In 1809, Ludwig van Beethoven received a commission from Joseph Hartel, manager of the Court Theaters in Vienna, to compose the overture and incidental music to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s tragic play, Egmont. Hartel sought to bring plays by Goethe and Schiller to the theater, and Beethoven was only too eager for the opportunity to set a work by the leading German intellectual of the time and one of the composer’s personal heroes to music.
2023–2024 SERIES: Feel The Passion
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 Maestro Lawrence Eckerling takes you on an insider’s tour of the history and highlights behind the music.
Maestro Lawrence Eckerling will explore the concert program in depth.
Friday, at 1:30 pm,
Merion's Crystal Ballroom at
529 Davis St, Evanston.
FREE and open to the public.
Please RSVP to 847-570-7815.
Light refreshments will be served and casual tours of 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.
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.
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.
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, …