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Classical Kids Live! &
Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras
Tchaikovsky Discovers America
This delightful concert performance is approximately 50 minutes in length and recommended for audiences ages six and up. Please join us after the performance for fun musical activities in the lobby, including an actor meet & greet and an instrument petting zoo!
Based on actual historical events, this story tells of the great composer’s arrival in New York for the grand opening of Carnegie Hall in 1891 and his famous trip to Niagara Falls. A surprise encounter with a young American girl, Jennie, reveals much about Tchaikovsky—his life in Russia, his love of music and his fears of conducting. This is a poignant story of the meeting of old-world influences and new world experiences; a tale of contrast, courage and classical music.
Audiences will enjoy more than twenty-five excerpts of the composer’s music including passages from his three famous ballets—The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake—The 1812 Overture, Piano Concerto No. 1 and Serenade for Strings. The music is magically woven into the drama as two actors recreate historical incidents from the composer’s life and dance story passages from his famous ballets.
“Far and Away the Best for Introducing Children to Classical Music!”
— Boston Herald
“One of the Most Completely Wondrous Examples of Children’s Entertainment Ever!”
“Art Made Accessible: Nobody Does it Better than Classical Kids!”
— Entertainment Weekly
“The Best Way to Unlock the Mind and Heart of a Child to the Wonders of Musical Masterpieces!”
— New York Daily News
The story begins at New York’s Carnegie Hall and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is attending the last orchestral rehearsal before the grand opening. But construction noise makes it impossible to rehearse and Tchaikovsky finds himself on the street hounded by reporters. He escapes on a train to Niagara Falls where he meets Jennie, a young American girl, who dreams of becoming a ballerina. During their train ride they discover much about each other—their joys and fears—and the healing influences they impart.
As Tchaikovsky and Jennie approach Niagara Falls, Tchaikovsky describes what he has discovered in America, “There’s an electric energy in this country…all these people, so generous and open-hearted…their ideas, their dreams, their music…all flowing together like a mighty river—everything tumbling toward the future!”
“All silent now, the magic spell is told, all silent now, our mystery tale unfolds…”
The original audio recording of Tchaikovsky Discovers America claims dozens of top music, educational, and parenting awards. Based on this highly acclaimed recording, the Tchaikovsky Discovers America theatrical symphony concert is an imaginative way to introduce young audiences and their families to the life and music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in a live performance venue.
About Classical Kids LIVE!
Classical Kids LIVE! is produced by Classical Kids Music Education, a Chicago-based non-profit organization that works to enrich communities through direct access to culturally significant venues, professional artists and organizations, and high-quality theatrical concert productions, while fostering new appreciation for classical music and music history. In combination with the Classical Kids Teaching Edition, Classical Kids LIVE! serves as one of the world’s best educational outreach and community engagement programs contributing to the long-term health of classical music. Having received more awards and honors than any other entity of its kind, Classical Kids is proud to say, “We’re making a difference!”
About Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras
CYSO is investing in the future of music and the next generation of leaders. We provide music education to more than 650 young musicians ages 6-18 through full and string orchestras, jazz, steel, chamber music, masterclasses, and music composition. Students learn from Chicago’s most respected professional musicians, perform in the world’s great concert halls, and gain skills necessary for a successful future.
CYSO Community Partnership Programs support music training and access for more than 8,500 young people each year. We work with youth in diverse Chicago neighborhoods through after-school ensembles and our Ambassadors Program, which brings student musicians into CPS elementary schools to perform interactive concerts. CYSO orchestras also present free community and education concerts throughout the season.
CYSO alumni go on to play in the world’s finest orchestras and ensembles, and are also found working as doctors, lawyers, teachers, community leaders, and business professionals. Whether or not a graduate continues music studies after their time in CYSO, young people leave with increased self-confidence, a strong sense of discipline, and a deep appreciation for music and the arts.