Illinois Symphony Orchestra

UIS Ethnomusicologist Yona Stamatis talks with Alastair Willis, Conductor and Music Director of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra. 

They discuss the upcoming season and this weekend's concert - "Resounding Russians" - performances of Glinka's Russlan and Ludmilla Overture, Prokofiev's vibrant Third Piano Concerto featuring world-renowned piano virtuoso Alexander Toradze, and Tchaikovsky's fateful Symphony No. 4.

The Conductor of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra is getting an early exit from his contract. Alastair Willis will remain on as a conductor through this season.

A note to symphony supporters says the ISO Board has agreed to accept Willis' request because of his desire to balance the demands of his international performance schedule. Willis is in the third year of a five year contract.     

A statement from the ISO Board President Carolyn Yockey says their goal is have candidates for the job conducting next year's symphony performances.


Jose Zaragoza /

Yona Stamatis talks with Alastair Willis, Dale Rogers, and Ralph Shank about the Illinois Symphony Orchestra's "Lincoln Train" concerts this weekend at Sangamon Auditorium and the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts.

UIS Ethnomusicologist Yona Stamatis gives us a preview of this weekend's live performance by the Illinois Symphony Orchestra: "Firey Fiddlin'".

ISO Conductor Laureate Kenneth Kiesler along with soloist Jeremy Kittel and ISO concertmaster Violetta Todorova talk about the program, which includes Evan Chambers' Concerto for Fiddle and Violin, Brahms' pastoral Third Symphony, and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite.

A preview of WUIS' broadcasts of Illinois Symphony Orchestra performances from last season, beginning this Saturday night at 7pm.  Hosted by Yona Stamatis.

Broadcasts are 7:00-9:00pm Saturday nights:

Illinois Symphony Orchestra: "Holidays in the Heartland"

Illinois Symphony Orchestra: "Centennial Celebration"

The Illinois Symphony Chamber Orchestra - "Britain's Beauty"

Illinois Symphony Chamber Orchestra - "Magical Masters"

Chamber Orchestra's "No Strings Attached"

Jan 21, 2015

This Friday at 6 and 8 p.m., the Illinois Symphony Chamber Orchestra's next concert takes place at the First Presbyterian Church in Springfield.

From the Illinois Symphony Orchestra Site: “Enter the fanciful world of Circus Flora at our Holiday Pops in the Heartland concert. Set among the High Tatras Mountains in the ancient and beautiful Kingdom of Spiish, A Winter Fable is a classic fairy tale with an edge of romance and deceit. Fabulous family fun where symphony and the circus arts is only the beginning of this spectacular evening!”

On Halloween night at 6pm and then again at 8pm, the Illinois Symphony Chamber Orchestra will perform "The Monster Mash" at the First Presbyterian Church in Springfield. Find out more info here. Here's our interview with Maestro Alastair Willis  about the performance: 

Preview Of 'Beethoven Meets the Silk Road'

Oct 10, 2014
Rachel Otwell/WUIS

A tabla virtuoso is in Springfield. Sandeep Das has worked with greats like Yo-Yo Ma and Ravi Shankar. He will play with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, headed by Alastair Willis, on Saturday (CLICK HERE for more info.)

In this interview, UIS ethnomusicology professor Yona Stamatis speaks with Maestro Willis about the concert, called 'Beethoven Meets the Silk Road': 


FREE Performance & Discussion
Thursday, October 9, 2014, Noon
WUIS Suggs Performance Studio

Join UIS Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology, Yona Stamatis in an interview/demonstration with:

Guest Conductor For Illinois Chamber Orchestra

Jan 31, 2014
Steve Sherman

The Illinois Chamber Orchestra welcomes a guest conductor for Friday night's performance in Springfield.   Nicolas McGegan will lead a program of 18th century music at St. Agnes Church.  It begins at 7:30 p.m. and will feature works of Haydn, Scarlatti, Bach and Telemann.

McGegan has been music director for the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in San Francisco for three decades.  As both a conductor and soloist, he has made over 100 recordings.

The Illinois Symphony Chamber Orchestra’s season opens tonight with the sumptuous sounds of English string music in a performance of Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings, featuring versatile tenor William Burden and the ISO’s principal horn Stephen Hanrahan.

WUIS' Karl Scroggin spoke with Music Director and Conductor Alistair Willis about the performances...

Violinist Nicolas Kendall, of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO) and Time for Three, peforms at the WUIS Suggs Performance Studio previewing his guest role with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra.

A live performance by Jason Vieaux & Lidia Kaminska on Classics with Karl Scroggin from November 11, 2010.