Retired ESO cellist Ed Bennett died this past March. Ed was born in Martins Ferry, Ohio, and began cello there, playing in the school orchestra until his father, an electrical engineer for U.S. Steel, was transferred to Gary, Indiana, when Ed was 15. Ed enrolled in Horace Mann High School in Gary, where he continued playing cello in the high school orchestra and also played with the Gary Symphony. His most memorable concert with the latter was on December 7, 1941; only after the conclusion of the concert were they told about the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
2018–2019 SERIES: VIRTUOSOS
Give the gift of music
Treat a friend or relative to the ESO
Give the gift of music by ordering directly from our website and purchasing a custom gift certificate in any denomination of your choice! Certificates may be redeemed for single ticket or season subscriptions for any of our concerts.
You will receive an electronic gift certificate or we can mail the certificate to you or directly to the recipient.
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.
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.
Meet our soloist, Tage Larsen, at Musical Insights. He and our Maestro Lawrence Eckerling and David Ellis will explore the March concert program in depth.
Friday, March 15 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.
Vince Flood Receives llinois Council of Orchestras Award
Evanston Symphony Orchestra is proud to announce that Vince Flood won the award for Board President of the Year 2018 from the Illinois Council of Orchestras. Vince has been a strong and effective leader, who has taken this vibrant community orchestra to new heights of performance, while also pioneering initiatives to make it a more inclusive organization that truly serves the whole of its community.
For immediate release March 15, 2017
Community Orchestra of the Year
Evanston Symphony Orchestra
Lawrence Eckerling, Music Director
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.
In 1839 the Theater Pension Fund asked Felix Mendelssohn to write an overture and a song for their production of Ruy Blas, a play by Victor Hugo. They hoped having Mendelssohn’s name attached to the production would bring in a larger audience. Mendelssohn did not care for the content of Ruy Blas (a rather violent and bloody play), but wanted to support the organization so he wrote the song. The Theater Pension Fund thanked him for the song and expressed disappointment in the lack of an overture.
Johannes Brahms is recognized as one of the great composers of the Romantic period. His career took flight in the early 1850s thanks in no small part to the mentorship of Robert Schumann, one of the leading composers and critics of the day. He and his wife, Clara, a prominent piano soloist and composer in her own right, played significant roles in shepherding the career of young Brahms.
Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A Minor is the only piano concerto the composer ever wrote. Completed in 1845, it premiered later that same year; however, Schumann originally composed it as a one-movement piece for piano and orchestra. When he was unable to successfully sell the one-movement version to publishers, he revised it based on his wife Clara Schumann’s suggestion, eventually expanding it into a full three-movement concerto. In fact, Clara was the piano soloist when the piece premiered.
The Evanston Symphony Holiday Gospel Choir will perform Stand by Me with the ESO. The recent royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was our inspiration to include this wonderful number in our Holiday Concert. Stand By Me was originally a gospel song published in 1905 by Charles Albert Tindley: an amazing person in his own right - born son of a slave, self-educated, and a pastor. Ben E. King adapted the song for the Drifters in 1960. It quickly became a hit and an anthem of the Civil Rights Movement.
The tap-dancing reindeer from the Evanston Dance Ensemble return to join the Evanston Symphony Orchestra performing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, but that’s not all! Watch the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel and the story of Lieutenant Kijé come to life with ballet. Lieutenant Kijé tells the story of a fictional army officer that was made into a movie in 1934, and Sergei Prokofiev composed the music for the film, the Lieutenant Kijé Suite.
Bedrich Smetana’s The Bartered Bride is a three-act comic opera that is regarded as a major contribution toward the representation of Czech music in the classical music sphere. It was first performed at the Provisional Theatre in Prague on May 30, 1866.
The musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra are known for their distinctive “Chicago Sound,” marked by the precision, clarity, and power that have defined the Orchestra as a world-class institution. As the longest-serving clarinetist in the Orchestra’s history, Soloist John Bruce Yeh has had intimate experience with this high standard of performance. Composer James Stephenson is also familiar with this unique sound, having grown up listening to the CSO during his childhood in suburban Chicago.
Between 1892 and 1895, Dvořák was the musical director of the National Conservatory of Music located in New York City, where its founder, Jeannette Meyer Thurber, offered him the job – he was already an established composer. While the Czech-born composer moved to the United States to fill the position, his stay was short-lived because he missed home; however, his goal was to discover American music. While Dvořák was influenced by both Native American and African-American melodies, he never alluded to any particular melody that inspired the New World Symphony.