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New Philharmonic comes to McAninch stage

Esme Arias-Kim, an award-winning violinist from Hoffman Estates, will join the New Philharmonic for its upcoming concert, “Korngold’s Hollywood Concerto.”

Performances will be at 7:30 pm Jan 21 and 3 pm Jan 22 at the McAninch Arts Center at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn.

The 17-year-old violinist is the winner of the 2022 Minnesota Orchestra Young People’s Concerto Competition. She joins New Philharmonic for film composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35

It’s a piece she’s played before with DeKalb’s Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

“That was my first time playing an entire concerto with orchestra, which is really nice for it to be Korngold, since I really love the piece,” she said.

“I really like how free it is, but at the same time one of the challenges is it has to be really planned out because there are some parts with the orchestra that have to be very well-timed. It’s finding a balance between that freedom and that expression but also being with the orchestra and communicating with the orchestra in conversation.”

She doesn’t let the pressure of being young and also the star of the show get to her; rather, she’s fueled by it.

“The pressure is also what makes the feeling of performing it very magical when I play it,” she said. “I really enjoy different aspects of this concerto.”

She hasn’t performed with New Philharmonic and director Kirk Muspratt before.

“I’m very much looking forward to it,” she said. “I’ve seen him conduct before many times and I’ve heard great things about him.”

She hopes audiences appreciate the music and perhaps hear something they haven’t heard before.

“People come to concerts with different intentions. They can come with different ideas about what they’re going to get out of it and also take away many different aspects of a performance,” she said.

“This is one of my favorite concertos and it’s played less than like a Tchaikovsky or a Brahms so I hope some people will be listening to it for the first time and really see how wonderful this concerto is.”

She’s preparing for the concerto by playing lots of run-throughs, she said.

“It’s a different mindset than playing one movement or a shorter piece, because you have to tell an entire journey and also, you’re standing on stage for a much longer duration of time,” she said.

Also on Jan. 21, she’s playing Chausson’s “Poeme, Op. 25″ with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago as one of four finalists of the Crain-Maling Foundation CSO Young Artist Competition. On Jan. 22, before she comes to Glen Ellyn, she’ll perform the same piece with the Chicago Arts Orchestra.

“It will be a busy weekend, but I’m really looking forward to it,” she said. New Philharmonic’s program also features Jean Sibelious’ “Finlandia” and George Enescu’s Rhapsody No. 1 in A Major.

New Philharmonic: ‘Korngold’s Hollywood Concerto’

When: 7:30 pm Jan 21 and 3 pm Jan 22

Where: McAninch Arts Center at the College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn

Tickets: $53

Information: 630-942-4000; atthemac.org

Annie Alleman is a freelance reporter for the Naperville Sun.

Here are some other events happening Jan 20-26 in Naperville and the Fox Valley.

Piano men

Great Moments in Vinyl plays Billy Joel’s “The Stranger” at 8 pm Jan. 20 at The Venue in Aurora. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. At 21 S. Broadway Ave. 331-212-8490; themusicvenue.org.

Jazz giants

The music of Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington and Billie Holiday will be celebrated when jazz vocalist Tammy McCann presents “The Legendary Ladies of Jazz” at 6 pm Jan. 22 at the Madden Theater at North Central College in Naperville. Tickets are $30-$35. At 171 E. Chicago St. 630-637-7469; finearts.northcentralcollege.edu.

Female-led ‘Odd Couple’

“The Odd Couple — Female Version,” presented by STC Theater in St. Charles, runs Jan. 26-Feb. 4. Performances times will be at 7:30 pm Jan 26 and Feb 2, 8 pm Jan 27-28 and Feb 3-4; 4 pm Jan 29 and 2 pm Feb 4 at the STC Theater in St Charles. Tickets are $22. At 3755 E. Main St., suite 158. Stctheater.com.

— Annie Alleman

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