Elgin Symphony Orchestra welcomes Lidiya Yankovskaya to conduct January concerts

Two accomplished women will highlight the Elgin Symphony Orchestra Brahms Symphony No. 2 concerts in early January.

Guest artists

Although only in their 30s, Russian-American conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya and German-born pianist Schaghajegh Nosrati each have individually won numerous awards and accolades.

They will come together with the prestigious Elgin Symphony Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 8 and at 3 p.m. Jan. 9, when Nosrati will be featured in Clara Schumann’s Piano Concerto, in a concert also featuring Wagner’s Overture to “Flying Dutchman” WWV63 and Brahms’ Symphony No. 2. Ticket holders can enjoy a pre-concert chat one-hour before each concert.

Tickets are available at the ESO Box Office, 20 DuPage Court, Elgin, or by phone at 847-888-4000 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets also may be purchased online at ElginSymphony.org. Masks and proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination are required for all attendees.

Discounts are available for youth tickets. And those who subscribe to three or more Elgin Symphony Orchestra performances at The Hemmens Cultural Center between January and May 2022 will receive $5 off each adult ticket price. In addition to Brahms Symphony No. 2, upcoming performances include Beethoven’s “Eroica” on Feb. 5 and 6; “Sgt. Pepper” on Feb. 19 and 20; Mozart Requiem on March 5 and 6; “Old American Songs” on April 2 and 3; and “Mariachi!” on April 30 and May 1.

Yankovskaya is music director at the Chicago Opera Theatre – the first woman to hold that title at a multimillion-dollar opera company in the United States – where her performances before and during the pandemic led the Chicago Tribune to name her 2020 Chicagoan of the Year. She has conducted more than 40 world premieres, and has conducted at opera houses across the United States.

Yankovskaya’s commitment to mentorship of future arts leaders is demonstrated in her volunteer efforts at the foundation Turn the Spotlight. A Russian refugee, Yankovskaya founded and serves as the artistic director of the Refugee Orchestra Project, promoting the cultural relevance of refugees to a worldwide audience.

Nosrati’s reputation as an interpreter of Bach’s music led to her early renown as an esteemed concert pianist and versatile musician. A guest at international music festivals since 1998, she received her master’s degree from Hanover University of Music in 2015, and has since performed around the world. In 2020, she became a faculty member at the Barenboim-Said-Academy in Berlin, serving as the teaching assistant of Sir Andras Schiff.

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra has a long history of highlighting the works of world-renowned conductors, composers and musicians, and of promoting the advancement of women in the arts. Founded in 1950 as a community orchestra, the ESO became a professional ensemble in 1985, in good part due to the leadership of the late Margaret Hillis, who was music director at the ESO from 1971-1985. Hillis was one of the first females to break through the male-dominated world of conducting, and is credited with being the impetus behind the creation of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra Association, the formation of the ESO League, and the start of the ESO’s outreach to youth through concerts for school students.

Today, the ESO continues to give back to the community through ensemble members’ performances at local hospitals and retirement homes, free Listeners Club experiences, and open rehearsals.

The ESO has been named Orchestra of the Year four times by the Illinois Council of Orchestras (1988, 1999, 2005 and 2016).

The ESO is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. To learn more or to support the ESO, visit www.elginsymphony.org.