Music festivals in Illinois

May 3, 2024
19 music festivals in Illinois

Edward Benyas, Artistic Director and Conductor

2015 General Description

The 11th annual Southern Illinois Music Festival features nearly three-dozen performances in venues from Carbondale to Cairo, Murphysboro to Marion and at many points in between. In addition to members of the New Chicago Chamber Orchestra, musicians from throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia perform orchestral and chamber music, opera, ballet, and jazz in an informal and inviting atmosphere. Casual dress is welcome!

This year’s Festival is titled “Great Russian Masters” and runs June 5-21. Highlights include three orchestral concerts including concertos by Shostakovich and Sibelius and symphonies by Semiatin and Tchaikovsky (June 12-14), two beautiful Russian ballets by Glazounov and Rachmaninov, (June 19 and 20) with performances by professional and local dancers, a grand opera gala featuring wonderful soloists from past Festivals (June 18 and 20), numerous chamber music performances, the New Arts Jazztet, a Young Artists Showcase, and Klassics for Kids and Jive with Jazz events at venues throughout the region.

The majority of the Festival performances are free. Admission for other performances are noted on the schedule below. Go to for the latest schedule updates or email Tickets for the festival are always available at the event, or by calling the Marion Civic Center box office during business hours at 618-997-4030, or online at Please join us for our 11th season of great music!

Tickets for all 2015 Southern Illinois Music Festival performances are available: In advance and in person at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center Box Office, M-F, 8am-5pm; by Phone at 618-997-4030; online at or at the door of each performance. Note that an additional charge by the MCCC may apply. Patrons may also purchase a non-transferable SIFest pass, at a cost of $100. This will allow admission to all SIFest opera gala, ballet, orchestral and chamber music performances (except the Chamber Music Soirées and Chamber of Commerce luncheon), a value of $160 with no waiting in line for tickets. Email if you are interested in a Festival pass.

2015 Performance Schedule

Fri. June 5
9am: WSIU Radio Preview airs
6pm: New Arts Jazztet (Alto Vineyards) (Free)

Sunday, June 7
6pm: Chamber Music Soirée: Shostakovich and Brisket (Home of Vivian Ugent) ($50) - Sibelius, Shostakovich and Vivian’s famous brisket! Call 315-481-9901 for reservations.

Mon. June 8
Noon: WSIU Radio Preview airs again
7:30pm: Young Artist Showcase and Shostakovich Trio (Altgeld 110) ($10/5)

Tue. June 9
7:30pm: Benyas Family Recital (First United Methodist, Carbondale) (Donation) - Music of Bach, Gounod, Saint-Saëns, de Berio and Morricone

Wed. June 10
10am: Klassics for Kids-Winds (Du Quoin Public Library) (Free)
10am: Jive with Jazz (Herrin Civic Center) (Free)
7:30pm: Russian and Czech Piano Trios in Cairo (Cairo Public Library) (Free) - Khachaturian, Shostakovich and Dvorak Piano Trios
7:30pm: Russian Chamber Music at Liberty (Liberty Theater) ($10/5) - Music of Rachmaninov, Stravinsky and Prokofiev
Post-Concert Reception with New Arts Jazztet (Town Square Plaza, Murphysboro) (Free)

Thur. June 11
6pm: Chamber Music Soirée: The Brehm School ($50) - Music of Prokofiev, Borodin, Stravinsky and Taneyev

Fri. June 12
10am: Jive with Jazz (Boys and Girls Club, Carbondale) (Free)
6:45pm: Pre-Concert Lecture by David Tuttle (Theater Lobby)
7:30pm: Orchestra Concert: “Sibelius and Semiatin” (Prokofiev Love for Three Oranges, Semiatin American Symphony, Raymonda Hymne and Sibelius Violin Concerto with Kiril Laskarov, Violin)
(Carterville High School) ($20/8)

Sat. June 13
10am: Klassics for Kids-Strings (University Mall) (Free)
6:45pm: Pre-Concert Lecture by David Tuttle (Theater Lobby)
7:30pm: Orchestra Concert: “Tchaikovsky’s Fourth” (Glinka Ruslan & Ludmilla Overture, Shostakovich 2nd Piano Concerto with Jenny Choo, Piano, and Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4) (Carterville High School) ($20/8)

Sunday, June 14
2pm: Russian Chamber Music at CUF (Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship) ($10/5) - Music of Dvorak, Borodin, Prokofiev and Khachaturian
6:45pm: Pre-Concert Lecture by David Tuttle (Theater Lobby)
7:30pm: “Russian Orchestral Highlights”: Best orchestral selections from the previous two nights (Carterville High School) ($20/8)

Mon. June 15
4pm: Jive with Jazz (Cairo) (Free)
7:30pm: New Arts Jazztet (Cairo) (Free)

Tue. June 16
Noon: Carbondale Chamber of Commerce Luncheon Performance (SIU Student Center) ($15) - Music of Borodin, Stravinsky and Prokofiev
7:30pm: Russian Chamber Music in Anna (Anna Arts Center) ($10/5) - Music of Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich and Stravinsky

Thur. June 18
10am: Klassics for Kids-Winds (Renascence House, Makanda) (Free)
10am: Klassics for Kids-Strings (Old Feed Store, Cobden) (Free)
6:45pm: Pre-Concert Music: Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale (Marion Civic Center Lobby)
7:30pm: Grand Opera Gala (Marion Civic Center) ($20/8) - Music of Mozart, Rossini, Bizet, Verdi, Puccini, Borodin, Mussorgsky and Prokofiev

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Southern Illinois Music Festival - Prokofiev March and Scherzo
Southern Illinois Music Festival - Prokofiev March and Scherzo
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