• Evanston Symphony Holiday Concert

    Sunday, December 8, 2019 — 3:00 pm

    Make sure your holiday season starts with the best holiday event in Evanston!

    Special rates for a family package of 2 adult tickets and 3 children’s tickets.

  • 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!

  • Our Next Concert

    GERSHWIN CONCERTO IN F

    Sun., February 2, 2020, 2:30 p.m.

    Newman

    Walker

    Gershwin

    with Jeffrey Biegel, piano

    Grofé

    Jeffrey Biegel

2019–2020 SERIES: GREAT COMPOSERS

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Musical Insights

Free Pre-Concert Preview Series!

Friday, at 1:30 pm

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 concert program in depth.

The Merion
Friday, 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.

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 at 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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Latest news

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.

Learn More!

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Concert Content Highlights

Not a Traditional Folk Melody

Jean Sibelius

Jean Sibelius composed Finlandia for orchestra in 1899, and it became an overnight sensation. The piece was a political protest supporting the freedom of the Finnish press which was increasingly being controlled by the Russian Empire. Finlandia is a tone poem, an orchestral composition inspired by what the title of the piece refers to. (In Finlandia’s case, nationalism.) The piece premiered in the composer’s native Finland and was performed under various names to avoid this censorship.

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A Centennial Celebration

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.

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Celebrating the Bernstein Centennial with Chichester Psalms

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.

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Symphonic Satire and Beautiful Moments in an Obscure Opera

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.

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