Chicago blues as Symphony cancels Christmas

Chicago blues as Symphony cancels Christmas


norman lebrecht

December 17, 2014

The annual Welcome Yule concerts, a big-budget production by the Chicago Symphony and Chorus, are to end this year.

Cost too much, apparently. Read here.





  • Patrick says:

    Maybe you should read the article….and then rethink the headline. Nothing is cancelled. They will continue with other holiday offerings next season. Nowhere does it say cost was a factor.

    • Max Grimm says:

      Agreed. The article also mentions eight “Welcome Yule” concerts each year, all of them sold out. Would the CSO really lose money with this?

      • V.Lind says:

        For all that NL is occasionally guilty of misreading and/or misrepresenting an article to which he links, I don’t think this is one of those cases. The concerts in question are ending (though he ought to have included the fact that their Christmas tradition, 20 years on, is being replaced with a new presentation). However, the denial of cost being the reason for this action are pretty feeble.

        More alarming to me is the fact that eight sold-out concerts are insufficient to make the offering self-sustaining. Granted, it is reported to be a massive production, but I have seen two-night Verdi Requiems with full-sized choirs, Mahler’s 8th with two orchestras and choruses of 250, also over two nights. How much can they be losing?

        Ticket prices cannot go up much more without driving off the shrinking number of people who still attend classical music. What is the economic framework for an orchestra to work?

  • Sam says:

    I’ve spoken with CSO friends. They just felt it was time for something new. (As good as Beethoven 5 is, imagine having to play it 8 times in the span of two weeks every single year.)

  • Herrera says:

    Chicago winters are cold and dry, I hope parents don’t bring their coughing kids to the Christmas concert.