Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra 2024–25: John Williams, American Symphonies, Messiah, More

By Keegan Morris |

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Matthew Lipman poses against a vivid yellow wall

Matthew Lipman (Photo: Jiyang Chen)

The Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra has announced details for its 2024-2025 season, its 47th.

The orchestra’s slate of seven concerts will kick off in September, as music director Stilian Kirov leads “Three Great American Symphonies”: featuring symphonies by John Vincent (Symphony in D), William Grant Still (his Third Symphony), and David Diamond (his Symphony No. 2, a Midwest premiere). The concert is co-presented with American Music Project.

In October, the orchestra channels the Halloween spirit with a concert version of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd at Governors State University.

In November, IPO conductor laureate Carmon DeLeone returns to the ensemble for the first time since 2011 to conduct symphonies by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Felix Mendelssohn, plus and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto featuring Chinese pianist Fei-Fei.

The orchestra and Kirov present George Frideric Handel’s Messiah in its Holiday Concert on December 14 in a performance featuring the Chicago Community Chorus.

In January, Kirov leads a concert celebration of John Williams featuring Chicago area-born violist Matthew Lipman. Then in March, the winds run the show in Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto – featuring principal clarinet Trevor O’Riordan – plus a work by Franz Schubert and an American world premiere, also under the baton of Stilian Kirov.

Finally, in May, the orchestra concludes the season with two works for organ, including Francis Poulenc’s Organ Concerto, featuring acclaimed organist Peter Richard Conte as soloist. Kirov and the orchestra will also share a world premiere by IPO composer-in-residence Oswald Huỳnh and Edward Elgar’s timeless Enigma Variations.

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