Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra
The Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra, recent winner of the 2013 Skokie Fine Arts Award for Excellence, continues its 19th season at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie. Music Director Alan Heatherington, known for his creative programming and entertaining comments to the audience illuminating the music, will lead one of Chicago’s finest professional orchestras in a program featuring the internationally renowned violinist, Ilya Kaler.
After the teasing foretaste of Bartók in September, we come to one of his greatest, most popular and most immediately accessible works: the glorious violin concerto, placed in the hands of one of the foremost concert violinists of our time, Ilya Kaler. Bracing this centerpiece will be Benjamin Britten’s loving re-casting of the second movement from Mahler’s third symphony “What the Wild Flowers Tell Me” and Dvořák’s irrepressibly tuneful eighth symphony, a work representing romantic nationalism at its most endearing.
Founded in 1995 by Music Director Alan Heatherington, the Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra is composed of the finest professional musicians in the Chicago metropolitan area, including many members of the world-renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Thoughtful, challenging programming demonstrates a commitment to excellence and artistic vitality that sets Ars Viva apart from other orchestras. With diligent attention to detail and a profound knowledge of style and musical history, Maestro Heatherington commands a wide variety of repertoire ranging from Baroque to contemporary music. It is the goal of Ars Viva not only to present an interesting variety of music at the highest level of performance quality, but to help audiences engage with the music in new ways.
The orchestra’s unique Music for Life program for children ages 4 to 11 accompanies each concert providing parents and their children a perfect blend of live classical music and music education. The program concept is simple: parents (or grandparents) bring their children to the concerts and sit together in the audience to hear the orchestra. After the first piece on the program, the children ages 4 to 7 leave the auditorium with the professional educators from the Music Institute of Chicago to go to their classroom right in the building. At intermission, the older children (8 to 11) go to their classroom. The children learn more about the music they have heard, the composer or the historical and cultural setting. Instructors use visual arts, drama, storytelling, and movement to stimulate the children’s imagination and creativity. With an accompanying adult, the children are admitted to the concert and Music for Life free of charge.