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home : arts, entertainment and events - archive : entertainment June 24, 2016

12/12/2013 11:15:00 AM
Illinois Symphony Orchestra presents Britain's Beauty

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Symphony Chamber Orchestra opens their season with the hour-long “Happy Hour” concert format for its upcoming performance of Britain’s Beauty on Friday, December 13th at 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Springfield.

The Illinois Symphony Chamber Orchestra’s season premieres with Finzi’s pensive and elegant Romance. The sumptuous sounds of English string music reverberate in a performance of Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings, featuring versatile tenor William Burden and the ISO’s principal horn Stephen Hanrahan in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Britten’s birth. The evening ends with the virtuosic symphonic poem Introduction and Allegro for Strings by Edward Elgar.

American tenor William Burden has won an outstanding reputation in a wide-ranging repertoire throughout Europe and North America. He has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Santa Fe Opera, New York City Opera, and La Scala. In concert, Mr. Burden has appeared with the San Francisco Symphony, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and with Les Arts Florissants on tour throughout Europe. Mr. Burden’s recordings include Barber’s Vanessa (Anatol) with the BBC Symphony Orchestra on the Chandos label and Musique adorable: The Songs of Emmanuel Chabrier for the Hyperion label.

Grammy-nominated conductor Alastair Willis is the Music Director of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra. Previous positions include Principal Guest Conductor with the Florida Orchestra’s Coffee Concert series and Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony. In the past few seasons, Willis has guest conducted orchestras around the world including the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, China National Orchestra (Beijing), and Silk Road Ensemble (with Yo-Yo Ma) among others. Born in Acton, Massachusetts, Willis received his bachelor’s degree with honors from England’s Bristol University, an Education degree from Kingston University, and a Masters of Music degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.

Under the leadership of Music Director Alastair Willis, the Illinois Symphony Orchestra is central Illinois’ largest professional orchestra, serving over 35,000 patrons in the communities of Bloomington-Normal, Springfield and the surrounding region with symphony orchestra concerts, chamber orchestra concerts, and Concerts for Kids. In addition to concert performances, the Orchestra's music education and outreach programs serve elementary schools through the Step-By-Step education program and reach middle schools, high schools, universities, community organizations, and senior centers through guest artist residencies and ensemble performances. 2013-2014 marks the 21st season of critically acclaimed music making by the Illinois Symphony Orchestra.

Tickets for the concert on Friday, December 13, 2013 are available by calling 217-206-6160. Pre-sold tickets in Springfield are redeemable for either concert, regardless of ticket listing. Tickets may also be purchased at the door on the night of the performance beginning at 5:00 p.m. in Springfield. General admission ticket prices range from $5 for students (6 years +) to $20. Senior discounts are also available.

Additional information about the Illinois Symphony Orchestra is available at

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