• Our Next Concert

    THE VIRTUOSO PIANO

    Sun., February 3, 2019, 2:30 p.m.

    Mendelssohn

    Schumann

    with Adam Neiman, piano

    Brahms

  • ESO’s
    Share The Stage

    Share the Stage lets you sponsor a chair in the Orchestra. It’s our way of recognizing that the ESO Community is made up of Orchestra Members and Supporters.

  • Give the gift of music

    Treat a friend or relative to the ESO

    Give the gift of music by purchasing a custom gift certificate in any denomination of your choice!

2018–2019 SERIES: VIRTUOSOS

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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.

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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 February concert program in depth.

The Merion
Friday, February 1 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.

Celebration Of Life: Ed Bennett

Ed Bennett

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.

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ESO’s Vince Flood named 2018 Board President of the Year

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.

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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 Mellifluous Cultural Touchstone

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.

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Songs of the Season

ESO Holiday Concert
Wendel’s Wonderland of Snow Medley and Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” from Messiah will bring to mind golden holiday memories of years past, while the dramatic choruses of Handel’s oratorio Judas Maccabaeus will tell the triumphant tale of Hanukkah, bringing together the talented musicians of the North Shore Choral Society and the Evanston Children’s choir. New to the program this year are Forrest’s Angels from the Realms of Glory and Mager’s Kling Glöckchen Kling, a German Christmas carol from the 19th century.

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Dance into the Holiday Season

Evanston Dance Ensemble

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.

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The Chicago Sound

James Stephenson

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.

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Czech Composer, American Inspiration

Dvorak

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.

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Stand Up for Haydn

Corigliano

John Corigliano’s Promenade Overture is a modern take on a classical masterpiece.

The composer admitted as much in his program notes from the 1981 work. He commented that Franz Joseph Haydn’s Farewell Symphony caught him “off guard.” During the final movement of this symphony, the players exit until only a pair of violins remains. Intrigued by the notion of reversing the process — orchestra members entering at the beginning of a work while playing — Corigliano wrote an overture that does just that.

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Brahms: Dramatic Romantic

Johannes Brahms

In 1853, at the age of 20, a young Johannes Brahms nervously presented himself to Robert and Clara Schumann. He was the leading composer of the day, and she was a prominent piano soloist and composer in her own right. This fateful meeting would lead to Brahms’ public introduction, and to a lifelong relationship, both musical and personal, with the couple. While Brahms owed the launch of his career to this great composer, he struggled under the weight of Schumann’s description of him as “a chosen one,” and in the shadow of Beethoven’s revolutionary Symphony No.

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