The Evanston Symphony will kick off its 75th season Sunday afternoon, November 7 with Wagner, Mendelssohn and Brahms – plus a diamond-studded baton designed by Evanston jeweler Christopher Duquet as a gift to mark the orchestra’s big anniversary.
Duquet said he has been supporting the orchestra since he opened his jewelry store in Evanston in 1993. “I just like to contribute to our community,” he said. “And the arts are the heart of the community.”
He described the baton, which he and Mayor Daniel Biss will present to ESO Music Director Lawrence Eckerling at the concert, as like “a metal sculpture but functional, designed to fit in the hand. It’s inscribed with the symphony’s logo surrounded by a band of small diamonds, as well as the beginning of an orchestra score.”
The concert is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the auditorium of Evanston Township High School, 1600 Dodge Ave. The program consists of Wagner’s Overture to Die Meistersinger, Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and Brahms Symphony No. 4. The soloist for the concerto is American violinist Arnaud Sussmann. The Minnesota Pioneer Press described Sussmann as having “an old-school sound reminiscent of what you’ll hear on vintage recordings by Jascha Heifetz or Fritz Kreisler, a rare combination of sweet and smooth that can hypnotize a listener. His clear tone [is] a thing of awe-inspiring beauty, his phrasing spellbinding.”
ESO’s annual holiday concert will take place Dec. 12 at ETHS. On February 13, the orchestra will perform William Grant Still’s “Festive Overture,” Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. The piano soloist is Hyejin Joo. On May 22 the Arlen Hlusko will perform the Dvorak Cello Concerto and on April 10 the ESO will play Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the North Shore Choral Society.
COVID protocols will be in effect at all concerts. For more information go to www.evanstonsymphony.org.