Lake Forest Symphony Welcomes Steve Robinson to Board of Directors

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Lake Forest, Ill. – The Lake Forest Symphony is pleased to announce that Steve Robinson has joined the Board of Directors as of January 2018. After spending the early part of his career managing, producing and helping start several radio stations, Robinson became the general manager of WFMT and the WFMT Radio Network in August 2000 through 2016.

Founded in 1951, WFMT is widely considered to be one of the most admired classical music stations in the U.S. and under his leadership many new programs were added to the local schedule including Introductions, Impromptu, Arias and Songs, Cedille Presents, Rush Hour Concerts, Fiesta!, Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin, and a greatly increased on-going series of live broadcasts from the greater Chicago region and beyond. Robinson left WFMT in October 2016 to form his own company, New Media Productions, and is presently engaged in several exciting entrepreneurial podcasting ventures.

“Steve is a terrific addition to both our Board and its Executive Committee” notes Ray Frick, President of the Board of Directors. “Steve Robinson certainly needs no introduction to anyone who treasures WFMT, Chicago’s iconic classical music station and network. Steve adds striking depth to our Board in many ways including artistic insights, tremendous development and fundraising success, and proven leadership gravitas.”

“The symphony is on the threshold of such an exciting point in its evolution,” said Joanna Rolek, Vice-President of the Board and Executive Director of the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Chamber of Commerce. “The addition of Steve Robinson infuses our efforts with even more innovative ideas, commitment and reach. We enthusiastically welcome his voice at the table as we work to create more opportunities to bring the magic of live music-making to a wider audience and multiple generations.”

Robinson has received numerous local and national awards for his work in Chicago including the Champion Award from the Merit School of Music, two awards from the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago, the Dushkin Award from the Music Institute of Chicago, the ASCAP/Deems Taylor Award and numerous other awards and citations.


Alyssa Arrigo to accompany Cabell and Cambridge for A Night at the Opera

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Due to illness, Vladimir Kulenovic will not be playing piano for the upcoming Salon Series performance "A Night at the Opera". Pianist and Chicago native Alyssa Arrigo will take over for Kulenovic on Thursday evening.

Alyssa Arrigo is a music educator and freelance pianist in Chicago.  She is an adjunct faculty member at Moraine Valley Community College where she teaches private piano instruction, keyboard theory and music history classes.  A Chicago native, Alyssa is a graduate of the esteemed Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University as well as the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.  While completing her masters degree, Alyssa worked as an opera coach and rehearsal pianist for the IU Opera Theater.  She has been seen on such stages as the Kennedy Center, Steinway Hall, and has collaborated with opera companies around Chicago including Chicago Opera Theater.

Tickets are $50 and are still available for A Night at the Opera. Call the Box Office at (847) 295-2135 or purchase tickets online

60th Memories!

In honor of our 60th Anniversary, we're sharing our favorite memories of the sixty years that Lake Forest Symphony has existed. Thanks to the work of the Lake Forest Symphony Women's Guild, we have a great archive of old newspaper and magazine clippings. Check out some of our favorites below! Stay tuned as we continue to dig through the archives, and drop us a note with your favorite #60thMemories!

Welcoming New Leadership with "Martinis with the Maestro"

On October 4, Maestro Vladimir Kulenovic and the Lake Forest Symphony Board introduced new Executive Director Timothy Corpus and Chairman of the Board Stewart Kerr at the first "Martinis with the Maestro" event. Held at the Gorton Community Center, guests mingled and welcomed the new staff as well as had an opportunity to hear about the upcoming 60th Anniversary Season, including our 60th Anniversary Gala on November 10th.

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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 Corpus has been appointed Executive Director of the Lake Forest Symphony. He succeeds Susan Lape, who assumed the role of Executive Director of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras. Mr. Corpus comes from serving simultaneously as the Executive Director of the Hyde Park Youth Symphony, the Education Coordinator of the Northwest Indiana Symphony and the Drumline Instructor at Loyola University Chicago.

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Lake Forest Symphony strings prove rich and resplendent in varied program

“Where are the brass?” asked one late-arriving patron surveying the stage in Grayslake.

Indeed, it was a string orchestra lineup for the Lake Forest Symphony’s penultimate program of the season, performed Saturday night at the James Lumber Center in the far north suburb. But so rich and involving were the performances led by Vladimir Kulenovic that even wind and brass fanciers surely left satisfied.

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Lake Forest Symphony announced today that Executive Director Susan Lape will step down from her role March 1. She will assume the role of Executive Director of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, which is the nation’s premier youth orchestra program. 

Stewart Kerr, a longtime resident of Lake Forest and an experienced non-profit leader, has been appointed Board President and will lead the search for a new Executive Director.

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