New music director to lead Elgin Symphony Orchestra season opener

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra will open its 74th season with concerts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, at the Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin.

Tickets for the concert start at $20 ($10 for students) and are available at, through the box office at 20 DuPage Court in Elgin, or by phone at (847) 888-4000.

The opening concert is one of six concerts in the ESO's classics lineup, which is also available as a subscription series. Subscriptions start at $98.

Chad Goodman, newly appointed music director at the ESO, will lead the prestigious symphony in Strauss' "Four Last Songs," featuring lifelong Illinois resident and Grammy Award-winning soprano Christine Brewer. The program also includes Mozart's "The Magic Flute Overture" and Rachmaninoff's "Symphonic Dances."

Brewer has performed "Four Last Songs" more than 100 times in legendary concert halls across five continents and 13 countries, with cities including St. Louis, Rio de Janeiro, London, Sydney, Rome, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur and Madrid.

"I'm very excited to come to Elgin to perform Richard Strauss' 'Four Last Songs,' which are some of my favorite pieces to sing," said Brewer. "I think these valedictory songs about spring and September and falling calmly to sleep and sunset are some of the most glorious songs ever written."

A preconcert chat, with Goodman discussing the music and the composers, will take place one hour prior to concert time.

Free parking is available in nearby city parking garages and lots.

Opening weekend reception

The ESO will host a reception to celebrate the start of its 74th season and to welcome Goodman. It will be held at 9:30 p.m. at The Heritage Ballroom, 100 Symphony Way, Elgin, following the ESO's Saturday, Oct. 7, concert. Guests will enjoy heavy appetizers, desserts, an open bar, and the opportunity to meet Goodman, the fifth music director in the history of the ESO. Tickets for the reception are available at or by phone at (847) 888-4000 for $50 in advance. The price at the door will be $60.

Chad Goodman Courtesy of Elgin Symphony Orchestra
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