Lake Forest Symphony starts season with new director, more local concerts

The Lake Forest Symphony is coming home. In a move to connect more powerfully with its namesake, the organization will present more programs in Lake Forest than it has for many a year.

Don't worry, orchestral fans. The regular series of five concerts will continue on the main stage in the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts at the College of Lake County in Grayslake. And the symphony's popular conductor Vladimir Kulenovic, now beginning his fourth season, will be on the podium for all of them.

But this season Kulenovic will also repeat two of those programs in Lake Forest Academy's Cressey Center for the Arts. There will also be three intimate salon programs at the Gorton Community Center in Lake Forest.

"One of the mottos of the symphony's 60th season is 'We belong here,'" said newly appointed executive director Tim Corpus.

Prior to his Lake Forest post, Corpus, also a composer and percussionist, was executive director of the Hyde Park Youth Symphony, education coordinator for the Northwest Indiana Symphony and Drumline instructor at Loyola University.

The symphony's 2017-18 concerts traverse the work of mainstream composers, with award-winning soloists to embellish the programs.

The opening concert features Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 "From the New World," as well as "there are no words" by the Lake Forest Symphony's composer-in-residence, James Stephenson. Performances are at 8 p.m. Oct. 7 and 2 p.m. Oct. 8 at the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts at the College of Lake County in Grayslake.

The second pair of concerts features music by Baroque composers including "Sinfonia" by Johann Adolph Hasse, "Chaconne" by Tomasso Antonio Vitali, and the charming tune "La Folia" in a setting by Arcangelo Corelli. A performance will be given at 8 p.m. Nov. 11 at Lake Forest Academy's Cressy Center for the Arts, and 2 p.m. Nov. 12 at the James Lumber Center at CLC.

A program of opera duets, classical songs and spirituals by soprano Nicole Cabelle and soprano Alyson Cambridge is planned for 8 p.m. Jan. 20 and 2 p.m. Jan. 21 at the James Lumber Center at CLC.

Maestro Kulenovic has embarked on a mission to conduct all 106 symphonies by Haydn, and the fourth concert of the season includes the composer's Symphony No. 4. An additional goal is to conduct all nine Beethoven symphonies, so this program includes Beethoven's Symphony No. 2. Performances will be given at 8 p.m. April 7 at Lake Forest Academy and 2 p.m. April 8 at the Lumber Center at CLC.

Canadian Ian Parker will be soloist in Piano Concerto No. 1 at the conclusion of the Lake Forest Symphony's 60th season. The program also includes Brahms Symphony No. 4. Performances will be at 8 p.m. May 19 and 2 p.m. May 20 at the James Lumber Center.

The first program of the Salon Series at thr Gorton Community Center will be "For the Love of Gershwin," with Kathryne Pirtle, principal clarinet of the Lake Forest Symphony, her daughter jazz vocalist Morgan Pirtle, and jazz pianist Miguel De La Cerna performing at 8 p.m. Sept. 22.

Soprano Nicole Cabell and soprano Alyson Cambridge will present arias, duets and classical songs at 8 p.m. Jan. 25.

The series ends with the Metropolis Oboe Quartet presenting new works, including "The Mysteries of Harris Burdock," at 8 p.m. March 2.

By Dorothy Andries

Timothy CorpusComment