DuPage Symphony Orchestra starts its 70th anniversary season with 'Echoes of the English Soul'

“My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us; the world is full of it, and you simply take as much as you require,” said English composer Edward Elgar.

DuPage Symphony Orchestra, an extraordinary orchestra with a unique history and mission, consists of volunteer musicians. Under the baton of Maestra Schubert, they perform music created by a great variety of composers and beautify the western suburbs of Chicago with the elegance of classical orchestral music.

DuPage Symphony Orchestra starts its 2023-24 season titled "Above and Beyond" with a concert program called "Echoes of the English Soul" at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14, at Wentz Concert Hall at North Central College in Naperville.

This concert program will feature Concert Artists Guild and Sphinx Competition winner Gabriel Martins. This highly acclaimed cellist joins the DuPage Symphony Orchestra to impress the audience with his performance of Edward Elgar's deeply moving Cello Concerto.

For the DuPage Symphony Orchestra this season is very important. For seven decades the orchestra has been transforming hearts, minds, and communities through music. Its mission is to provide inspiration and cultural enrichment through musical excellence, educational programs, and community engagement.

Founded in 1953 by Dr. Russell Harvey, DuPage Symphony Orchestra initially consisted of only 45 musicians. Now, there are 90 regular professional-level volunteer musicians in the orchestra. Under the baton of Maestra Barbara Schubert, DuPage Symphony Orchestra rehearses and performs year-round inspiring audiences at its every concert and event.

The orchestra's much anticipated 70th anniversary season will consist of six unique concert programs taking place at the prestigious Wentz Concert Hall. “This distinctive celebratory season offers a sequence of exceptional musical experiences, guaranteed to captivate our audiences,” mentions the orchestra's press release.

"Echoes of The English Soul" will present the music of two English composers: Ralph Vaughan Williams and Edward Elgar. Both achieved international recognition for their deeply personal and emotional profound compositions. Also, both composers witnessed the changes in society that occurred in the beginning of the 20th century, and both witnessed war.

This concert program will start with Overture to "The Wasps" written by Ralph Vaughan Williams in 1909. Being Britain's most important and influential composer of the first half of the 20th century, he was very interested in English folklore and oftentimes based his compositions on English folksongs, particularly from the late 19th century.

Vaughan Williams' suite "The Wasps" has its own interesting story. In 1909 the composer was commissioned to write incidental music for the Cambridge Greek Play, this time it was Aristophanes' theatrical comedy “The Wasps.” The Overture sounds like an exact imitation of swarming wasps. However, the suite itself has nothing to do with wasps as the play is a satire ridiculing the Athenian law system and Athenian elderly jurors who remind people of buzzing wasps.

This concert program will continue with Vaughan Williams' powerful Symphony No. 9, his final work in the genre. The composer was 83 when he began working on this symphony. This symphony reflects the trauma of his wartime experiences, which seemed to be haunting him, and it's reflected in the mood of this composition. This symphony is the hardest of his symphonies to perform, but nothing is impossible for Maestra Schubert and the DuPage Symphony Orchestra.

After the intermission, a renowned cellist Gabriel Martins will join the orchestra to perform Edward Elgar's Cello Concerto in e minor, Op. 85 (1919). Being a Concert Artists Guild and Sphinx Competition Winner, Gabriel Martins knows how to find the best way to perform this deeply moving and touching masterpiece.

Cellist Gabriel Martins has established himself as one of the world's most compelling young musicians. Born of American and Brazilian heritage, Martins grew up in Bloomington, Indiana. He began playing the cello when he was five, studying with Susan Moses at the Indiana University String Academy. He went on to receive his B.M. as a Presidential Scholar at the USC Thornton School of Music with Ralph Kirshbaum. In his freshman year at USC, he won the school's concerto competition as well as its Bach competition. He received his M.M. at the New England Conservatory of Music with Laurence Lesser. In addition to performing, he also composes, arranges, and teaches.

“Our cello soloist, Gabriel Martins, is a globally recognized soloist and one of the most watched rising stars in classical music. He truly embodies the emotions Elgar puts into his music and is highly expressive in his facial features and body language,” Amber Broderick, the DuPage Symphony Orchestra's General Manager, shared with me. “Elgar's concerto is one of the best loved works in the entire classical repertoire, and on my desert island list. Every time I hear the opening cello statement, the hair on my arms stands up. It's electrifying and speaks to our humanity on an incredibly deep level.”

English composer Edward Elgar was one of the leading European composers of his generation. His music embodies the orchestral idiom of late 19th-century Romanticism — characterized by bold tunes, striking color effects, and mastery of large forms — which stimulated a renaissance of English music. Elgar composed this Cello Concerto in the aftermath of WWI. It's his last notable work, and it will impress the audience with its endless beauty, memorable melodies, and lush harmonies. Gabriel Martins, who puts every composition through his heart, will find the best way to demonstrate Elgar's grief and sense of loss reflected in this touching masterpiece.

Tickets for this concert program can be purchased at, through the box office (630) 778-1003, and through the North Central College box office (630.637.SHOW). Tickets are $38-$43 for adults, $34-$39 for seniors, and $15-$20 for students.

Student discount code for use with the orchestra's website is STUDENT5 for $5 tickets and CHAPERONE5 for accompanying adults/seniors. Seasonal subscription packages at 20-30% off when you purchase 3, 4, or 5 concerts. Additional promotional packages at 50% off (this week through the concert). Classic Trio package for $50 (3 tickets: 1 adult, 1 senior, 1 student). Four on the Floor for $70 (4 tickets: 1 adult, 1 senior, 2 students). Friends & Family package for $80 (2 adults, 1 senior, 1 student). Generations package for $90 (2 adults, 2 seniors, 1 student).

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.