• Announcing Our 75th Anniversary Season, 2020–21

    CELEBRATING 75 YEARS of music making by and for our COMMUNITY

  • Mstislav Rostropovich & Sviatoslav Richter - Beethoven - Cello Sonata No 2 in G minor Op 5

    "This was a concert of the complete Beethoven Cello Sonatas, that started at midnight in August 1964 at the Edinburgh Festival. The performances are spontaneous, and phenomenal from these two young superstars."

  • 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.

2020–2021 SERIES: 75th Anniversary

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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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More about the ESO

ESO videos

We are happy to share videos of previous concerts with you until we can get back to sharing live concerts with you.

Watch the latest video we just added to our library. John Bruce Yeh, Assistant Principal Clarinetist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performing James Stephenson’s Liquid Melancholy with the Evanston Symphony Orchestra, from 2018.

Composing for a ballet

Aram Khachaturian, Armenia’s most important composer, is known around the world for his ballet music. He composed the music for Gayane, a ballet in three acts, that tells the story of a woman in an unhappy marriage who falls in love with another. The ballet premiered in 1942 by the Kirov Ballet, with the “Sabre Dance” being one of its most recognizable tunes.

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Where Have I Heard This Before?

Ferdinand (Ferde) Grofé (1892-1972) was born in New York City and came from a long line of classically trained musicians. He was a part of an American orchestral music wave in the early 20th century that began to incorporate jazz, folk, and more complex harmonies into orchestral compositions. Gershwin might be the most recognizable name from this time, and Grofé and Gershwin were contemporaries and colleagues. Grofé is the orchestrater of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

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All That Jazz

George Gershwin was already a popular Broadway songwriter by the time his Rhapsody in Blue premiered on February 12, 1924. This revolutionary work exploded onto the music scene and launched the young composer’s star into the stratosphere. Walter Damrosch, the conductor of the New York Symphony, was in the audience for that first performance, and a short time later he approached Gershwin about composing a piano concerto and serving as the work’s first soloist.

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Diverse All-American Pieces and Composers

Called “riotously funky” by the Chicago Tribune, Jonathan Newman’s Blow It Up, Start Again was commissioned by the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and premiered in 2012 at Orchestra Hall in Chicago. The piece continues to be performed by orchestras around the world. Trained as a pianist, trombonist, and singer, Newman’s music incorporates many styles from classical to jazz, and everything in between.

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