Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers Makes Her Chicago Symphony Orchestra Debut with Mason Bates' Violin Concerto

By Louise Burton on Apr 15, 2014 05:24 PM EDT

It's hard to believe that world-class violinist Anne Akiko Meyers hasn't yet played with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, but she will make her much-anticipated debut at Symphony Center on April 17. She and the CSO will present the Chicago premiere of Mason Bates' Violin Concerto under the direction of Leonard Slatkin.

The program, which also holds Samuel Barber's Overture to The School for Scandal, William Schuman's Symphony No. 6 and George Gershwin's "An American in Paris," will be repeated on April 18, 19 and 22.

CSO composer-in-residence Bates wrote his violin concerto expressly for Meyers, and the work was a joint commission by Meyers and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Meyers presented the world premiere of the work with Slatkin and the Pittsburgh Symphony in December 2012.

"It has been very special for me to have a real collaborator in Anne Akiko Meyers, who was open to trying new things as I wrote the Violin Concerto," Bates has said. "I am looking forward to the unique combination of Anne, Leonard Slatkin and the CSO that will make for an extraordinary Chicago premiere."

Here are Bates and Meyers discussing the work before its Pittsburgh premiere:

Bates will give pre-concert talks in the Grainger Ballroom before each performance at Symphony Center. The final pre-concert conversation will be hosted by a guest moderator on April 22 at 6:30 p.m. More information is available at

For her CSO performance, Meyers will play the 1741 'ex-Vieuxtemps' Guarneri del Gesu violin that was recently awarded to her on a lifetime loan. This instrument is considered by many to be the finest sounding violin in existence.

Meyers' most recent album, Four Seasons: The Vivaldi Album, released in February, is the first recording of her playing the Guarneri del Gesu violin.

Here's a music video for her recording of the Vivaldi Triple Concerto from this album, with Meyers playing all three solo parts:

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TagsAnne Akiko Meyers, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Mason Bates, Violin Concerto, Leonard Slatkin, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Four Seasons: The Vivaldi Album

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