By Community Contributor Ann Fink, Chicago Tribune Glen Ellyn
New Philharmonic, under the direction of music director and conductor Kirk Muspratt, has been named recipient of the Illinois Council of Orchestras’ 2017 ICO Award for Professional Orchestra of the Year. This award is in recognition of New Philharmonic’s excellence in the field of music performance was adjudicated by a panel of judges drawn from the Illinois Council of Orchestras Board of Directors and independent professional conductors and musicians. The award will be presented to Muspratt and New Philharmonic during the orchestra’s Saturday, April 8, 7:30 p.m. “Encore” concert at the McAninch Arts Center, where the orchestra is in residence.
“We are greatly honored to receive this award,” said Maestro Muspratt. “We see this as an endorsement of our ongoing efforts to create programming that challenges both the orchestra and our audience and takes advantage of the wealth of established and rising new talent in the greater Chicago area. We also see it as an acknowledgement of our ongoing efforts to continue to develop new audiences by tearing down barriers to attendance and reinforcing an understanding and appreciation of the joys inherent in music.”
New Philharmonic, now celebrating its 40th anniversary, had its first concert in November 1977 under the baton of Harold Bauer when an orchestra of 24 carefully auditioned musicians performed for a capacity audience of 330 in the Building M “open space” on west campus on College of DuPage. Maestro Kirk Muspratt took over the artistic reins when Bauer retired in 2004. Today, under Muspratt’s direction, New Philharmonic consists of more than 60 professional musicians and performs more than a dozen concerts a year, reaching more than 7,500 patrons from the greater Chicago area annually. In addition, for each the past four years, 98.7 WFMT Radio has broadcast one of New Philharmonic New Year’s Eve performances, allowing listeners around the world to have the opportunity to enjoy New Philharmonic’s music.
New Philharmonic completes its 2016-2017 season at the McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., with “Encore!: Lalo and Saint-Saëns,” featuring CSO Assistant Concert Master and Guest Violinist David Taylor performing for Édouard Lalo’s “Symphonie Espagnole,” Op. 21. Saturday, April 8, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 9, 3 p.m. Tickets are $49; $47 senior/youth. A limited number of $10 student tickets are available with valid student ID. There will be a free MAC Chat beginning one hour prior to each performance. To order concert tickets or for more information, call 630.942.4000, or visit AtTheMAC.org.
The Illinois Council of Orchestras (ICO) was founded in 1974 with the mission to encourage, promote and assist orchestras throughout the State of Illinois; promote an exchange of information among members including providing consultants and speakers, and hold educational conferences for member organizations including musicians, staff, boards, volunteers and audiences. For more information about the ICO and the 2017 awards, visit ilcouncilorchestras.org.
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