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posted: 6/24/2014 11:52 AM

Morton Arboretum welcomes Chicago Symphony Orchestra

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  • The Chicago Symphony Orchestra will perform three concerts this week at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle as part of an effort to reach more suburban classical music lovers.

      The Chicago Symphony Orchestra will perform three concerts this week at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle as part of an effort to reach more suburban classical music lovers.
    Courtesy of Chicago Symphony Orchestra

  • Large crowds are expected this week for three performances of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle.

      Large crowds are expected this week for three performances of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle.
    Courtesy of The Morton Arboretum

 
By Miles Dobis
mdobis@dailyherald.com

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra will return to The Morton Arboretum in Lisle for three evening performances this week, presenting a wide variety of music ranging from Bernstein to Beethoven.

The concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday, June 26-28, with tickets costing $45 on Thursday and $40 on Friday and Saturday. Parking for the concerts at the arboretum at 4100 Route 53 will be $10. Thursday's show already is sold out.

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This is the second year in a row the orchestra has performed at the arboretum as part of an effort to reach music lovers in the Western suburbs.

"It's often hard for people in the area to take a trip all the way out to the city for a concert," said Jennifer GoodSmith, vice president of marketing and operations at the arboretum. "This allow fans of classical music to enjoy it in an intimate environment."

The concerts begin Thursday with "A Summer Night on the Red Carpet," a celebration of film scores that includes selections from "The Godfather," "Lawrence of Arabia" and "The Little Mermaid."

Friday night's performance will focus on Tchaikovsky and Beethoven. Saturday night will feature Brahm's "Hungarian Dances" and Dvorak's "New World Symphony."

Concertgoers are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs.

Orchestra officials say the arboretum provides an ideal geographical location to reach fans in DuPage County.

"DuPage has a sincere commitment to arts education and arts promotion, and this event was created so we could please the substantial audience for classical music that is growing in the suburbs," said Kevin Giglino, the orchestra's vice president for strategy and special initiatives.

The arboretum concerts and the CSO's continued presence in the DuPage art scene have been so successful that the group is considering creating a permanent or semi-permanent performance venue in the area. The plan is still in the preliminary scouting and planning stages, but Giglino says it's proof there's a demand for classical music outside of Chicago.

"We have partnerships in the area, especially with The Morton Arboretum, that have helped us create a great infrastructure with many of the communities out there," Giglino said.

The orchestra performances aren't the only special events at the arboretum this summer.

The arboretum presents Woods & Wine, which features a drink, light appetizers and live music from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Aug. 27 at the visitors center. The program costs $10 for members and $15 for others.

On Thursday evenings, the arboretum sponsors Thursday Family Nights with child-friendly performers. The entrance fee is $5.

But the CSO residency remains one of the arboretum's programing highlights of the season.

"It's a unique opportunity to experience some truly world-class musicianship in a beautiful setting," GoodSmith said.

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