Arts & Entertainment

Class(ical) Acts Abound in the ’Burbs

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Our region has no shortage of fine classical music orchestras. Here’s a preview of what’s coming up at some of our favorite regional orchestras.

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The northwest suburbs are rife with opportunities for lovers of live classical music to indulge their tastes. Several cities boast their own professional and semi-professional orchestras, presenting anywhere from five to upwards of 20 performances each season. Following are the upcoming schedules for a few of our finest local musical organizations.

Elgin Symphony Orchestra

This award-winning professional orchestra draws some of the finest musicians from around the region to present a full season of world-class programs of classical music. After an extensive two-year search, ESO has named Andrew Grams as its new conductor and musical director. The Maestro has wielded the baton for orchestras around the world, most recently including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Oslo Philharmonic. “Your day, your outlook and your spirit will be transformed by the music of the ESO,” Grams declares.

ESO performs at Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin, and to extend its reach, also plays concerts at Prairie Center for the Arts, 201 Schaumburg Court, Schaumburg, and Batavia Fine Arts Centre, 1401 W. Wilson St., Batavia. Concerts begin at 7:30 for evening performances and 2:30 p.m. for matinees. Purchase tickets from ESO, (847) 888-4000, elginsymphony.org.

Hemmens Cultural Center
Gershwin, Mahler & More
Oct. 5-6: Andrew Grams, conductor; Terrance Wilson, piano. Gershwin: Second Rhapsody; “I Got Rhythm” Variations Piano; Mahler: Symphony No. 1 “Titan.”

Movie Greats by John Williams
Oct. 19-20: Matthew Kraemer, conductor. Memorable film themes by John Williams, including Indiana Jones, Star Wars, War Horse & more.

Beethoven and Sibelius
Nov. 9-10: Andrew Grams, conductor; Isabella Lippi, violin. Beethoven: Coriolan Overture; Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D minor; Walton: Symphony No. 1 in B-flat minor.

Magical Holiday Concert
Dec. 14-15: Stephen Squires, conductor; Elgin Choral Union and Elgin Children’s Chorus. Various family holiday favorites.

Scottish Fantasy
Jan. 11-12, 2014: Andrew Grams, conductor; Michael Ludwig, violin. Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 in A minor “Scottish”; Bruch: Scottish Fantasy.

Magic of Rhythm
Jan. 26: Randall Swiggum, conductor. Family Concert Series.

Tour of Italy
Feb. 8-9: Tania Miller, conductor; Brandon Ridenour, trumpet. Rossini: L’Italiana in Algeri Overture, Vivaldi: “Agitata da due venti” from La Griselda; Paganini: Variations (World Premiere), Strauss: Aus Italien.

Beethoven Inspired
March 8-9 Andrew Lewis, conductor; Elgin Choral Union. Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 in D major; Cherubini: Requiem in C minor.

Bring on Broadway
March 22-23: Stephen Squires, conductor. Various Broadway Favorites.

Symphony Safari
April 2: Randall Swiggum, conductor. Family Concert Series.

Nielsen & Dvořák
April 5-6: José Luis Gomez, conductor; Carter Brey, cello. Nielsen: Maskarade Overture; Dvořák: Cello concerto in B minor; Nielsen: Symphony No. 2 “The Four Temperaments.”

Solzhenitsyn Plays Mozart
May 3-4: Ignat Solzhenitsyn, conductor; Ignat Solzhenitsyn, piano. Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 12 in A major, K 414 Piano; Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 in E-flat major “Romantic.”

Prairie Centre for the Arts
Movie Greats by John Williams
Oct. 18: Matthew Kraemer, conductor. Memorable film themes by John Williams, including Indiana Jones, Star Wars, War Horse & more.

Scottish Fantasy
Jan. 10, 2014: Andrew Grams, conductor; Michael Ludwig, violin. Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 in A minor “Scottish”; Bruch: Scottish Fantasy.

Nielsen & Dvořák
April 4: José Luis Gomez, conductor; Carter Brey, cello. Nielsen: Maskarade Overture; Dvořák: Cello concerto in B minor; Nielsen: Symphony No. 2 “The Four Temperaments.”

Batavia Fine Arts Centre
Tour of Italy
Feb. 7: Tania Miller, conductor; Brandon Ridenour, trumpet. Rossini: L’Italiana in Algeri Overture, Vivaldi: “Agitata da due venti” from La Griselda; Paganini: Variations (World Premiere), Strauss: Aus Italien.

Elgin Community College
Halloween Spooktacular
Oct. 26: Randall Swiggum, conductor. Music to celebrate the season. Family Concert Series.

