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Chicago flies out Finn and Vengo to plug Asia tour gap

Conductor Osmo Vänskä will take over the Taiwan leg of the Chicago SO’s patchwork Asia tour.  Maxim Vengerov and concertmaster Robert Chen have been added as soloists to bolster a simplified programme. The tour had to be reconfigured after Riccardo Muti was forced to withdraw  for surgery on an inguinal hernia.

Vänskä happens to be free because his Minnesota Orchestra is locked out through the freezing winter by a dumb, bull-headed management that, pleading poverty,  is building a $50 million lobby. Vengerov is getting his playing career back on track after a long injury layoff.


photo: Ann Marsden/Minnesota Orch.

January 19, 2013






Violinists Maxim Vengerov and CSO Concertmaster Robert Chen Added as Soloists


Bank of America is the Global Sponsor of the CSO


CHICAGO—The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA) announced today that Osmo Vänskä (music director, Minnesota Orchestra) will conduct the CSO in its upcoming performances in Taipei, Taiwan, on January 25 and 26.

CSO Concertmaster Robert Chen appears as soloist on the January 25 concert in Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. The remainder of the program is Mozart’s Symphony No. 41, K.551 (Jupiter) and Brahms’ Symphony No. 2.

Violinist Maxim Vengerov joins the CSO as soloist for the January 26 program, performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. Also featured on that performance is Verdi’s Overture to I vespri siciliani and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 (Eroica).

The tour performance schedule remains the same, with subsequent concerts to be led by Lorin Maazel in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin and Seoul.  As previously announced, Maestro Muti is unavailable for this tour due to upcoming surgery required to correct an inguinal hernia.

Finnish conductor Osmo Vänskä made his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2000 and has returned to conduct works by Beethoven, Brahms and, notably, the music of his fellow countryman Jean Sibelius. In 2009, he led the CSO in Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony as part of the orchestra’s acclaimed Beyond the Score series. Most recently, he led the CSO in an all-Brahms program in October 2012. Osmo Vänskä has been music director of the Minnesota Orchestra since 2003; the first recording in their complete Sibelius symphonies series was recently released on CD.

Robert Chen, appointed concertmaster in 1999, first appeared as soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival in June 2000, in Saint-Saëns’s The Muse and the Poet with Yo-Yo Ma, and Christoph Eschenbach conducting. He made his subscription concert debut as soloist at Orchestra Hall in November and December 2000, in Mozart’s Fourth Violin Concerto with Daniel Barenboim conducting. Chen most recently appeared as soloist at the Ravinia Festival in July 2011 in Brahms’s Violin Concerto with James Conlon conducting. He most recently appeared as soloist on subscription concerts at Orchestra Hall in December 2012 in Barber’s Violin Concerto with Vasily Petrenko conducting.

Bank of America is the Global Sponsor of the CSO.

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  1. Steve de Mena says:

    I see Robert Chen, the orchestra’s concertmaster, was born in Taiwan. That should please the audience to see one of their own soloing with the Chicago Symphony.

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