Riccardo Muti is my hero.

The program for Muti and the Chicago Symphony’s concert in Orange County on 17 February 2012 has finally been revealed in all its glory.

Muti and the gang will open with a performance of Arthur Honegger’s gritty tribute to trains, “Pacific 231.”

That is followed by a piece of genuine new music, “Alternative Energy” by Mason Bates, a Chicago Symphony commission.

After intermission, the musicians revive the Symphony by Cesar Franck. Incidentally, the Chicagoans made the best recording of the work, a veritable classic of the gramophone in my opinion, way back when.

In recent years, touring orchestras have been bringing almost stiflingly conservative programs to O.C. This one will be a breath of fresh air.

Single tickets go on sale Aug. 1, I believe. Sorry, I’m not 100 percent certain of the date.

UPDATE: Friend of Classical Life, conductor Chris Russell will be giving the pre-concert lecture for this concert.