DuPage Symphony Orchestra

This 100-member organization, celebrating its 60th anniversary this season, was named Illinois Community Orchestra of the Year by the Illinois Council of Orchestras in 2007 and again in 2013. It began with a focus on shorter pieces and early composers, but has grown its repertoire to include the full range of orchestral music and more diverse composers. It performs in Wentz Concert Hall at North Central College in Naperville, and at the Naperville Public Library, and offers single concerts at other venues in the area. Purchase tickets at dupagesymphony.org.

Diamond Anniversary
Oct. 12, 8 p.m. Oct. 13, 3 p.m. Barbara Schubert, conductor; Daria Rabotkina, piano. Wagner: Rienzi Overture; Mascagni: Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana; Britten: Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes, op. 33a; Tchaikovsky: Concerto for Piano No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23. Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville.

Chamber Music at the 95th Street Library
Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m. Informal and informative chamber music concert presented by DSO winds, for listeners of all ages. Q&A sessions, along with classical & popular music. Free. Naperville Public Library, 95th Street Library, 3015 Cedar Glade, Naperville.

Brownies With Barbara
Nov. 15, 7:30 p.m. Attend the first half of the dress rehearsal for select subscription concerts, and witness the “behind-the-scenes” workings of the DuPage Symphony. Then join Music Director Barbara Schubert and the DSO musicians for refreshments, questions and conversation at break. Free; donations accepted. Groups welcome. Please register: (630) 778-1003, [email protected] Wentz Concert Hall.

Orchestra of the Year
Nov. 16, 8 p.m. Barbara Schubert, conductor. An all-orchestral program to celebrate DSO’s distinction of being named Illinois Community Orchestra of the Year for 2013 by the ICO. Verdi: Nabucco Overture; Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 “Pastoral”; Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition. Wentz Concert Hall.

Holiday Traditions
Dec. 15, 3 p.m. Barbara Schubert, conductor; Chicago-area singers. Ellington: The Nutcracker Suite;
Ott: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas; Tyzik: The Twelve Gifts of Christmas. Sing along with your favorite holiday classics, too, and be on the lookout for a special holiday visitor. Wentz Concert Hall.

Chamber Music at the 95th Street Library
Jan. 24, 2014, 7:30 p.m. Informal and informative chamber music concert presented by DSO brass, for listeners of all ages. Q & A sessions, along with classical & popular music. Free. Naperville 95th Street Library.

Brownies With Barbara
Feb. 7, 7:30 p.m. Attend the first half of the dress rehearsal for select subscription concerts, and witness the “behind-the-scenes” workings of the DuPage Symphony. Then join Music Director Barbara Schubert and the DSO musicians for refreshments, questions and conversation at break. Free; donations accepted. Groups welcome. Please register: (630) 778-1003, [email protected] Wentz Concert Hall.

DSO “By Request”
Feb. 8, 8 p.m. Barbara Schubert, conductor; Hye-Jin Kim, violin. A program of works chosen by the audience and musicians. Mozart: Overture to The Magic Flute; Dvorak: Concerto for Violin in A minor, Op. 53; Brahms: Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90. Wentz Concert Hall.

Basically Baroque: Chamber Concert in Wheaton
March 2, 3 p.m. Barbara Schubert, conductor; William P. Crosbie, organ. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050; Handel: Organ Concerto; various baroque selections. Gary United Methodist Church, 224 N. Main St., Wheaton.

Broadway Spectacular
March 15-16, Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 3 p.m. Barbara Schubert, conductor; Lisa Vroman, vocalist. A program of Broadway favorites, ranging from The Great American Songbook to Phantom and Les Mis. Wentz Concert Hall.

Mostly Mozart: Chamber Concert in Lombard
April 6, 3 p.m. Barbara Schubert, conductor; principal wind players, DSO. Mozart: Konzertantes Quartett; Mozart: Sinfonia concertante for Violin and Viola in E flat major; Mozart: contradances, divertimenti and other short pieces. First United Methodist Church, 155 S. Main St., Lombard.

Chamber Music at the 95th Street Library
April 25, 7:30 p.m. Informal and informative chamber music concert presented by DSO strings, for listeners of all ages. Q&A sessions, along with classical & popular music. Free. Naperville 95th Street Library.

Diamond Treasures
May 3, 8 p.m. Barbara Schubert, conductor; DSO 2014 Young Artists Diamond: Orchestral Essay; Rachmaninov: Symphony no 2 in E minor, Op. 27. Wentz Concert Hall.

Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra

A mix of about 60 percent professional and 40 percent volunteer musicians, this community orchestra marks its 54th anniversary this coming season. The organization offers five regular concerts, performed at the Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church, 149 W. Brush Hill Road in Elmhurst, along with smaller chamber performances at Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook.

