Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra
MISSION: The Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra will provide concerts of compelling professional
symphonic music, support music education, and expand audience awareness of
musical excellence for the diverse communities of the greater Chicago region.
Now entering its 40th season, the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) is the largest performing arts organization in Chicago’s Southland providing professional orchestral music of beauty and excellence to the region. The IPO’s repertoire ranges from Baroque and Classical masterpieces, to world premieres and modern favorites. The Illinois Council of Orchestras named IPO the "Illinois Professional Orchestra of the Year" in 1992 and again in 2010, recognizing IPO’s overall artistic excellence.
During the 40th Anniversary Season, IPO will perform five Saturday evening classical concerts and a Holiday Pops matinee concert in December, along with four youth education concerts in May for approximately 4,000 Southland students. All 2017-18 season concerts will be held in Ozinga Chapel at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights. The IPO will also present its fifth season of Summer Music at Ravisloe, a series of five IPO musician ensemble performances at Ravisloe Golf Club in Homewood.
IPO’s history dates back to 1954. Then known as the Park Forest Orchestra, it was formed at the community level with volunteer musicians. In 1978, the orchestra was re-formed into a professional chamber orchestra performing in Park Forest. In 1982, the orchestra was renamed to reflect its regional mission. Instrumental to IPO’s growing success was the naming of Carmon DeLeone as Music Director in 1986. During DeLeone’s 25 year tenure, the IPO expanded its Artists-in-the-Schools Education Program to include interactive Youth Concerts. In the 1990s, the IPO performed in residence at the Center for the Performing Arts at Governors State University in University Park. In 2008, the orchestra began a new residency at the Lincoln-Way North Performing Arts Center in Frankfort, a regionally centralized location. Maestro DeLeone became Conductor Laureate of the IPO in 2011.
After an international search process, the IPO appointed David Danzmayr as Music Director of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, serving from 2012-2016 and expanding IPO’s programming to include an American work on every program. In 2017, following a search that attracted over 170 applicants from around the world, the IPO Board of Directors announced the hiring of Stilian Kirov as Music Director beginning with the 40th Anniversary Season.