• 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


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.

Learn More!

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.

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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A Popular Concerto and a Suite with Two Versions

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.

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Mendelssohn goaded into speed composing Overture for Ruy Blas


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.

Learn More!