The Lake Shore Symphony Orchestra was founded in the fall of 1973 by a group of musicians from the former North Side Symphony who were loyal to Milton Preves. Mr. Preves was a long time principal viola of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and he conducted the orchestra for its first one and a half seasons. He returned for a guest appearance with the orchestra at its 25th Anniversary Gala, a few months before his death in early 1999.
Other conductors include Steven Larsen, Music Director Laureate (1976-1988), Phillip Baumann (1988-1992), John Christie (1992-1995), and Philip Simmons (1995-2001.) At the end of the 2001-2002 season, Russell Vinick was named the Music Director and Conductor of the Lake Shore Symphony. His vision, energy, and passion for music has taken the orchestra to its highest level of performance to date. Maestro Vinick was awarded the Conductor of the Year award by the Illinois Council of Orchestras in 2010. This award is given annually to the Music Director/Conductor who exhibits the highest standards in quality of performance, innovation in programming and involvement with the community and the orchestra.
After 18 years at the Copernicus Center, the orchestra found a new home in 2004 at Northside College Preparatory High School, a beautiful $41mm facility. This state-of-the-art 500-seat auditorium boasts incredible acoustics and is a music lover's treasure. The LSSO and the Northside College Preparatory High School have teamed up on a number of different artistic ventures over the years and a wonderful partnership has evolved between the orchestra and the school.
The LSSO performs four major concerts a year, featuring marvelous soloists from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and other internationally known artists. The orchestra has commissioned several new works by present-day composers and Maestro Vinick always strives to present compelling and visionary programs that satisfy all tastes in music.
The LSSO is very involved in community outreach and presented a "Young People's Concert" to nearly 1,000 students during our 2009 and 2010 seasons. Small ensembles from LSSO also play in Chicago and surrounding communities to spread their love of music and inspire listeners young and old alike.
One of LSSO's trademarks is its audience-friendly, themed concert programs. For example, the 2008/09 Season, which was also the 35th Anniversary Season, featured "A Viennese Celebration." During intermission, audience members were treated to traditional Viennese delicacies and desserts while winding thru and viewing a display of beautiful pictures of Vienna. During our 2009/10 season, our audience members learned about the planets from an actual Adler Planetarium astronomer during a concert that features Holst's "The Planets." This kind of interaction is rare for a community orchestra as well as a public concert-goer!
We are proud of the quality of music and attention given to our audience base and look forward to seeing you at our next concert!