For the first time in over 100 years, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra returns to Toronto, with legendary conductor Riccardo Muti

The Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) is thrilled to launch its new International Orchestra Series in the winter of 2023, presenting internationally renowned orchestras annually in the intimacy and perfect acoustics of Koerner Hall. This historic initiative will be a highlight of Toronto’s concert calendar as it inspires and enriches the cultural landscape of the city.

The International Orchestra Series will commence on February 1 and 2, 2023 with two concerts by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) conducted by Riccardo Muti.

“The Royal Conservatory is very proud to host one of the greatest orchestras in the world in its first performance in Toronto in more than 100 years,” said Dr. Peter Simon, President & CEO of The Royal Conservatory. “Led by the legendary Maestro Riccardo Muti, hailed as one of the world’s most preeminent conductors, we look forward to celebrating his legacy as he leads the CSO in performances of two different programs featuring the works of Beethoven, Liadov, Mussorgsky, and Prokofiev.”

“I remember with great joy my visit and concerts in Toronto with the Philadelphia Orchestra,” said Riccardo Muti. “Toronto is a very musical city with an audience that loves music deeply and follows the performances with knowledge and with great discipline and involvement. I look forward to making music again in your wonderful city.”

“Toronto audiences will be able to bask in the glory of the famous ‘Chicago sound’ in our spectacular Koerner Hall – a match made in heaven! In the 1990s, I spent several years working with the CSO at the Ravinia Festival and in their Symphony Center home, and it is a personal thrill and a dream come true to present them here,” said Mervon Mehta, Executive Director of Performing Arts. “This is but the beginning in a series of the world’s greatest orchestras and conductors visiting the RCM over the next few seasons,” he added.

The Chicago Symphony OrchestraThe Chicago Symphony Orchestra was voted the best orchestra in the United States and the fifth best orchestra in the world by editors of Gramophone in 2008 and the same was said by a panel of critics polled by Bachtrack in 2015. In addition, recordings by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus have earned 63 Grammy Awards!

The musicians of the CSO command a vast repertoire and annually perform more than 150 concerts. The CSO also tours nationally and internationally and, since its first tour to Canada in 1892, the Orchestra has performed in 29 countries on five continents in 62 international tours. The Koerner Hall concerts will represent the CSO’s first appearance in Toronto since 1914 – truly a historic return!

In September 2010, renowned Italian conductor Riccardo Muti became CSO’s tenth music director. Former music directors include Sir Georg Solti and Daniel Barenboim. The 2022-23 CSO season celebrates the legacy of Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra – one of the most extraordinary chapters in the CSO’s history. Muti, whose tenure concludes in 2023, marks the 13th year of this exceptional artistic partnership that has thrilled audiences in Chicago and around the world.

The Koerner Hall concerts will cap Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s North American tour, Maestro Muti’s final tour as Music Director.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A Major, op. 92

Sergei Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5 in B flat Major, op. 100

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Ludwig van Beethoven: Coriolan Overture, op. 62

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 8 in F Major, op. 93

Anatoly Liadov: The Enchanted Lake, op. 62

Modest Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition

Of a recent CSO performance of Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5, Chicago Classical Review wrote: “Muti draws fresh, powerful results … Thursday night’s performance was richly idiomatic.” The review headlines raved:

“CSO, Muti combine for robust performance of Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5. It is a mighty work that requires a mighty performance, and it got that Thursday evening, the kind that is only possible when a top-level conductor and top-level orchestra are completely in sync” (Chicago Sun Times) and “Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Maestro Muti Sets Orchestra Hall on Fire With Prokofiev Symphony” (WTTW).

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For more information on Toronto, visit:

Koerner Hall
The Royal Conservatory of Music,
TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning,
273 Bloor Street West, Toronto