2021–2022 SERIES: 75th Season

The Evanston Symphony Orchestra (ESO) has adopted protocols to protect your health and safety at performances. These policies are in effect as of September 2021 for 2021-2022 ESO subscription series concerts and will be reviewed regularly to follow the latest public health mandates and recommendations.
Proof of Vaccination Required • Mask Requirement • Distancing •Risk Assumption • Exchange Policy

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Musical Insights

Free Pre-Concert Preview Series!

May 20, 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.

Meet our soloist, Sihao He, at Musical Insights. He and our Maestro Lawrence Eckerling and David Ellis will explore the concert program in depth.

The Merion
Friday, May 20 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 847-570-7815.

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

Soloist Change for May 22nd

Sihao He

The Evanston Symphony Orchestra is sorry to report that Arlen Hlusko will no longer be the soloist in our upcoming May 22nd concert. Arlen has a serious shoulder injury. The Dvořák Cello Concerto soloist will now be Sihao He.  He has already won numerous awards and has a close connection with Evanston. He has a Master's Degree from the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, and is currently studying there for his D.M.A. degree under the tutelage of Hans Jorgen Jensen.

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Ralph Wilder, Clarinetist Extraordinaire

Ralph Wilder

When the New York touring company of Fiddler on the Roof came to Chicago a number of years ago, a local musician was hired to play the clarinet backstage for the famous wedding scene. The musicians in the pit orchestra tended to look down their noses at this local guy so he in turn fed their conde-scension by playing the notes in the score in a very straight fashion, competent, but nothing remarkable. Then came opening night. The wedding scene began and the backstage clarinet player let rip, the notes of the wedding dance “wailing and kvetching” in true klezmer style.

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Health & Safety

The Evanston Symphony Orchestra (ESO) has adopted protocols to protect your health and safety at performances. These policies are in effect as of September 2021 for 2021-2022 ESO subscription series concerts and will be reviewed regularly to follow the latest public health mandates and recommendations.

  • Proof of Vaccination and Boosters Required
  • Children under 12 may attend Holiday Concert if accompanied by a vaccinated adult.
  • Mask Requirement
  • Distancing
  • Risk Assumption
  • Exchange Policy

Learn More!

Christopher Duquet donates 75th anniversary baton to Maestro Eckerling

batonCook County ResolutionEvanston Proclamation

To open its 75th season, the Evanston Symphony Orchestra welcomed Mayor Biss and Christopher Duquet, Evanston fine jeweler, and Maestro Eckerling to the stage. Christopher Duquet gave the ESO an exquisite jeweled baton, and Mayor Biss gave a proclamation declaring November 7th , 2021, Evanston Symphony Orchestra day. Cook County Commissioner, Larry Suffredin, also gave a beautifully framed proclamation. The music engraved in the baton is the opening measures of Wagner's Die Meistersinger with which we opened our 75th anniversary concert on November 7th, 2021.

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Unrequited Love

Antonín Dvořák

Did you know Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) initially had no interest writing a cello concerto because he believed the cello was only suitable as an orchestral instrument and not for a solo concerto? Fortunately for us he changed his mind. After attending a cello concerto performance written by composer Victor Herbert, Dvořák was inspired to write his own. In fact, Hanuš Wihan, a cellist and friend of Dvořák’s, had been asking the composer to write a cello concerto for some time. Composed between 1894 and 1895, the Cello Concerto in B Minor was the final concerto Dvořák wrote.

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The Tenderness and Turmoil of Romeo and Juliet

Tchaikovsky

First performed in March of 1870, Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet is a beautiful piece full of tenderness and turmoil, reflecting the themes in Shakespeare’s story of love desired and denied.  Yet, there is a thread in the story that is also emblematic of Tchaikovsky’s own life and work. It is the thread of bridging two worlds, and of difficult love and relationships.

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Transcontinental Transcendence

Zhou Tian

GRAMMY-nominated composer Zhou Tian was born into a musical family in Hangzhou in 1981. His father was a composer for television shows, and Zhou often worked with him, having already begun playing piano in recording sessions and arranging music by the age of 12. The China of Zhou’s youth was one marked by economic reforms, which led to substantially increased incomes; greater availability of food, housing, and other consumer goods; and a rapid exodus of workers from traditional agriculture into manufacturing. Zhou’s own exodus, …

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Ode to Joy

During Ludwig van Beethoven’s time (1770-1827), adding a chorus and vocal soloists to a symphony was never done and was considered highly unusual. Of course, that did not stop the composer from including a choral component in the fourth movement of his ninth symphony, making him the first major composer to accomplish this. Despite Beethoven’s hearing loss, he was still able to compose music, but conducting and performing at concerts (he was a talented pianist) was becoming problematic. 

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