Music Director TBA: Elgin Symphony Unveils Flagship Series for 2023-2024

By Keegan Morris |

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Brandon Patrick George, wearing a white shirt and grey striped tie, holds a flute in front of a green background

Brandon Patrick George

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra has announced the concerts for the mainstage, orchestral classical music series of its 2023-2024 season. Each of those six concerts will be held at the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin.

Though it has shared the bulk of the information for the orchestra's upcoming 74th season, including repertoire and guest artists, the ESO has not yet disclosed who will conduct the concerts. However, ESO will name its next music director in May, and presumably, that conductor will lead all or most of the just-announced concerts. We do know who is in the running, though. Each mainstage concert of the orchestra’s current 2022-2023 season has featured one of the finalists for the position: Andres Lopera, John Devlin, Andrew Crust, Kyle Ritenauer, Lee Mills, Alex Amsel, and Chad Goodman. The concerts conducted by Mills, Amsel, and Goodman have not yet taken place; Mills's concerts will be held on March 4 and 5.

The 2023-2024 season opens on October 7 with eminent soprano Christine Brewer singing Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs. As the title would imply (the name was coined posthumously by a colleague), the collection of songs was the last works completed by Strauss. Three of the four pieces were written the year before the composer's 1949 death at age 85.

Brewer is just the first in a string of respected soloists visiting the ensemble. In November, Brant Taylor, cellist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Stephen Rose, violinist with the Cleveland Orchestra, will appear with the ESO performing the Brahms Double Concerto. In January, flutist Brandon Patrick George, a member of Imani Winds will appear as soloist. In March, ESO concertmaster Isabella Lippi — who debuted with the CSO at age 10 — will share a performance Mozart’s 4th Violin Concerto. Finally, pianist Orli Shaham will star in a rendition of Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto in April.

Portrait of Orli Shaham, smiling, in front of a light stone wall

Orli Shaham (Photo: Karjaka Studio)

The season culminates in May with a performance of Beethoven’s perennial Ninth Symphony. The vocal soloists to be featured are not known at this time.

Throughout the season, the orchestra will present a range of special programming, including a two-night Holiday Spectacular in December. Much of the rest of that programming will be announced at a later date.

Mainstage season subscriptions are on sale now (and current subscribers can renew before April 21 to receive a discount). Single-concert tickets will go on sale over the summer.

For subscriptions and information on the Elgin Symphony Orchestra's 2023-2024 season, visit