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  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s acclaimed Beyond the Score® series weaves performance, unique projections of moving and still images, actors, soloists and narration into sublime productions, setting composers and their masterpieces in an artistic, social, political and cultural context.

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  • Developed by the CSO and Creative Director Gerard McBurney to appeal equally to first-time concertgoers as well as seasoned audiences, overwhelming audience demand has led to an annual series in Chicago, and an enviable calendar of performances throughout North America and beyond. There are now 30 Beyond the Score® productions available to promoters.

    Beyond the Score® productions typically involve a first-half lasting approximately 55-60’ in length, audiences return post-interval to experience the piece performed in a regular concert setting, with an enhanced understanding of its genesis and journey.

    Beyond the Score® is a registered trademark of Chicago Symphony.


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Highlight productions

Each Beyond the Score® production is unique. Below are some example productions alongside information on the length of the Beyond the Score® element and any special requirements needed in addition to the orchestra required.

Beethoven Symphony No. 5
57” Special requirements: pianist (fortepiano if possible), 3 male and one female actor.

Dvorak Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”
62” Special requirements: optional pianist, conductor has some speaking lines, 1 narrator and 2 male actors, an optional Soprano Gospel Singer.

Mussorgsky Pictures from an Exhibition
60" Special requirements: Pianist, 1 narrator and 1 male actor.

Ravel ‘A Portrait’
50" Special requirements: 1 actor (preferably female) This production is a composer focus, rather than about a specific piece.

Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade
57" Special requirements: 1 male and one female actor.

Stravinsky The Rite of Spring
53" Special requirements: dudki player, 1 narrator and 1 male actor.

Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4
62" Special requirements: Russian Chorus (optional), 1 narrator and 1 male actor, shadow actress (optional)

Full list of productions

Bartók The Miraculous Mandarin
Beethoven Symphony No. 5
Berlioz Symphony Fantastique
Boulez 'A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez'
Brahms Symphony No. 3
Debussy La Mer
Dvořák Symphony No. 9 "From the New World"
Elgar Enigma Variations
Falla In the South of Spain
Haydn The London Symphonies (Mr Haydn goes to London)
Holst The Planets
Ives Symphony No.2
Janacek In the Slavic Lands
Mahler Symphony No. 4
Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4 (Italian)
Mozart Piano Concerto No. 27
Mussorgsky Pictures from an Exhibition
Prokofiev Symphony No. 5
Rachmaninov The Isle of the Dead
Ravel 'A Portrait'
Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade
Schoenberg Pierrot lunaire
Shostakovich Symphony No. 4 'Is Music Dangerous?'
Sibelius Symphony No. 5
Strauss Ein Heldenleben
Stravinsky The Rite of Spring
Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4
Vivaldi The Four Seasons
Wagner The Tristan Effect

Associated Conductors

Pierre Boulez (1925 - 2016)
Harry Bicket
Andrey Boreyko
Semyon Bychkov
Stéphane Denève
Charles Dutoit
Sir Mark Elder
Pablo Heras-Casado
Alan Gilbert
Daniel Harding
Vladimir Jurowski
Jeffrey Kahane
Nicholas McGegan
Esa-Pekka Salonen
Edo de Waart
Jaap van Zweden

Maebh Lehane
Senior Manager, imagine
+44 20 7608 9924

Eleanor Philpott
Assistant Artist and Project Manager, imagine
+44 20 7608 9918