2015 is winding down to a close and I thought it would be good to look back and share some of the best moments of the year!
10.) September 2015 marked the release of the CSO’s fifth recording with Maestro Riccardo Muti on the CSO Resound Label: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique and Lélio. Although I couldn’t attend the live performance of this in 2010, I definitely made sure to get a copy of this recording as soon as it came out, and it is a fantastic recording (no pun intended), similar to the four previous Muti/CSO collaborations. I’m greatly looking forward to future recordings of Muti and the CSO.
9.) Lyric Opera’s first world premiere production in over a decade, Bel Canto, was finally performed in December 2015. This was the first world premiere production I’ve ever attended and it was just awesomely cool to be a part of history in the making.
8.) Muti coming to UChicago made for not only one of the funniest, but also one of the most insightful nights of 2015.
7.) Muti conducting Beethoven’s 8th symphony…need I say more? Now I just have to see him conduct Verdi. (I see he’s conducting Verdi’s Falstaff in April 2016…)
6.) Esa-Pekka Salonen and the CSO’s performance Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande in May did not disappoint – one of the great classical music events in Chicago of 2015. Looking forward to Salonen’s return to Chicago in 2016.
5.) I loved Lyric’s production of The Merry Widow in November 2015, starring Renée Fleming and Thomas Hampson. Those two are seasoned veterans and watching them on stage, combined with Léhar’s bubbly melodies made for a memorable highlight of 2015.
4.) Being named a Lyric Opera University Ambassador this fall was so exciting…now I actually have a reason to keep talking about opera, haha! I love being able to share my passion for opera with others who may not be so familiar with opera (and the free tickets aren’t that bad either 🙂 ).
3.) Meeting the incomparable Renée Fleming, not only America’s most famous soprano, but also an incredibly down-to-earth and genuine individual. She is one of the great artists of our time, and I’m lucky that I’ve been able to witness her greatness not only on the stage and on her recordings, but also in person!
2.) Murray Perahia, my favorite pianist, made another appearance in Chicago in March 2015 and after seeing him perform for the first time in 2012, I had to make sure to get a seat at this performance. As usual, his playing was rich and expressive, but what made this time infinitely better was that I got to meet him after the concert. Can’t wait until he comes back to Chicago!
1.) And the top moment of 2015 for me…getting to meet the famed Maestro himself, Riccardo Muti! I’ve always admired Muti, seeing as he is the world’s best interpreter of Giuseppe Verdi’s music, but this year is really the year where I’ve gotten to follow his work a little more closely because of all the different opportunities where I’ve gotten to see him conduct live (in concert or rehearsal) as well as his visit to UChicago in early fall. I’ve learned a lot about his work with La Scala/Philadelphia/London Philharmonia/Vienna Philharmonic/Berlin Philharmonic/etc. and have listened to so many of his recordings, so being able to meet the man in person was basically like meeting a longtime hero/idol. I’m hoping that 2016 will bring more opportunities to see Maestro Muti in action – he’s done so much for the city of Chicago and is the best conductor in the world today, without a doubt!
And that’s it…here’s to 2016 and the great classical music-making in Chicago!