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

ESO’s Vince Flood named 2018 Board President of the Year

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.

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Improved Pick-Staiger Access

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.

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Holiday Concert Features Symphonic Splendor

What better way to ring in the concert and the season than with James M. Stephenson’s Holiday Fanfare Medley, which brings together some of the oldest and most beloved Christmas carols (Il est Né, le Divin EnfantBring a Torch, Jeanette, IsabellaWe Three KingsPat-A-PanCome All Ye ShepherdsGood King Wenceslas). These bright renditions full of brass and bells will evoke the magic of the season, yet even these ancient tunes do not reflect the oldest of the holiday traditions.

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First Impressions Are Not Always Correct

Before the premiere of Symphony No. 4 in October 1885, Brahms played the piece for some close friends and critics on the piano. Their reactions were far from positive and encouraged the composer to make significant changes to the piece. Naturally, Brahms became overwhelmed with self-doubt and was not confident his final symphony would survive beyond its premiere. Brahms was a perfectionist and would discard pieces he composed because he didn’t think they were good enough. Thankfully he kept Symphony No. 4 and the piece premiered as is.

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Mendelssohn's Masterpiece

It was March 13, 1845, in Leipzig, Germany, and after six years in development, Mendelsohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor made its premiere. Musical premieres are not always warmly received, but this concerto was immediately popular. Its development famously began in a letter from Mendelssohn to his concertmaster, Ferdinand David, in which he stated, “I should like to write a violin concerto for you next winter.

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The (Only) Optimistic Opera of Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner is widely lauded as the premier composer of German opera with a place in the history of music that cannot be denied. In addition to ushering German Romantic opera to its highest point, Wagner created the new genre of music drama, in which the music is continuous throughout each act rather than being divided into concrete arias, recitative (speech-singing that carries the story forward), or other set numbers.

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