An exciting change is in store for those attending the opening concert of the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra’s 2014-15 season, “Music of the Soul”! Traditionally, the Symphony has showcased the first place winner of its Stanger Auditions at the season opener.  But this year, concertgoers at Concerto Night Gala! on October 18 are in for a special treat:  THREE Stanger winners from this year will each share the stage with the ESO to perform the concerto movements that earned them accolades at the auditions in June. 

These young artists, Lucie Ticho, Serena Harnack, and Daniel Kaler, excel in their musical endeavors and lead amazingly busy lives.  Among them, these three talented teens have won dozens of competitions, scholarships, prizes and awards.  They have appeared as soloists with orchestras locally and around the country and on radio and television.  They are members of orchestras and chamber groups. They are all dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in their musical studies and performances.  And they are passionate about what they do. 

Rebecca Anderson, long-time Symphony violinist and ESO volunteer, is the director of the Stanger Young Artists Auditions.  “The Stanger applicants are all VERY talented and self-assured,” she says, “and I have felt for a long time that at least the top three and probably more would do very well performing with the ESO.  A ten-minute performance by only one of these outstanding musicians once a year doesn’t fully convey the depth of talent in these young people, and every year as I listen to the auditions I am filled with hope for the future of classical music.  I am glad that our audience will have the opportunity to enjoy even more of the musical gifts these spectacular young artists have to offer.”

Lucie Ticho, cellist, is the first-place Stanger winner with her performance of selections from Shostakovich’s Concerto for Cello No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 107, which she will play at the concert.

Serena Harnack, who plays the violin and earned second-place honors, will perform the final movement of Tchaikovsky’s Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 35.

Third-place winner, cellist Daniel Kaler, will play a movement from Saint-Saëns’ Concerto for Cello No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33

Rounding out the program are Ronald LoPresti’s Overture Jubilante, composed especially for the ESO thirty years ago, and Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, a landmark work full of striking and memorable themes, which highlights the virtuosity of the modern symphony orchestra.

The ESO, under the baton of Music Director Stephen Alltop, will perform in the spectacular space at Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church, 149 W Brush Hill Rd. in Elmhurst, which is handicapped-accessible and offers free parking.  The concert experience is enhanced by the informative and lively discussion led by audience favorite Ted Hatmaker, which takes place at 5:45 pm, prior to the 7:00 pm concert. To purchase tickets, please visit the ESO web site,  Premium prices at the door are an additional $5 per ticket.  Subscriptions for the 2014-15 season are still available at a savings of 20% over single ticket prices.  For information and to purchase subscriptions visit the web site or call the ESO Box Office at 630-941-0202 

The 54th season of the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra is made possible in part by grants from the City of Elmhurst, the Illinois Arts Council (a state agency), the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, and 90.9FM WDCB, Chicago’s Home for Jazz.