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.
2019–2020 SERIES: GREAT COMPOSERS
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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.
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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 May concert program in depth.
Friday, May 1 at 1:30 pm,
The Merion Crystal Ballroom at
1611 Chicago Avenue at Davis Street, Evanston.
FREE and open to the public.
Please RSVP to 847-562-5318
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.
Candide is based on the 1758 novella by Voltaire, which satirized the fashionable philosophies of the day, particularly the tortures inflicted by the Catholic Church on supposed heretics during the Inquisition. Noting parallels to the controversial activities of the House Un-American Activities Committee, which sought to root out Communism in the United States, playwright Lillian Hellman proposed to Bernstein in 1953 that they adapt the novella for the musical theater.
Although Bernstein is probably best known for West Side Story, the composer, conductor, and pianist composed many pieces of music throughout his life including Chichester Psalms, an orchestral work with choir and boy treble. The ESO will be joined by the North Shore Choral Society and William Lewis, boy solo, to perform this Bernstein masterpiece.
If something becomes popular, it will be made fun of. Gordon Jacob’s The Barber of Seville Goes To The Devil is a prime example of musical parody. Gioachino Rossini’s original opera, The Barber of Seville has been massively popular since it was first performed in 1816. Anyone marginally aware of the opera can hum tunes featured in the overture to the opera. In 1960 Jacob composed The Barber of Seville Goes To The Devil as a humorous homage to Rossini’s original.
Ottorino Respighi, one of the great composer-conductor-pianists of his time, was born in Bologna and studied in St. Petersburg under Rimsky-Korsakov and in Berlin under Bruch. However, it was in Rome, where Respighi settled in 1913, that he found his true inspiration.
Haydn composed his Trumpet Concerto in E Flat in 1796 for his friend Anton Weidinger, who was also the developer of the keyed trumpet that could play chromatically. Unlike the natural trumpet, the keyed trumpet had four to six holes or keys similar to the flute; however, the keyed trumpet was ultimately not successful due to its poor sound quality. (Trumpets used today are called valved trumpets and were first introduced in the 1830s.) In fact, the piece is considered one of Haydn’s most popular concertos and is a favorite of trumpet players and classical music lovers everywhere.
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.