Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) is pleased to announce the return of their Socially Distanced Summer in-person concerts at Olympia Fields Country Club on May 19, June 23, July 14 and August 4, at 6:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m., plus the streaming of the final concert of the IPO Reimagined season, Fanfare for the Common Man and Uncommon Woman, featuring IPO’s world-class woodwind, brass and percussion musicians filmed performing at Ozinga Chapel at Trinity Christian College, streaming for 17 days only May 28-June 13 for free via youtube.com/ilphilorch. Tickets for Socially Distanced Summer begin at $37, with subscription packages available at ipomusic.org.
“Despite the obvious challenges faced by the performing arts community this past year, IPO Reimagined was an incredibly rewarding season attended by over 6,000 virtual audience members,” said Kirov. “As we close out this season on the virtual stage, we are thrilled to be able to invite guests to enjoy the sounds of our orchestra in person, finally, against the gorgeous backdrop of Olympia Fields Country Club. We hope this an opportunity to renew, relax and enjoy.”
This is IPO’s second year producing a series of socially-distanced summer concerts. In 2020, all concerts sold out at a 50-person capacity. Space remains limited this summer, with a current maximum capacity of 75 guests per concert, though COVID-19 capacity restrictions will likely ease. Those interested in attending should check ipomusic.org for most up-to-date information, as well as COVID precautions being taken.
All Socially Distanced Summer concerts are conducted by Kirov and include:
Bolling Team: Claude Bolling Suite for Cello and Jazz Piano Trio, Featuring Jazz Pianist Jeremy Kahn
Wednesday, May 19
The recently deceased French composer, Claude Bolling, received three Grammy nominations and a worldwide following through his melodic blend of jazz and classical influences. He collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma to create Suite for Cello and Jazz Piano Trio, and during IPO’s May 19 concert, Chicago pianist Jeremy Kahn—known for his versatility in both classical and jazz spaces—will perform Bolling’s work along with IPO musicians. During his career, Kahn has performed with renowned artists like Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Joni Mitchell, Phil Woods, Teramasu Hino, Charlie Haden, Aretha Franklin, Barbara Cook, and Alvin and the Chipmunks. IPO musicians performing during this concert include Lisa Bressler (cello), Andrew Cierny (percussion), and Alison Gaines (bass).
IPO String Quartet: Price and Webern
Wednesday, June 23
On June 23, a string quartet of IPO principal musicians will perform Anton Webern’s Langsamer Satz, a work that includes exaggerated swells and chromatic harmony typical of Romantic music, as well as Florence Price’s String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor, which juxtaposes crescendos with flowing melodies, all with an underpinning that harkens to Price’s African American heritage. Both works will be performed by IPO principal musicians Azusa Tashiro (violin), Elizabeth Huffman (violin), Amanda Grimm (viola), and Jacob Hanegan (cello).
HerStory: Woodwind Quintets by Female Composers
Wednesday, July 14
HerStory begins with Valerie Coleman’s Afro-Cuban Concerto, a work that focuses on Afro-Cuban rhythms and the virtuosity of wind instruments. The concert also includes Hedwige Chrétien’s Quintet and Barbara Harbach’s Freeing the Caged Bird, a four-movement tribute inspired by the literary works of four native St. Louis women who struggled to give voice to their creativity. All works are performed by IPO Principal Players Cynthia Fudala (flute), Naomi Bensdorf Frisch (oboe), Trevor O’Riordan (clarinet), Erin Kozakis (bassoon) and Lee Shirer (horn).
Home Suite Home, Featuring Midwest Premiere of Anthony Barfield’s Gravity
Wednesday, August 4
Home Suite Home spotlights two living American composers, James M. Stephenson and Anthony Barfield. Stephenson’s works open and close the program; Fanfare for an Angel, dedicated to a colleague who taught in Haiti during a horrific earthquake and his Fantasia on Semper Paratus, a rousing piece based on the theme song of the United States Coast Guard. Anthony Barfield’s Gravity will be the Midwest Premiere of his work based on a poem by Langston Hughes. Additional works will feature American composers Lebow, Schmidt, Still, Porter, Sanchez, Brubeck that all tell an American story through music; of spirituals, blues and jazz. This concert features IPO’s brass quintet musicians R. Matthew Lee and Greg Fudala (trumpets), Brian Goodwin (horn), Tom Stark (trombone) and Sean Whitaker (tuba).
The final stream of IPO’s reimagined season streaming free from May 28 – June 13, Fanfare for the Common Man and Uncommon Woman, is conducted by Kirov and filmed in IPO’s beautiful venue, Ozinga Chapel at Trinity Christian College. The hour-long concert includes Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man and Eric Ewazen’s Symphony in Brass featuring several woodwinds, brass and percussion musicians, Valerie Coleman’s Portrait of Josephine featuring five woodwind performers, and Joan Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 1, which is often viewed as a feminist counterpoint to the Copland work of similar name.
About Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra
Named 2020 Professional Orchestra of the Year by Illinois Council of Orchestras, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra is celebrating its 43rd Season in 2020-2021. From its community orchestra roots in Park Forest, the 69-member orchestra has grown into a critically acclaimed professional orchestra, with increasing attendance and incredible regional support. Under the leadership of Music Director Stilian Kirov and Executive Director Christina Salerno, the mission of IPO is to provide concerts of compelling professional symphonic music, support music education, and expand audience awareness of musical excellence for the diverse communities of the greater Chicago region.
Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra is supported in part by Ozinga Foundation, Gerhard Manufacturing and Designing, Michuda Construction, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
For more information, visit ipomusic.org.