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.
2018–2019 SERIES: VIRTUOSOS
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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.
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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.
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 October concert program in depth.
Friday, October 19 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.
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.
We are a community orchestra which performs five concerts each season. Our players volunteer their time to play with us.
Evanston Symphony Board member Robin Ashton asked ESO Maestro and Music Director Lawrence Eckerling about how he programmed this year’s subscription series line-up.
Ashton: Maestro, how do you go about programming a season. Do you start with a theme or what?
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.
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.
The ballet is based on the Russian folk tale of the Firebird, which Igor Stravinsky used as inspiration in his score. The Firebird ballet tells the story of Prince Ivan who defeats the evil Kastchei with the help of the Firebird, who offers one of her enchanted feathers to Prince Ivan after he spares her life while hunting in the forest. The feather is later used by Prince Ivan to summon the Firebird when he needs her help as Kastchei’s creatures chase after him.
As the monarchy is central to the history and government of England, so it is part of its musical heritage. Crown Imperial, also known as Coronation March, came to life during a turbulent time for the British crown. Composer William Walton originally composed the march for King Edward VII’s coronation, set for May 12, 1937. However, when Edward abdicated the throne in 1936, his brother, King George VI, became king to the tune of Crown Imperial instead.
Ralph Vaughan Williams was among the wave of European composers of the time who were interested in utilizing and recording folk music. Vaughan Williams found inspiration in English literature and traditional song, often quoting or imitating British folk tunes in his compositions. He was even a member of the English Folk Song Society, whose members sought to collect traditional music of the British Isles. Nine of these tunes found a place in the composer’s three-movement English Folk Song Suite, which was originally written for military band.
If you think the main themes from Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra and Henry Purcell’s Rondeau from Abdelazer Suite are similar, you’re right. Purcell, a Baroque composer, wrote incidental music in 1695 to accompany performances of the play by Aphra Behn, Abdelazer, also known as The Moor’s Revenge. The second movement of the 10-movement suite is one of Purcell’s most recognizable tunes and was the inspiration for Britten’s work.
It’s easy to draw parallels between Emmanuel Chabrier’s Espana and Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio espagnol, pieces that the Evanston Symphony Orchestra will perform on February 4 at 2:30 p.m. Both were written about the same time in the 1880s and draw on the music and culture of Spain. But there is another similarity: Neither composer was actually Spanish.
Huapango remains the most famous work of José Pablo Moncayo, the Guadalajara native and a pupil of Aaron Copland. While visiting Alvarado in Veracruz, Moncayo was inspired by the folk music he heard. The melodies and rhythms proved difficult for him to capture, as the musicians never performed the folk dance the same way twice. He still managed to complete the composition, which was met with great acclaim; it served as the foundation of a new movement of Mexican nationalism in music, and is considered by some as the unofficial second national anthem of Mexico.