Classical 91.5

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Thursdays, 8 to 10 pm on WXXI-FM 91.5, WXXY 90.3, WXXI-FM/HD 91.5-1, WITH-FM/HD 90.1-2 and online at
  • Hosted by Lisa Simeone

Produced by Marty Ronish and hosted by Lisa Simeone, this weekly, two-hour series offers a unique format of engaging and lively content, including produced segments created to provide deeper insight into the music and programmatic themes found within the CSO’s concert season; interviews with CSO musicians, guest artists, and composers; and an exploration of the stories found within the CSO’s rich heritage of recordings and the Orchestra’s illustrious history in Chicago.

Music from two operas, The Bartered Bride and Salome is featured on the May 13 @ 8pm broadcast of the Chicago Symphony.

19th century French composer Emmanuel Chabrier's works are often described as the musical counterpart of early Impressionist painters.  We'll hear some of his works in the April 15th broadcast.

The Chicago Symphony starts and ends the month with music of Gustav Mahler.  From the Symphony of a Thousand, to Totenfeier (Funeral Rites) a tone poem written in 1888.  Don't miss it!

For decades, John Williams has been the go-to composer of movie scores for films like"Indiana Jones," "Jaws," "Star Wars" and "Superman." In the Feb 11th broadcast we'll hear an all-John Williams program featuring many more of his iconic scores.

Composed in 1850 and revised in 1855, Liszt numbered Prometheus No. 5 in his cycle of symphonic poems. The work is based on the Greek myth detailing the Titan Prometheus' theft of fire from the gods. We'll hear it performed by the Chicago Symphony on the January 21st broadcast.

One of Fritz Reiner’s primary goals, early in his tenure as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s sixth music director, was to program major choral works. However, the repertory he wished to perform was too demanding for the amateur and student groups usually engaged. In 1957 he persuaded board president Eric Oldberg to organize a chorus permanently affiliated with the Orchestra in Chicago. On September 22, 1957 the Chicago Tribune reported, “From Orchestra Hall comes word that the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chorus is to be a new factor in the city’s musical life.” We'll hear a tribute to the CSO Chorus on the 12/31 broadcast.

Nocturnal favorites from Rimsky-Korsakov, Debussy, and more on the Nov 5th archival broadcast, featuring soprano Leontyne Price and the Women of the Chicago Symphony Chorus.

Travel with the Chicago Symphony to Scandanavia where we'll hear music by Sibelius, Nielsen and a traditional Danish Bridal Tune from the village of Sønderho. Don't miss the boat on 10/22.

Stephanie Jeong, the CSO’s associate concertmaster, and Kenneth Olsen, the assistant principal cello of the CSO, tackle Brahms' monumental Double Concerto on the 9/24 broadcast.  The two refer to it as "a technical behemoth for both soloists" in this interview with Lawrence B. Johnson of Chicago on the Aisle.

We'll hear the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story open the August 27th broadcast of the CSO. Inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story reimagined the most enduring romance ever as a modern musical, with a score and dancing for the ages. Now, more than 60 years later, thanks to endless stagings and film renditions, West Side Story is considered one of the most critical cultural accomplishments of the 20th century.