The CSO may launch a west suburban concert series
By Andrew Patner And Jenette Sturges Sun-Times Media June 7, 2012 8:00PM
Updated: July 9, 2012 6:16AM
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra may have plans to come to DuPage or Kendall counties on a regular basis.
The symphony’s public affairs vice president, Raechel Alexander, confirmed that discussions are ongoing between orchestra management and DuPage County officials on a plan for the orchestra to travel regularly to an area where many of its ticket buyers and donors live and work, as first reported by Crain’s Chicago Business Thursday.
“At this point, we have nothing to report other than that we are having conversations, and that a market and demographic study has been done,” Alexander said.
CSO Association President Deborah F. Rutter and DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin have been involved in the most recent talks, Crain’s reported.
A DuPage official told Crain’s that the county was looking for a season of “some weeks ... perhaps months per year. We’re talking about establishing a permanent season here in the western suburbs.”
Increasing the CSO’s suburban presence, particularly to the high-growth west, has long been a subject of speculation. The CSO has played single concerts in Naperville each of the past two seasons at North Central College’s new Wentz Concert Hall.
The Arranmore Center for the Arts in Oswego is also participating in the study on whether the CSO could sustain a presence in the western suburbs.
“It’s very early in the process, so right now we are looking at the demographics that just came in,” said Arranmore Managing Director Katra Knoernschild. “We have to look at the market, what it’s comprised of and what it can hold.”
The ACA, set on 300 acres near Route 30 and Rance Road at the border of Kendall and Will counties, is an arts education and performance venue that hopes to someday include indoor and outdoor performance spaces for professional and student theater and music.
“From our perspective, the CSO absolutely fits with our mission and our goals,” said Knoernschild.
The CSO has spent summers performing on the North Shore at Ravinia in Highland Park for more than 75 years, but not under the management of the CSO Association.