• Announcing Our 75th Anniversary Season, 2020–21

    CELEBRATING 75 YEARS of music making by and for our COMMUNITY

  • Bach Concerto for Two Violins Yehudi Menuhin and David Oistrakh, Violins

    "This is a vintage performance of the Bach Double Violin Concerto. It features two virtuoso violinists of the time: Yehudi Menuhin and David Oistrakh. On the surface it would seem an unusual partnership, because Menuhin was known as a “gentle, beautiful sound, and musical warmth” violinist, whereas Oistrakh was known as a “muscular, virtuosic, profound” violinist. Admittedly, those generalizations are unfair, but still they were distinctly very different violinists. And yet, in this performance, they do come together, blend so well together, and it is a real testament to both of their artistries. I hope you enjoy!

  • 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, 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.

Maestro Lawrence Eckerling and David Ellis will explore the concert program in depth.

The Merion
Friday, 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 847-562-5318.

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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More about the ESO

ESO videos

We are happy to share videos of previous concerts with you until we can get back to sharing live concerts with you.

Watch the latest video we just added to our library. John Bruce Yeh, Assistant Principal Clarinetist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performing James Stephenson’s Liquid Melancholy with the Evanston Symphony Orchestra, from 2018.

Transcendent Logic

Jean Sibelius

Even though Sibelius’ pieces such as Finlandia are more popular, his Symphony No. 1 is no less important. Sibelius premiered his Symphony No. 1 in 1899 and revised it in 1900.

Symphony No. 1 starts off its first movement slowly with a clarinet over a soft timpani roll and moves into a main theme in the strings. A contrasting theme is picked up by the woodwinds, then a standard development and recapitulation follow. The movement ends with two soft pizzicato chords in the strings.

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Whimsical Woodwind

√While little is known about Antonio Vivaldi’s inspiration or his method of composition for the Piccolo Concerto, it is clear that the popular Italian composer was incredibly prolific; he penned upwards of 500 concertos, and more than two-thirds of them were written for solo instruments. Originally intended for the “flautino,” a high-pitched baroque recorder equivalent to today’s piccolo, the piece exhibits several characteristics of the baroque concerto that Vivaldi made standard during the era.

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Not a Traditional Folk Melody

Jean Sibelius

Jean Sibelius composed Finlandia for orchestra in 1899, and it became an overnight sensation. The piece was a political protest supporting the freedom of the Finnish press which was increasingly being controlled by the Russian Empire. Finlandia is a tone poem, an orchestral composition inspired by what the title of the piece refers to. (In Finlandia’s case, nationalism.) The piece premiered in the composer’s native Finland and was performed under various names to avoid this censorship.

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A Centennial Celebration

Candide is based on the 1758 novella by Voltaire, which satirized the fashionable philosophies of the day, particularly the tortures inflicted by the Catholic Church on supposed heretics during the Inquisition. Noting parallels to the controversial activities of the House Un-American Activities Committee, which sought to root out Communism in the United States, playwright Lillian Hellman proposed to Bernstein in 1953 that they adapt the novella for the musical theater.

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