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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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.
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.
Bedrich Smetana’s The Bartered Bride is a three-act comic opera that is regarded as a major contribution toward the representation of Czech music in the classical music sphere. It was first performed at the Provisional Theatre in Prague on May 30, 1866.
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.
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.
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.