“We’re a valuable cultural gem in the wider community,” says Cynthia Krainc, executive director. “We don’t operate as a standalone organization. Our mission is to keep the cultural and performing arts alive in the region through collaboration, with local groups like the First Folio Theatre, the York High School Symphony Strings and Spirito Women’s Chorus, along with premier ensembles such as Chicago’s Agape Bell Ringers.”

Subscription forms and ticket information can be found at esosubscriptions.org.

Among Friends
Oct. 19, 7 p.m. Stephen Alltop, conductor; Kate Hatmaker, violin; Jean Hatmaker, cello; Jennifer Cha, violin, Robert Stanger Young Artist Winner. Sibelius: Violin Concerto, Movement 3; Brahms: Concerto for violin and cello in A minor, Op. 102; Dvorák: Symphony No. 7 in D minor.

Surround Sound II
Nov. 17, 3 p.m. Stephen Alltop, conductor; Spirito Women’s Chorus; The Agape Ringers. Strauss. “Solemn Entry” with Organ and Brass; Purcell: Sound the Trumpet; Handel: O lovely peace; Phillips: Toccata for Organ, Brass and Percussion; Gabrieli: Triple Canzon with Brass and Strings; Diamond: Rounds for String Orchestra.

Soldier’s Tale
Jan. 26, 2014, 3 p.m. Stephen Alltop, conductor. The first-ever collaboration of the First Folio Theatre and the ESO in a theatrical presentation of this age-old story of the devil and a mysterious violin. Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings; Stravinsky: L’Histoire du Soldat (The Soldier’s Tale).

Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor 
March 2, 3 p.m. Stephen Alltop, conductor; Apollo Chorus of Chicago. Mozart: Mass in C minor, K. 427; Dvorák​: Te Deum.

Fantasia Salute: Rite of Spring 101
May 10, 7 p.m. Stephen Alltop, conductor; York Community High School Symphony Strings. Mussorgsky/Korsakov: Night on Bald Mountain; Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite, Suite No. 1; Stravinsky: ​Rite of Spring, performed on the work’s 101st anniversary, with original costumes and choreography.

Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra

This not-for-profit community orchestra, begun informally in 1976, today operates under a board of directors made up of local citizens and is supported by the Kishwaukee Symphony Association. It is made up of professional musicians, talented students and dedicated amateurs from DeKalb, Sycamore and surrounding communities.

The orchestra performs in the Music Building on the campus of Northern Illinois University, at Boutell Memorial Concert Hall, 300 Lucinda Ave., DeKalb, playing selections from a variety of composers and eras. Tickets are available at kishorchestra.org.

The Chamber Effect
Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m. Linc Smelser, conductor. Mozart: Symphonie Concertante; Copland: Appalachian Spring; Dvořák: Serenade for Winds or Bartók: Divertimento for Strings.

Halloween Concert
Oct. 30, 5:30 & 7:30 p.m. Linc Smelser, conductor. Music with a Halloween theme appropriate for families. Trick-or-treating in the Music Building at 5 p.m.

Children’s Concert
Nov. 15, Linc Smelser, conductor. Not open to the general public. Annual KSO concert specifically for 3rd-, 4th-, and 5th-grade students and their teachers in the region. Egyptian Theatre, DeKalb.

Holiday Pops Concert: Winter Wonderland
Dec. 13, 7:00 p.m. Linc Smelser, conductor. Many holiday favorites, including Haydn’s Toy Symphony and a seasonal sing-along, and the big guy in red may make an appearance.

ADM Young Artists Concerto Competition Winner Concert
Feb. 22, 2014, 7:30 p.m. Linc Smelser, conductor. The winner of the KSO’s annual Young Artists Concerto Competition performs with the orchestra.

Shostakovich and Steel
May 3, 7:30 p.m. Linc Smelser, conductor; Northern Illinois University Steel Band. Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10.

Fermilab Gallery Chamber Series

This historic center for physics study and advancement is also a center for cultural enrichment. Public events include collections and special exhibits in the Fermilab Art Gallery, live entertainment from popular performers in Ramsey Auditorium, a lecture series, and classical performances.

Entrances for visitors to Fermilab are located on Batavia and Pine roads. All chamber series events begin at 2:30 p.m. in the 2nd Floor Art Gallery. Purchase tickets online at fnal.gov/culture (no fees) or by phone at (630) 840-2727.

Chicago Brass Quintet
Jan. 26, 2014: Celebrating its 50th Anniversary Season, this ensemble has performed around the world with a repertoire that includes Jan Bach, Cliff Colnot and others.

Cavatina Duo
Feb. 16: This flute and guitar duo has inspired composers from around the world to write and arrange new works for them.

Rembrandt Chamber Players
March 9: This ensemble of seven professional Chicago orchestral musicians plays a wide range of music, from the Baroque to the 21st century.

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