Over 8,000 students to attend ESO Ainsworth Concerts for Youth April 2-5

Submitted by ESO
Updated 3/27/2019 10:53 PM
  • Claire Arias Kim, 17-year-old violinist, will perform on the Elgin Symphony Orchestra World Tour Ainsworth Concerts for Youth April 2-5 at the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin.

    Claire Arias Kim, 17-year-old violinist, will perform on the Elgin Symphony Orchestra World Tour Ainsworth Concerts for Youth April 2-5 at the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin. Courtesy of Elgin Symphony Orchestra

On April 2-5, more than 8,000 area students will attend Elgin Symphony Orchestra's Ainsworth Concerts for Youth at the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin.

It will include every fourth-grade student in Elgin Area School District U-46, thanks to the generous support of the City of Elgin, the Snodgrass Family Fund, Elgin Cultural Arts Commission, EFS Foundation and the Ainsworth Family.

This year's program is "ESO World Tour," highlighting music from around the globe.

Resident Conductor Stephen Squires is the Captain who "pilots" a program featuring 17-year-old violinist Claire Arias-Kim. Diane Handler returns as the ESO World Tour host.

Claire Arias-Kim, 17, studies violin with Almita Vamos and is a Merit Scholarship Fellow at the Music Institute of Chicago's Academy, a training center for advanced pre-college musicians. Claire began her violin studies with Betty Haag at age 3.

At 6 years of age, she had the opportunity of performing on tour with the Magical Strings of Youth in Prague and had solo performances on the California tour. Claire was the winner of the Jacobs School of Music Summer String Academy Concerto Competition as well as winner of the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Concerto Competition.

Other achievements include first place in the Sejong Music Competition and Granquist Music Competition as well as prizes in the Music Festival in Honor of Confucius Competition and DePaul Concerto Festival.

Last year, Claire performed Lalo's Symphony Espagnole with the Lakeview Orchestra after winning first place in their concerto competition.

For two consecutive summers, Claire was one of 12 violinists selected to be part of the Brian Lewis Young Artists Program, a fully funded program made possible through the generosity of the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation for 10 to 12 highly gifted violinists. There she had the opportunity to perform the Mendelssohn and Saint Saens violin concertos with the Ottawa Chamber Orchestra. She was selected as a 2018 semifinalist for the 21st annual Sphinx Competition.

Claire has had violin master classes with Ilya Kaler, Vadim Gluzman, Kristof Barati, Yair Kless, Gerardo Ribeiro, Peter Herresthal, Rachel Barton-Pine and Olga Kaler as well as piano master classes with Dr. Brian Lee and Angela Yoffee.

During the summer of 2017, she was a participant of the Bowdoin International Music Festival and this summer she attended the Aspen Music Festival under a merit scholarship studying with Robert Lipsett.

The ESO youth concerts are named in honor of longtime sponsor Sterling "Stu" Ainsworth of St. Charles, who died last May.

For more information about a class field trip to the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin to hear the ESO, contact Wendy Evans, director of community engagement, at w.evans@elginsymphony.org or (847) 888-0404, ext. 238.

The ESO Ainsworth Concerts for Youth, led by Resident Conductor Stephen Squires, are designed to introduce children in grades 2-8 to the fundamentals of music. Teachers are given educational materials in advance to help enhance learning.

The ESO partners with U-46 schools to provide complimentary tickets to the concerts, offering access to many who otherwise would not have a classical music concert experience.

The 2019 concerts includes works by Leonard Bernstein, Li Huanzhi, Percy Grainger, Henryk Wieniawski and Alex Shapiro. Also featured is the Suite from the movie "Frozen," arranged by Krogstad.

The concerts are named in honor of longtime sponsor, ESO board member and 2017 Illinois Council of Orchestras' Volunteer of the Year Sterling Ainsworth.

For more information, see ElginSymphony.org.

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