• Schedule Update

    Evanston Symphony Orchestra has been monitoring developments regarding the spread of COVID-19. In keeping with guidance issued by Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker and state and local public health officials, we are saddened to announce the cancellation of the May 3 concert which was to be the last of our 2019–2020 season. We believe this is in the best interest of our ESO community — audience, musicians and staff. Please see additional notes on this website regarding our upcoming 75th anniversary season which opens October 25, 2020.

     
    For more information click here.

  • Announcing Our 75th Anniversary Season, 2020–21

    CELEBRATING 75 YEARS of music making by and for our COMMUNITY

  • 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

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Musical Insights

Free Pre-Concert Preview Series!

Friday, May 1 has been CANCELLED

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 May concert program in depth.

The Merion
Friday, May 1 has been CANCELLED,
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.

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Latest news

Celebration Of Life: Ed Bennett

Ed Bennett

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.

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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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Concert Content Highlights

An Unexpected Journey

Prokofiev

It was just over a year after the Russian Revolution when Prokofiev first left home to travel west to further his career, having secured permission from the commissar of culture under Vladimir Lenin. He made successful inroads in Chicago, and in just a few months, Prokofiev made his American debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on December 6, 1918. The multitalented composer appeared as soloist for his First Piano Concerto and conductor for his Scythian Suite, and the Chicago audience responded to the performance by demanding seven curtain calls.

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Composing for a ballet

Aram Khachaturian, Armenia’s most important composer, is known around the world for his ballet music. He composed the music for Gayane, a ballet in three acts, that tells the story of a woman in an unhappy marriage who falls in love with another. The ballet premiered in 1942 by the Kirov Ballet, with the “Sabre Dance” being one of its most recognizable tunes.

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Where Have I Heard This Before?

Ferdinand (Ferde) Grofé (1892-1972) was born in New York City and came from a long line of classically trained musicians. He was a part of an American orchestral music wave in the early 20th century that began to incorporate jazz, folk, and more complex harmonies into orchestral compositions. Gershwin might be the most recognizable name from this time, and Grofé and Gershwin were contemporaries and colleagues. Grofé is the orchestrater of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

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All That Jazz

George Gershwin was already a popular Broadway songwriter by the time his Rhapsody in Blue premiered on February 12, 1924. This revolutionary work exploded onto the music scene and launched the young composer’s star into the stratosphere. Walter Damrosch, the conductor of the New York Symphony, was in the audience for that first performance, and a short time later he approached Gershwin about composing a piano concerto and serving as the work’s first soloist.

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