, John von Rhein in the Chicago Tribune wrote that Barenboim, “brought the full color resources of a modern concert grand to bear on Bach’s pristinely ordered sound-world . . . Bach never intended for musicians to perform all the preludes and fugues in one gulp, but when they are executed at so exalted a level of thought, feeling, and spirituality, who’s to say they shouldn’t?”

Following the second installment, Wynne Delacoma in the Chicago Sun-Times added, “One of Barenboim’s gifts as a pianist is his ability to etch clear, long-lined, richly colored phrases with seemingly no effort [and in Bach’s music] we heard the foundation on which the rest of his music-making has been built. . . . The applause that brought Barenboim back for extra bows was fervent and heartfelt. Barenboim’s annual piano recitals have been high points of Chicago’s musical life for the past fifteen years. They are appreciated and will be deeply missed.”

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Theodore Thomas

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