Antonin Dvořák and Richard Strauss

The romantic works of composers Richard Strauss, left, and Antonin Dvořák will be featured this month in performances for wind ensembles by the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra. (Public domain photos, via Wikimedia Commons)

February 05, 2021

Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra to feature works by Dvořák, Strauss

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Shaking off the winter doldrums and inactivity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra (SISO) continues its season with a performance later this month. The serenade will feature romantic works for wind ensembles written by composers Antonin Dvořák and Richard Strauss.

The performance is Feb. 23 at Shryock Auditorium on the SIU campus. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. David Tuttle, Southern Illinois Music Festival personnel manager and basset horn player in the Strauss Symphony, will present a public lecture about Richard Strauss on Feb. 22 at 5 p.m. in Shryock Auditorium. Admission is free but advance reservations are required

The orchestra will present Dvořák’s “Wind Serenade in D Minor, Op. 44,” a work for expanded wind octet plus cello and bass. Following intermission, SISO members will perform Strauss’s “Happy Workshop Symphony for Winds.”

“This monumental composition for 17 winds is one of the great romantic composer’s final compositions, written in the shadow of World War II,” said Edward Benyas, professor of oboe in the SIU School of Music.

The ensembles will be under direction of Cameron Taylor and Jace Kim, graduate students in the university’s music program. SISO members include graduate and undergraduate music majors and local professionals.

Safety in harmony with music

Benyas emphasized the performances will comply with the state’s Restore Illinois Plan and additional SIU Carbondale safety guidelines.

The Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra safety protocols include:

  • Concert attendance will be limited to 50 patrons each night, with advance reservations only.
  • All staff, artists and audience members must wear masks while in attendance.
  • Audience members who are not part of the same household will be seated at least 6 feet apart.
  • All artists will perform at least 6 feet apart.
  • Patrons will be screened with a temperature check and a series of questions before attending the concerts.
  • Staggered entry times will be provided to patrons when reservations are confirmed, to ensure social distancing.

Tickets available now

General admission tickets for the SISO Feb. 23 performance at Shryock Auditorium are $20 and $10 for students of any age. Reservations must be made by email before Feb. 22. For tickets, email Benyas at, indicating the number of tickets needed.

Additional tentative performances set

Benyas also said that additional tentative performances by the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra and the venerable Southern Illinois Music Festival are also planned.

Performances by the chamber orchestra are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. March 29 and 30 at Shryock Auditorium. A conducting recital by Jace Kim featuring works of Bohuslav Martinu, Reinhold Glière and Strauss will be at 7:30 p.m. April 8 in Shryock Auditorium.

The Southern Illinois Music Festival, featuring Mozart’s Opera “Così fan tutte,” Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons and Concertos for Winds,” chamber music by Mozart, Dvořák, Niels Gade and Glière is scheduled for July 9-18 in Shryock Auditorium and other locations in the region.