On Friday, May 24 at 7:30 p.m., Larry Rachleff, Principal Conductor and Music Director of the Chicago Philharmonic, will raise his baton one last time when he conducts Bernstein and Schubert, the final symphonic concert of the 2012-2013 season at Pick-Staiger Hall in Evanston.
Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as "a take-charge maestro who invests everything he conducts with deep musical understanding," Rachleff has continued to deliver thrilling performances by Chicago's finest musical talent to classical music aficionados for the past 23 years.
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Bernstein and Schubert will close the season with a special pairing that opens with Leonard Bernstein's First Symphony, subtitled "Jeremiah". This eclectic mixture of the Biblical story of the prophet Jeremiah, combined with Bernstein's rich orchestral palette, will carry audiences across time and stir their emotions. Texts from the Book of Lamentations will be sung within the work by soprano Susan Lorette Dunn. The other masterwork on the concert is Schubert's 9th Symphony, The Great C Major. Also his last symphony, this work shows Schubert at the height of his melodic and musical skills. The spirit of Vienna will be palpable as Larry Rachleff's unique Úlan on the podium brings this favorite to life.
According to Jim Berkenstock, one of the founders of the Chicago Philharmonic, "It is impossible to believe that the Chicago Philharmonic could be in the formidable and enviable position it is today without the caring oversight which Maestro Rachleff has nurtured in what he often calls his 'favorite orchestra'. It is each musician's hope, that in his newly and justly deserved honorary position as Music Director Emeritus, he will occasionally return for special events to conduct the orchestra he played such a major role in creating."
"It has been a true honor to lead the gifted people of the Chicago Philharmonic," responded Rachleff. "However, with my responsibilities growing outside of Chicago, it has become increasingly difficult to make these annual visits possible. Nevertheless, it has been a privilege to be part of this wonderful orchestra for so many years."
For the past 17 years Rachleff has served as Music Director of the Rhode Island Philharmonic. And, for the past 21 years he has served as Music Director of Rice University's Shepherd School Orchestras in Houston. A former faculty member of Oberlin Conservatory, where he was Music Director of Orchestras and Conductor of the Contemporary Ensemble, he also served as conductor of the Opera Theatre at the University of Southern California.
The Chicago Philharmonic, official orchestra for The Joffrey Ballet, is drawn form a community of over 200 top career musicians in the Chicago metropolitan area. The central group comes from the orchestra of the Lyric Opera, the Ravinia and Grant Park Orchestras, and other professional ensembles. The orchestra's cadre of seasoned professionals has performed over many years developing an ensemble of virtuosity and flexibility. The Chicago Philharmonic regularly performs at Pick-Staiger Hall on the Northwestern University Campus in Evanston, Illinois. For tickets, visit www.chicagophilharmonic.org, call the Ticket Hotline at 1-866.811.4111 or the Chicago Philharmonic Society office at 847.866.6888.
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