The Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) today announced an amended spring 2021 schedule amid continued state-mandated gathering restrictions surrounding COVID-19.
“We have proactively reimagined our performances to ensure we can continue to provide a world class symphonic experience in a way that keeps our musicians, guests and staff safe,” said Erik Malmquist, executive director, Elgin Symphony Orchestra.
Previously planned spring concerts at The Hemmens have been cancelled and are being replaced with ‘Fridays on the Farm’: a new, three-concert, outdoor spring and summer festival to be held at The Venue at Gobbert’s Pumpkin Patch and Apple Orchard in Pingree Grove. The tented space allows for social distancing to comply with state guidelines. ESO subscribers have been notified by mail of the cancellation and the option to exchange or donate tickets.
“We are excited to celebrate Maestro Andrew Grams’ final season with the ESO at this beautiful location,” Malmquist said.
Grams, a protégé of Franz Welser-Moest, has conducted orchestras around the world. He was appointed music director of the ESO in June 2013 after a two-year, international search, and was named Conductor of the Year by the Illinois Council of Orchestras in 2015.
The Fridays at the Farm symphonic performance schedule includes:
- A chamber orchestra concert on May 21;
- A full orchestra performance on July 2; and,
- Maestro Grams’ farewell concert featuring the full ESO orchestra on Aug. 6.
The ESO was founded in 1950 and became a fully professional ensemble in 1985. Over its history, the ESO has featured a roster of legendary soloists including classical music legends Yo Yo Ma, Kathleen Battle, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zucherman, Sir James Galloway and James Ehnes. The ESO has been named Orchestra of the Year four times by the Illinois Council of Orchestras (1988, 1999, 2005 and 2016).
A community organization that draws its creativity and artistry from the Elgin area, the ESO is dedicated to giving back to the areas it serves. Ensemble members regularly perform at local hospitals and hospice centers, offer music education programs within local schools, and provide free experiences through the Listeners Club and open-to-the-public rehearsals.