2013–2014 Season

“Heatherington’s friendly commentary clearly was designed to make audience members feel at home in music most of them probably had not heard before. Their delighted reactions suggested his remarks did the trick.”
—John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

“One of the Chicago area’s finest and most engaging conductors… Heatherington has always elicited superb string playing with his various groups. Granted, having a large component of Chicago Symphony Orchestra members in Ars Viva’s ranks helps, but even so, Sunday’s smart, offbeat program, superb playing and dynamic, insightful conducting made for a terrific afternoon of music.”
—Lawrence Johnson, chicagoclassicalreview.com

“One of the Chicago area’s finest and most engaging conductors… Heatherington has always elicited superb string playing with his various groups. Granted, having a large component of Chicago Symphony Orchestra members in Ars Viva’s ranks helps, but even so, Sunday’s smart, offbeat program, superb playing and dynamic, insightful conducting made for a terrific afternoon of music.”
—Lawrence Johnson, chicagoclassicalreview.com

Special Event:
Spring Benefit Dinner

Join us on May 22nd for a fascinating and delightful evening of cocktails and dinner topped off with a performance by the Chicago Harp Quartet and the presentation of the 2014 Award for Excellence to Dr. Mead Killion and Gail Gudmundsen for their pioneering work in hearing protection and enhancement for musicians.

$225.00/person at the Exmoor Country Club
See Details, Invitation & Reservation Form

Announcing the 2014–2015 Season

Ars Viva! gives five Sunday afternoon concerts (3:00 p.m.) at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, Illinois with the programming for which Maestro Heatherington is famous.

Brochure

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Download 2014–2015 Season Brochure [2.2mb PDF]

2012–2013 Season

"Simply one of the finest musical experiences in Chicago"

Ars Viva! gives five Sunday afternoon concerts (3:00 p.m.) at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, Illinois with the programming for which Maestro Heatherington is famous.

David Taylor

Download Season Brochure [2.5mb PDF]

Rapport

“With about 20 current and former members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra forming the core of his orchestra, the performances bespeak a high degree of professional polish. Sunday’s concert reflected well on the close rapport these players enjoy with Heatherington.”
—John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

Adventure

“Ars Viva, which was founded in 1995, certainly has its own artistic brand. With a solid core of musicians drawn from the ranks of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the group has developed a program format that plays well with an audience seeking musical adventure along with the tried-and-true.”
—John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

Style

“Music director Alan Heatherington is adroit at drawing musical connections between different cultures and styles. And since he is both a proficient conductor and an engaging program host, he is able to pull audience members into the experience with remarkable success.”
—John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

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Concert 1

Maestro
Alan Heatherington,
Music Director

Sunday, September 29 • 3:00 p.m.

Our season begins with an engaging work of Bartók exuding the influence of popular Hungarian folk tunes. The Brahms “Tragic” Overture is much more dramatic than tragic in nature, and is as brilliant a work as any of his four beloved symphonies. With the powerful Bruckner Symphony No. 6, Maestro Heatherington continues his acclaimed traversal of these inexplicably neglected masterpieces.

Concert 2

Ilya Kaler
Ilya Kaler with
Maestro Heatherington

Sunday, October 27 • 3:00 p.m.

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 recasting of the second movement from Mahler’s third symphony and Dvorák’s irrepressibly tuneful eighth symphony, a work representing romantic nationalism at its most endearing.

Concert 3

Stephen Colburn
Stephen Colburn

Sunday, February 9 • 3:00 p.m.

Who doesn’t love the great melodies of Bizet’s Carmen? The amazingly gifted Russian composer, Rodion Shchedrin, pieced together all our favorite tunes into a ballet score replete with a large and rivetingly entertaining percussion section. The music itself is so amazing that you won’t miss the dancers. Our principal oboist, formerly occupying the same position with Milwaukee Symphony, will warm your hearts with the rapturously beautiful Vaughan Williams concerto. Completing the program is arguably the most important and best known work for string orchestra, Tchaikovsky’s stunning Serenade for Strings.

Concert 4

David Taylor
David Taylor
Charles Pikler
Charles Pikler

Sunday, March 16 • 3:00 p.m.

While this season puts on temporary hold our enthusiastically received perusal of the Vaughan Williams symphonies, we are not neglecting his work. David Taylor “owns” The Lark Ascending, as long-time Ars Viva patrons will attest; and Ars Viva/CSO principal violist Charles Pikler is long overdue for a performance of the serenely exquisite Flos Campi, based entirely on texts from Solomon’s Song of Songs. Two wondrous classical symphonies, both the results of composers somewhat looking to the past, round out an incredibly varied and appealing program.

Concert 5

Nathan Walhout
Nathan Walhout

Sunday, May 4 • 3:00 p.m.

How does one end such a season other than by pulling out the stops? Listeners who live in fear of Schöenberg need not worry: his orchestration of one of Brahms’ greatest chamber works is an artistic achievement of the highest order, so successful in bringing the music into the orchestral realm that it is often labeled, “Brahms’ Fifth.” A reprise of the audience favorite Fantastic Scherzo by Dvorak’s pupil and son-in-law will preface a solo appearance by Nathan Walhout, another stellar performer from the Music Institute of Chicago/Ars Viva Young Artist Competition. All’s well that ends well, and this season ends very well indeed!

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Music at Michael

Join us for a Sunday afternoon of wonderful food and a private performance by our Ars Viva musicians at Restaurant Michael in Winnetka. Our next date is March 2, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. with Lynn Williams, principal harp of Lyric Opera. Select from a 3-course menu designed by chef Michael Lachowicz with a complimentary glass of champagne.

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Music for Life

Music for Life

Share your love of music with the children in your life. Learn about our Music for Life program…

Conductor of the Year

Maestro Heatherington was named Illinois Conductor of the Year (professional orchestras) for 2012 by the Illinois Council of Orchestras!

"It is always a very special honor to be recognized by a committee of one's peers." Heatherington responded. "I am immensely pleased to receive this award, as it reflects my decades of commitment to the arts in Illinois and the orchestras that I have been privileged to conduct."

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Twice named professional “Orchestra of the Year” by the Illinois Council of Orchestras, Ars Viva is distinguished by performances of very high quality. Led by Music Director Alan Heatherington, Ars Viva is composed of many of the finest players in the Chicago area, including members of the world-renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Founded in 1995, Ars Viva quickly took its place among the finest orchestras in metropolitan Chicago.