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Beyond the Score®
Mendelssohn: Why Italy?

One Performance Only
Sun., Jan. 20, 2019, 2:30 p.m.

Live actors | Visual projections | Entire work performed in the second half
Tickets: $16-$70 | View seating and pricing charts.

Music Program

Mendelssohn | Symphony No. 4


John DeMain, Conductor
Sarah Day, Actor
Jonathan Smoots, Actor
Nate Burger, Actor
With this multimedia presentation of Beyond the Score® you’ll discover the inspiration of Mendelssohn’s travels through Italy, his impressions of what he saw, and how he set them to music. For the people who already love the piece it’s a chance to get to know the ingredients even better. It’s also a chance for listeners to fall in love with a piece that they don’t know, and through this process, they will. — John DeMain

Tickets for Season Subscribers

This concert is separate from the Subscription Series — only subscribers may purchase tickets to this special single concert presentation before single tickets go on sale August 18, 2019.

Beyond the Score®

Discover what inspired the creation of this great work of art. Beyond the Score® is a multimedia experience that reveals the illuminating stories found “inside” the score. The first half of the program features live actors, visual illustrations, and musical examples. Following intermission, you’ll experience Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 4 in its entirety—listening with a deeper understanding of the composer and the music.

Why Italy?

In 1830, the young 21-year-old composer Felix Mendelssohn visited the countryside of Italy, visiting the historic cities of Venice, Naples and Rome among others. Three years later, Mendelssohn’s journey to Italy was set to music in this buoyant symphonic work, later to be known as his Italian Symphony. While most of Mendelssohn’s contemporaries ceased to write symphonies following the death of Beethoven, Mendelssohn set out to discover his own compositional voice within this traditional form. Incorporating the composer’s own letters and writings, this program presents the historical context behind this symphonic masterpiece. Actors, multimedia content, and live orchestral musical examples demonstrate Mendelssohn’s compositional approach towards depicting his enchantment with the Italian countryside.
“...what made the presentation work as an experience that really changed my perception of the work was the high degree of artistry applied to the presentation. It wasn't the information that got to me, it was the art.” —League of American Orchestras

Seating Chart

Read the Program Notes

Program notes will be available in August.
Beyond the Score® is a production of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Gerard McBurney, Creative Director for Beyond the Score®