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History

The Illinois Symphony Orchestra marks its 25th season of critically-acclaimed music making in the 2017-2018 season led by NEW music director Ken Lam. The ISO performs series of concerts in Springfield and Bloomington/Normal, Illinois with four Symphony Orchestra concerts, two Chamber Orchestra concerts, a Pops concert, a Holiday Pops concert and Concerts for Kids.

The Illinois Symphony Orchestra’s commitment to the community is highlighted through its engaging Concerts for Kids, free Around the Town Chamber Music Series and the award-winning Music Matters! in-school program for students in Kindergarten – 6th grade. The orchestra won the Illinois Council of Orchestras' award for Meritorious Service in Outstanding Programming in 2002, and its Community Service award in 2004, both in recognition of overall service to the citizens of central Illinois. The orchestra performs throughout the year, bringing diverse repertoire and live musical experiences to audiences of all ages and backgrounds in both urban and rural settings.  The orchestra performs in Bloomington/Normal at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts and Second Presbyterian Church and in Springfield at Sangamon Auditorium and First Presbyterian Church.  The ISO has a budget of $1.1 million and proudly serves as a vital cultural resource, educational partners and an invaluable enhancement to the quality of life in its home bases of Springfield and Bloomington-Normal.

The Illinois Symphony Orchestra was formed in 1993 as a consolidation of two well established organizations: the Springfield Symphony Orchestra Association and the Bloomington Normal Symphony Society. The orchestra won numerous awards and appeared at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall during the tenure of Conductor Laureate Kenneth Kiesler. It has performed statewide with appearances at the Illinois State Fair, Millennium Park in Chicago and Ravinia Festival. The ISO has been actively involved in community engagement winning the Community Event of the Year from the Illinois Council of Orchestras for its 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration involving over 1,000 performers and in 2015 performed a commemorative concert for the 150th Anniversary of the Lincoln Funeral Train with over 250 performers drawn from throughout central Illinois.

The ISO was recently selected as one of the Top 8 things you should do in Illinois by www.onlyinyourstate.com.

 


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