• Our Next Concert
    Swan Lake & Mozart

    Sunday, April 26, 2015



  • Announcing Our 70th Anniversary
    2015–16 Season
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  • Chamber Music Concert

    Sunday, June 28, 2015

    at the Music Institute of Chicago’s Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston

    ESO Principal players form a
    woodwind quintet, a brass quintet and string quintet

    joined by Music Director/pianist Lawrence Eckerling

    and featuring

    Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet

    Special Benefit



SHOP and Support the ESO!

Are you looking to buy a gift for someone a Amazon? Need to stock up on supplies from Amazon?

Amazon has a special program called Smile, where the company donates a small amount of your purchase to your designated charity. Once you select the ESO as your Smile recipient, just point your browser to smile.amazon.com each time you want to shop at Amazon and the Evanston Symphony will benefit. It won’t cost you a thing!

Thanks, and happy shopping.

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Musical Insights

Free Pre-Concert Preview Series!

Enhance your concert experience with a sneak preview — Composers come alive and their passions take center stage when ESO General Manager David Ellis and ESO Maestro Lawrence Eckerling take you on an insider’s tour of the history and highlights behind the music.

Maestro Lawrence Eckerling and David Ellis will explore the April concert program in depth.

The Merion
Friday, April 24 at 1:30 pm,
The Merion Crystal Ballroom at
1611 Chicago Avenue at Davis Street, Evanston.
FREE and open to the public.

Light refreshments will be served and casual tours of newly renovated apartments will be available after the program.

February Concert Rescheduled

German Favorites Concert has been rescheduled for May 31.

We fortunately have been able to reschedule our snowed-out February 1, 2015 concertt, German Favorites, to May 31, 2015. The time of 2:30 p.m. and the location of Pick-Staiger Concert Hall are the same, and the program, featuring Michelle Areyzaga singing Strauss' Four Last Songs, also remains the same.

February 1/ May 31 concert ticket procedures

Keep your February 1 tickets for use on May 31. You do not have to do anything else except show up on May 31!

Additional May 31st tickets are also available for purchase online now.

If you cannot attend on the new date of May 31, you have several options:

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Improved Pick-Staiger Access

Breaking news (1/19/2015): Arts Circle Drive, leading up to Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, is now fully open. You can drive all the way up to the entrance now to drop people off. Both levels of the parking garage are open, with exits at the east and west ends.

If you park on the upper level, the eastern pedestrian exit is now on the same level as Pick Staiger. There are no steps at all between the parking and the concert hall, and no hill to climb.

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A New Direction for Ballet Music

ballet dancer

In Swan Lake, Tchaikovsky took classical ballet music on a new path. It was the first of his classic ballets, written in 1877, followed by Sleeping Beauty in 1890 and The Nutcracker in 1892.

Previously, ballet scores were written in a mostly light, airy style noted for its charm and elegance, or, as music critic Harold Schonberg wrote, “um-pah-pah music.” For the most part Tchaikovsky took a dim view of these works, and infused Swan Lake with a rich, passionate warmth that was to become his balletic and orchestral hallmark.

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Northwestern Alum Howard Hanson's "Romantic" Symphony

Howard Hanson

Howard Harold Hanson, one of our most famous 20th century composers, was best known for Symphony No. 2 (“Romantic”). The Evanston Symphony Orchestra will showcase this sweeping work at its March 15 concert.

Hanson, who was also a conductor, educator and music theorist, served as director of the Eastman School of Music for 40 years. He also has a personal connection to Evanston: He received his bachelor’s degree in music from Northwestern University.

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Barber's Uncompromised Violin Concerto

Samuel Barber in 1944

The Violin Concerto by Samuel Barber has an interesting provenance. It was commissioned by Philadelphia industrialist Samuel Simeon Fels, who headed the company that developed Fels-Naptha soap, and premiered in 1941 with the Philadelphia Orchestra. The soloist was Albert Spalding, whose uncle of the same name was a Hall of Fame pitcher and founder of the National League as well as the Spalding sporting goods company.

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