Going to the symphony conjures images of men in tuxedos and women in elegant gowns sitting in an ornate theater and listening to classical music.
That is not the case with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra.
While the quality of the music is superb, the variety of shows and the setting are more inviting to all walks of life. Consider it the “People’s Symphony.”
“We really want to connect with everybody and provide something that everyone should enjoy,” says Marc Thayer, ESO’s new chief executive officer. “It’s your orchestra. It’s everyone’s symphony.”
The 2021-22 season, which opened in October, features genres for just about everybody. Performances have included works by classical conductors such as Tchaikovsky, Brahms and Beethoven, as well as symphonic takes on contemporary tunes, from the film scores of John Williams to the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper.
In between are plenty of other surprises. On March 5 and 6, ESO takes on Mozart’s Requiem and Renaissance composer Thomas Tallis. The Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon performances begin with a special pre-concert chat an hour earlier.
On April 2 and 3, guest conductor Jose Luis Gomez joins the orchestra for a round of old Americana with tunes by Barber, Coplan and Dvorak.
Mariachi music is the subject of a concert on April 30. In June, the symphony returns with its “on the farm” series, which was a hit last year.
Audiences are required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
“We want people to come and have a good time,” Thayer says. “We don’t want cost or clothing to be a barrier. We are a musical organization that does all kinds of music, and I think there is something everyone will enjoy.”
To purchase tickets for Elgin Symphony Orchestra, call (847) 888-4000 or visit elginsymphony.org.