Elgin Symphony Orchestra to launch new season with guest artists

Kelly Hall-Tompkins will be guest violin soloist with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra in the Wynton Marsalis Violin Concerto.

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra will usher in its 73rd season with a program featuring music by Antonin Dvořák, Wynton Marsalis and Sir Edward Elgar at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, at the Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, in downtown Elgin.

Guest conductor Andres Lopera, who is in his fourth season as associate conductor of the Columbus Symphony and music director of the Columbus Youth Symphony Orchestra, will lead the ESO in Dvořák’s “Carnival Overture,” Marsalis’ Violin Concerto, and Elgar’s “Enigma Variations.” Lopera is a candidate, along with several other conductors this season, for the open music director position at the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, a position slated to be filled next summer, a news release stated.

Acclaimed by the New York Times as “the versatile violinist who makes the music come alive” and featured in the Smithsonian Museum of African American history, Kelly Hall-Tompkins will be featured on Marsalis’ Violin Concerto.

Tickets are available at the ESO Box Office, 20 DuPage Court, Elgin, or by phone at 847-888-4000 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets also may be purchased online at ElginSymphony.org. Tickets start at $20. Student tickets cost $10, and youth ages 17 and younger attend free with a paying adult.

About the ESO

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 its Adopt-a-School Program, performances at local hospitals, hospices and retirement homes, Listeners Clubs and other free programs at public libraries, The In Harmony Program in places of worship, Ainsworth Concerts for Youth (supported by the late Sterling “Stu” Ainsworth of St. Charles), free tickets for youth under 18, open rehearsals, and free community concerts throughout the region.

The ESO has been named Orchestra of the Year four times by the Illinois Council of Orchestras.