CSO: Vertigo

Film with Orchestra

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Joshua Gersen, conductor

Wednesday, August 15, 2018
4:30 PM
Donor Gates Open
5:00 PM
Public Gates Open
8:00 PM
Concert Starts

Tickets: $90 / $25
Lawn: $25

Vertigo Star Kim Novak Introduces Film

Tonight, Hollywood legend Kim Novak will make a special appearance to introduce the classic film Vertigo. Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips will give a pre-concert discussion at the giant lawn screen about the acclaimed score by Bernard Herrmann and the composer’s relationship to Hitchcock.

Dining Availablity For Tonight: Ravinia Market, Lawn BarTree Top and Park View are all open tonight.

Program Notes

  • The British Film Institute recently voted Vertigo to be the best film of all time, unseating Citizen Kane, which had topped that list (and still does top the American Film Institute’s) for many years. Both films feature music by Bernard Herrmann.
  • Like Steven Spielberg and John Williams today, director Alfred Hitchcock and composer Bernard Herrmann were practically inseparable and incredibly successful in creating movies from the mid-’50s until the mid-’60s. Their equality in collaboration was similar, with Herrmann’s music sometimes informing the picture direction or being the main focus of a scene.


  • Because the physical condition known as vertigo includes a swirling, dizzying sensation, and because the film Vertigo has a central theme of obsession and retracing activities and ideas, Bernard Herrmann’s music features circular or spiraling motifs to accentuate those aspects of Alfred Hitchcock’s film.
  • Alfred Hitchcock and Bernard Herrmann are equally famous for the movie Psycho as for Vertigo. Herrmann ultimately received special crediting and compensation for his work on the film, as Hitchcock acknowledged that Herrmann’s music substantially added to the drama of the film, including the iconic shower scene, which Hitchcock originally wanted to be silent.
  • The gloomy two-note motif in Bernard Herrmann’s Vertigo music mimics the foghorns in San Francisco, where the film is set.
  • In 1999, James Conlon, the former music director of the CSO’s Ravinia residency, recorded the complete set of musical cues for Vertigo—no previous soundtrack release included every note Bernard Herrmann wrote for the film.

Park Details

Note: Ravinia allows popcorn, theater candy, and pavillion drink cups into the Pavilion for all four movie nights.

Concert Information

Complete film shown on Pavilion and lawn video screens

MICHAEL PHILLIPS, film critic for the Chicago Tribune, will lead a pre-concert discussion in front of the big screen.