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Soldiers Celebrate Armistice. After the last shots of World War I on November 11, 1918, at 11:00 a.m., men from Battery D, 105th Field Artillery, celebrate by hoisting the U.S. flag. (Hillie John Franz, 1918, courtesy of Pritzker Military Museum & Library)

World War I was fought on a global scale, the likes of which had never before been seen. More than thirty nations declared war between 1914 and 1918, with fighting throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa. Far away from the battlegrounds, the effects of the war also were felt in Chicago—a city comprised largely of immigrants—as communities were divided and loyalties questioned. The war brought about extraordinary advances in weaponry and military technology, along with innovations in communications, medicine, and manufacturing. It also was one of the deadliest conflicts in human history, with millions of lives lost—both military and civilian—and countless more wounded on both sides.

One hundred years later, we reflect on the Great War’s tremendous impact as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra commemorates the Armistice of November 11, 1918—on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month—that ended this “war to end all wars.”

Over the course of the next several weeks, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association will present programs and special events at Symphony Center and across Chicago that explore themes of peace and reflection. A Time for Reflection—A Message of Peace—a companion exhibit curated by the Rosenthal Archives of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with the Pritzker Military Museum & Library—will be on display in Symphony Center’s first-floor rotunda from October 2 through November 18, and the content also will be presented on CSO Sounds & Stories and the From the Archives blog.

This article also appears here. For event listings, please visit

This exhibit is presented with the generous support of COL (IL) Jennifer N. Pritzker, IL ARNG (Retired), Founder and Chair, Pritzker Military Museum & Library, through the Pritzker Military Foundation.

Additional thanks to Shawn Sheehy and Jenna Harmon, along with the Arts Club of Chicago, Newberry Library, Poetry Foundation, and Ravinia Festival Association.

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The CSO and Maestro Muti perform a program featuring Prokofiev’s Suite from Romeo and Juliet and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 (From the New World) at the historic Teatro di San Carlo for a capacity audience. Taking the podium to announce the evening’s encore—Giordano’s Intermezzo from Fedora—Muti noted “although, I’m 100% Italian, I’m 200% Southern Italian.” After the concert, Maestro Muti and his wife hosted the musicians of the Orchestra and distinguished guests for a post-concert dinner featuring traditional Neapolitan cuisine. On Sunday morning before the concert, Maestro Muti and three CSO musicians—Jennifer Gunn, piccolo; Charles Vernon, trombone; and Gene Pokorny, tuba—share an informal performance with young men and women at a juvenile justice center in nearby Nisida. The program was presented by the Negaunee Music Institute with assistance from the administrative staff of the Teatro di San Carlo. #CSOonTour 📸@toddrphoto
Musicians and staff travel from Paris to Naples. Called Napoli in Italian, its name is derived from the Greek word Neapolis meaning "new city.” The city is the birthplace of Riccardo Muti, as well as the birthplace of pizza! This tour stop includes the CSO’s first return to the world renowned Teatro di San Carlo with Maestro Muti since 2012. That appearance marked its first European tour appearance in Naples. 📸@toddrphoto
Riccardo Muti and the CSO spend less than 24 hours in Paris for a concert at the Philharmonie de Paris with a program featuring works by Wagner, Hindemith and Dvořák. The last time they performed in this hall was during their most recent tour to Europe in January 2017. #CSOonTour 📸@toddrphoto


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