New Philharmonic opens 2023-24 season with 'Tchaikovsky & Beethoven' at the MAC Sept. 23-24

New Philharmonic, the professional orchestra in residence at the McAninch Arts Center, debuts its 2023-24 season with "Tchaikovsky and Beethoven" at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24.

Seventeen-year-old violinist Esme Arias-Kim, winner of the 2023 Crain-Maling Foundation CSO Young Artists Competition, returns to join New Philharmonic for Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35, his only violin concerto.

The program also features Beethoven's high-spirited, rhythmic Symphony No. 7, Op. 92, recognized as one of Beethoven's best works.

The concerts will be at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday in the Belushi Performance Hall, 425 Fawell Blvd. in Glen Ellyn.

A free MAC Chat will precede the concerts beginning one hour prior to each performance. WDCB 90.9FM, Chicago's Home for Jazz, is the media sponsor for this performance.

New Philharmonic artistic director and conductor Kirk Muspratt is recognized as one of the outstanding figures in the new generation of conductors and garnering international critical acclaim.

His honors include recipient of the 2018 Conductor of the Year award from the Illinois Council of Orchestras and recognition by the Chicago Tribune as a 2006 "Chicagoan of the Year."

Observes Maestro Muspratt, "I'm so thrilled to have Esme join us again on the Belushi Performance Hall stage. She is a brilliant musician whose star continues to rise at lightning speed. Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto is a favorite among soloists and audiences and she's been rehearsing the work in advance of this concert at a summer camp under the tutelage of Itzhak Perlman, so I know our audience is in for a spectacular performance they'll never forget."

After the Sept. 23-24 concerts, New Philharmonic audience members can join Maestro Kirk Muspratt in the lobby for a "Cookies with Kirk." Courtesy of New Philharmonic

Arias-Kim was last seen by MAC audiences in New Philharmonic's Korngold's "Hollywood Concerto" concerts this past January. Originally from Hoffman Estates, she will be a high school senior this fall at the Colburn Music Academy in Los Angeles studying violin with Robert Lipsett. She formerly attended the Music Institute of Chicago Academy as a Merit Scholarship Fellow and studied with Almita Vamos. She is also a fellow of the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative, as well as the daughter of a former New Philharmonic musician.

Arias-Kim began her solo orchestral debut at the age of 10 in the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago and was featured on WFMT's "Introductions" and NPR's "From the Top." She has appeared as a soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Fairbanks Symphony, Sinfonia da Camera (Champaign-Urbana), Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Midwest Young Artist Conservatory, Fox Valley, Chicago Arts, Ottawa Chamber, Lincolnwood Chamber, Accademia d'Archi G.G. "Arrigoni" and Civic orchestras. She has been showcased in solo recitals at the Peninsula Music Festival, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Chicago Cultural Center, 92nd Street Y in New York, Musikferien am Starnberger See (Germany) and Palácio Foz (Portugal).

During the summer of 2018, Arias-Kim was the only American among the 16 finalists selected to compete in the "II Piccolo Violino Magico" International Competition in Italy. During 2020, she received the Grand Prize for the junior division of the Sphinx Competition and was also awarded the Overall Open Division Grand Winner and Open Senior Division Overall Winner in the 2020 Walgreens National Concerto Competition.

Recent honors include winner of the 2023 Crain-Maling Foundation CSO Young Artists Competition and, as a result, she will appear as a soloist in an upcoming CYSO concert.

Tickets are $55. A limited number of $10 tickets are available for students with valid ID. A free MAC Chat will precede the concerts beginning one hour prior to the performance.

For tickets or more information, visit or call the MAC box office at (630) 942-4000.

Beginning Sept. 12, box office hours are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday and two hours prior to performance.

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