Having worked for some 25 years in sales for the travel industry and as an investor, Uta Staley is now retired. Born in Germany and a naturalized US citizen, Uta Staley supports several Chicago-area organizations, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
The symphony will perform a recently unearthed musical work by Igor Stravinsky, known as the Funeral Song. Given an opus number of five, the Funeral Song’s only contemporary performance came in 1909 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Stravinsky wrote it to commemorate his late teacher, Rimsky-Korsakov. Stravinsky assumed the piece had been lost in the Bolshevik Revolution.
The discovery of the manuscript filled a gap in Stravinsky’s catalog, between the Scherzo Fantastique, Fireworks, and the internationally renowned ballet The Firebird. Stravinsky conceived the 12-minute Funeral Song as a procession of solo instruments paying tribute to Rimsky-Korsakov. He wrote several works during his lifetime in memoriam to departed composers, such as Debussy.
Chicago Symphony conductor Charles Dutoit will lead the orchestra in the piece’s American premiere on April 6, 2017. Also on the program will be Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B Minor and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major.
Uta Staley, a native of Germany and a long-time resident of Chicago, Illinois, devotes much of her time to supporting the arts in her adopted city.