Over the weekend of September 18-19, 2015, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra launched its 125th anniversary season. John and Frances Glessner were deeply involved with the orchestra from the time of its inception in 1891, raised considerable funds for the erection of Orchestra Hall in 1904, and were generous supporters throughout their lifetimes. Theodore Thomas and Frederick Stock, the first two music directors who led the symphony for more than 50 years, were intimate friends.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued a proclamation in August 2015 honoring the symphony for its 125th anniversary. Appropriately, the proclamation acknowledged the significant support provided by John Glessner in the first decades of the symphony’s history. In honor of the CSO 125th anniversary season, we reprint the proclamation in its entirety below.
OFFICE OF THE MAYOR
CITY OF CHICAGO
WHEREAS the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performs its annual free Concert for Chicago in Millennium Park this year on Friday, September 18, 2015, and the Symphony Ball gala at Symphony Center on Saturday, September 19, 2015, as it launches its 125th Anniversary season; and
WHEREAS the first meeting for the incorporation of The Orchestral Association was held at the Chicago Club on December 17, 1890, during which a board of five trustees was elected to serve and a group of fifty-one businessmen, including Chicago pioneers Armour, Field, Glessner, McCormick, Potter, Pullman, Ryerson, Sprague and Wacker volunteered to serve as guarantors, each pledging their continued financial support; and
WHEREAS Theodore Thomas, then the most popular conductor in America, was engaged as the Orchestra’s first music director and led the Chicago Orchestra’s first concerts at the Auditorium Theatre on October 16 and 17, 1891, conducting music of Wagner, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Dvořák; and
WHEREAS Orchestra Hall, designed by CSO trustee and Chicago architect Daniel H. Burnham and completed in 1904 at a cost of $750,000, saw its dedicatory concert, led by Thomas, on December 14 of that year; and
WHEREAS the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is a long-standing international cultural ambassador for Chicago and the United States of America having completed 58 international tours, performing in 29 countries on five continents, and
WHEREAS in 2011 the CSO and the Chicago Symphony Chorus’s recording of Verdi’s Requiem led by Maestro Muti won two Grammy awards, and, to date, recordings by the CSO have earned a total of 62 Grammy awards from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences; and
WHEREAS the Chicago Symphony Orchestral Association has been an active collaborator with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events in the development and execution of a Cultural Plan for Chicago, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant, Yo-Yo Ma, and the CSO’s Negaunee Music Institute continually work to share live classical music with all;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RAHM EMANUEL, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO, do hereby proclaim September 18-19, 2015 to be CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA 125TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON OPENING WEEKEND CELEBRATION and encourage all Chicagoans to participate.
Dated this 3rd day of August, 2015.