The Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra this week announced its upcoming season, which will mark the ensemble’s 45th anniversary. The season will feature seven mainstage performances — including a holiday Messiah concert — all of which will be held at the Ozinga Chapel at Trinity Christian College in the southwest suburb Palos Heights. Each performance will be conducted by the orchestra’s music director, Stilian Kirov.
The season will feature appearances from guest performers violist Matthew Lipman, cellists Inbal Segev and Oliver Herbert, as well as vocalists Kimberly E. Jones and Bill McMurray. There will also be premieres of works by two high-profile contemporary composers: a Midwest premiere performance of Vijay Iyer’s Human Archipelago and the world premiere of IPO’s co-commissioned work by Chicago composer Augusta Read Thomas entitled Gwendolyn Brooks Settings.
The season will also feature a tribute to Matthew Mantell, IPO’s long-serving principal violist who died in 2019 after a battle with cancer. Appearing for this concert will be Lipman — a former student of Mantell’s — as well as Emily Lewis Mantell — the former principal and current section IPO cellist, Mantell’s wife — and Sonia Mantell — a cellist with the Minnesota Orchestra, Mantell’s daughter. Music by Jessie Montgomery, David Popper, Johannes Brahms, and other composers will be performed in the commemorative, “string-led” program.
Opening night of the season, in October, will highlight American orchestral music by George Gershwin and James M. Stephenson; subsequent concerts will showcase music by Mozart, Sibelius, Debussy, Ravel, Dvořák, and Beach.
In September, the IPO will host its annual Classical Evolve composition competition, where three composers will have their music workshopped and performed live. The competition winner becomes IPO’s composer-in-residence and will have their work featured in the subsequent season. Jonathan Cziner, IPO’s current composer-in-residence and the winner of the 2021 Classical Evolve, will have three world premieres in the 2022-23 season.