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Maurice Ravel program bioMaurice Ravel appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Orchestra Hall on January 20 and 21, 1928, conducting a program of his works, including Sheherazade (with mezzo-soprano Lisa Roma), Daphnis and Chloe Suite no. 2, Le tombeau de Couperin, La valse, and his orchestration of Debussy’s Sarabande and Dance.

According to the review in the Chicago Tribune, “the audience cheered M. Ravel again and again, and at the end of the program the Orchestra, incited thereto by the audience and by the music it had been playing, gave him a prolonged and enthusiastic fanfare.”

Maurice Ravel program pageHowever, the real news of his appearance actually involved his shoes, as recounted in Madeleine Goss’s 1940 book Bolero: The Life of Maurice Ravel. “Just as Ravel was dressing for the concert he discovered that his evening shoes had been left in one of the trunks at the station. This was a major calamity. Wear his day shoes? Jamais de la vie! Maurice Ravel must be correctly—impeccably—dressed or he would not appear in public.

“In desperation, Mme Roma . . . dashed down in a taxi—rummaged through the trunks—back to the auditorium—the evening was saved.”

Some of this content was previously posted here; this article also appears here.

January 20 and 21, 1928

Maurice Ravel appeared with the Orchestra on one occasion, on January 20 and 21, 1928, conducting a program of his works, including Le tombeau de Couperin, the second suite from Daphnis and Chloe, Shéhérazade (with soprano Lisa Roma), and La valse. According to the review in the Chicago Tribune, “the audience cheered M. Ravel again and again, and at the end of the program the orchestra, incited thereto by the audience and by the music it had been playing, gave him a prolonged and enthusiastic fanfare.”

However, the real news of his appearance actually involved his shoes. The story is recounted in Madeleine Goss’s 1940 book Bolero: the Life of Maurice Ravel:

“Just as Ravel was dressing for the concert he discovered that his evening shoes had been left in one of the trunks at the station. This was a major calamity. Wear his day shoes? Jamais de la vie! Maurice Ravel must be correctly—impeccably—dressed or he would not appear in public.

“In desperation, Mme. Roma . . . dashed down in a taxi—rummaged through the trunks—back to the auditorium—the evening was saved.”

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After the Europe Tour 2020, Riccardo Muti joined the Orchestra again for a three-week CSO residency in February that included the Florida Tour 2020 and two programs at Symphony Center. In celebration of the Music Director’s time with the Orchestra during the past two months, please enjoy this video featuring Maestro Muti leading the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in an excerpt from Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana, featuring mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili as Santuzza. 🎥@toddrphoto
Opening with the most famous four notes in all of classical music, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is featured on this CSO program led by Riccardo Muti, along with the composer’s Second Symphony and the world premiere of Ophelia’s Tears, Concertante Elegy, a new work by Nicolas Bacri featuring the CSO’s own bass clarinet J. Lawrie Bloom as soloist. #Beethoven250 📸@toddrphoto
“In four years, I had been in five orchestras,” said CSO Bass Clarinet J. Lawrie Bloom about the beginning of his orchestral career. As a clarinetist, he never set out to play the bass clarinet, but there just happened to be orchestral positions for the instrument when he began seeking a job. “That is how fast the auditions were happening. But by then, I had really started to realize that the bass gave me a voice I’d never had.” J. Lawrie Bloom takes center stage this week in Orchestra Hall for the world premiere of Nicolas Bacri’s Ophelia’s Tears, Concertante Elegy for Bass Clarinet and Orchestra, led by Riccardo Muti. #MusicianMonday 📸@toddrphoto

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