Chicago Philharmonic launches holiday season

The Chicago Philharmonic Society will be holding several performances over the holiday season. For more information, visit (Photo courtesy of Chicago Philharmonic Society)

The Chicago Philharmonic Society proudly presents its second of four concerts of its 32nd Season with Simply Serenades on Nov. 21, at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie.

Led by Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Scott Speck, named 2021 Conductor of the Year by Illinois Council of Orchestras, the concert features masterpieces by Johannes Brahms and Antonín Dvořák for winds and strings, plus a world premiere by Jonathan Bingham. Single tickets ranging from $10-$75 are now available at

“We can’t wait to explore these exquisite serenades by Brahms and Dvořák with a live audience,” said Speck. “These pieces offer a different lens to view two beloved composers we thought we knew, and they put the spotlight on our wonderful wind section. We’re beyond excited to perform Jonathan Bingham’s Tautology. This piece, scored for the same forces as the Brahms, sheds light on the more familiar pieces on the program. Of course, any chance to premiere a new piece is a momentous occasion, but this marks our first actual world premiere by one of our Donna Milanovich Composers in Residence. What an honor.”

Simply Serenades spotlights two serenades from Romantic master composers Brahms and Dvořák: Johannes Brahms’ lighthearted Serenade No. 2 in A Major was written early in the composer’s career for pairs of wind instruments and violas, cellos, and bass. Antonín Dvořák, a mentee of Brahms, wrote his “Serenade for Winds” with similar instrumentation and his signature witty, Czech-inspired melodies. Concluding the program is a serenade in one movement by Jonathan Bingham, who was recently selected as one of three winners of Chicago Philharmonic’s first-time Donna Milanovich Composer in Residence program.

“It can take months, perhaps years, to write a piece but some may not consider it complete until it’s performed,” said Bingham. “With this collaboration with the Chicago Philharmonic, I get to fulfill my commitment to my work — hearing it on stage with an audience developing an emotional response. I can only hope it sparks conversation.”

The Composer in Residence program, named after recently retired Executive Director Donna Milanovich, is a three-year residency that includes live performances of newly composed works for orchestra and chamber ensembles, a $2,500 award per composer, a seat on Chicago Philharmonic’s Artistic Committee, and development opportunities with Maestro Speck.

In partnership with Chicago Park District, Chicago Philharmonic is inviting string players to perform at the holiday concert Side by Side with the Chicago Philharmonic, recording at Lafollette Park on Saturday, Nov. 20 and conducted by Maestro Speck.

The final concert will stream on the Chicago Park District’s “Your Night at Home” series in December. Registration to perform with Chicago Philharmonic for this concert opens Thursday, Nov. 18. Space is limited. For more information, visit

Chicago Philharmonic continues the holiday season with a Holiday Brunch Concert on Sunday, Dec. 12 at City Winery Chicago  West Loop. The concert features a harp trio by French composers, plus holiday carols and brunch specials. Tickets now available at

For the safety of patrons and musicians, all audience members, musicians, and staff are required to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test to enter the building. Masks will be worn by all throughout the performance.