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Renee Fleming Joins CSO for Opening Night Gala, October 3

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CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA OPENS 2009-2010 SEASON WITH GALA EVENING FEATURING SOPRANO RENÉE FLEMING AND GUEST CONDUCTOR PAAVO JRVI
Concert Includes Music by Bernstein, Barber and Richard Strauss
Saturday, October 3, at 7 pm.
Presenting sponsor: Kirkland & Ellis LLP

CHICAGO - The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) kicks off the 2009-2010 season with its annual Opening Night Gala, a one-night-only performance on Saturday, October 3. The concert features soprano Renée Fleming in Samuel Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and a selection of songs by Richard Strauss, led by guest conductor Paavo Jrvi. Also on the program are Bernstein's Divertimento and Strauss' Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks.

Soprano Renée Fleming charms audiences around the world with her superb vocal flair and musical grace. She joins the CSO at the Opening Night Gala to sing Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915, a nostalgic depiction of an evening in the American South, as well as four songs by Richard Strauss, known for their passion and lyricism, to close the program. The concert also includes Strauss' musical portrayal of the famously mischievous German rogue in the tone poem Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks.

Gala packages include both a pre-concert cocktail party and post-concert dinner and dancing at the Chicago Hilton. The CSO's Opening Night Gala is a black-tie fundraising event that supports the CSO's operations and community engagement programs. Kirkland & Ellis LLP is the Presenting Sponsor of the CSO's Opening Night Gala 2009. Tickets for the concert only are available through the box office.

The 2009 Opening Night Gala Committee has partnered with Chicago's Glass Slipper Project this year, in order to collect donations of women's evening attire and accessories for the organization, which serves young women throughout the Chicago area. Renée Fleming has graciously donated an evening bag to the Project. Donations to the Glass Slipper Project will be accepted at Symphony Center from October 3 to November 6, 2009.

The 2009 Opening Night Gala Committee is chaired by Jane and Ken Pigott. Honorary chairs are Mayor Richard M. and Mrs. Daley.

Grammy Award-winning conductor PAAVO JRVI's remarkable reputation makes him one of the most in-demand conductors on the international stage. Born in Tallinn, Estonia, he studied percussion and conducting at the Tallinn School of Music, then, in 1980, moved to the USA, where he continued his studies at the Curtis Institute of Music and at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute, with Leonard Bernstein. He was appointed music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in September 2001 and has recently extended his contract with the orchestra until August 2011. During his music directorship, they have toured together throughout Americaincluding Carnegie HallEurope and Japan.

One of the most beloved and celebrated musical ambassadors of our time, soprano RENéE FLEMING captivates audiences with her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry, and compelling stage presence. Known as “the people's diva," she continues to grace the world's greatest opera stages and concert halls, now extending her reach to include other mediums. Over the past few seasons, Fleming has hosted a wide variety of television and radio broadcasts, including the Metropolitan Opera's Live in HD series for movie theaters and television and Live from Lincoln Center on PBS. In 2008, a precedent was broken when she became the first woman in the 125-year history of the Metropolitan Opera to headline an opening night gala. As a musical stateswoman, Renée Fleming has been sought after for numerous distinguished occasions, from the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to performances in Beijing during the 2008 Olympic Games. On January 18, 2009, she performed for the televised We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial concert for President Obama.

The CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA is consistently hailed as one of today's leading orchestras. Live performances by the CSO are much in demand at home and in the most prestigious musical venues around the world. In collaboration with preeminent conductors and guest artists on the international music scene, the CSO performs well over 120 concerts each year at its downtown home, Symphony Center, and at the Ravinia Festival on Chicago's North Shore, where it is in residence each summer. With the launch of its new Institute for Learning, Access and Training, the CSO will engage more than 200,000 Chicago-area residents annually. Music lovers outside Chicago enjoy the sounds of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra not only through its BP Chicago Symphony Orchestra Radio Broadcast Series and best-selling recordings on its new highly acclaimed in-house record label CSO Resound, but also through frequent sold-out tour performances in the United States and around the globe. Since 1971, the CSO has undertaken 36 overseas tours: 27 to Europe, six to the Far East, as well as one each to Russia, Australia and South America. For more information about the CSO, visit www.cso.org.

The GLASS SLIPPER PROJECT is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization staffed entirely by volunteers and funded by both individual and corporate donations. Founded in 1998, the Glass Slipper Project has provided more than 10,000 Chicago-area high school students with dresses, accessories, shoes, jewelry and beauty services to help them prepare for an important rite of passage, the high school prom.

TICKETS for Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Center Presents and Civic Orchestra of Chicago performances can be purchased by calling CSO ticketing services at 312-294-3000 or 800-223-7114, online at www.cso.org, or by visiting the Symphony Center box office at 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60604. Discounted student tickets can be purchased, subject to availability, online in advance or at the box office on the day of the concert. For group rates, please call 312-294-3040. Artists, programs and ticket prices are subject to change.

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz Publicity.
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