BLOOMINGTON — In a fluke of scheduling, Illinois Symphony Orchestra fans have two full-blown concerts coming on successive weekends.
This weekend, the ISO will present a classical-leaning Masterworks concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts. Featured will be guest violinist Adele Anthony performing under the baton of Ken Lam.
Next weekend at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 2, the ISO will be back on the BCPA stage with "Star Wars & Beyond: The Best of John Williams." On the podium for that concert will be guest conductor Vince Lee.
The pops-style concert will celebrate Williams' scores for not only the "Star Wars" movies, but also his work on other blockbuster franchises, including "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Superman" and "Harry Potter."
According to ISO executive director Trevor Orthmann, the back-to-back concerts occurred strictly as a result of juggling schedules for the two venues used by the ISO: the BCPA in Bloomington and the U of I at Springfield's Sangamon Auditorium in Springfield.
"It happened strictly as a result of hall availability," said Orthmann of the unusual proximity.
In a typical season, full orchestra concerts are usually scheduled at least a month or more apart.
"One is a symphony concert with Mahler and one is a pops concert with John Williams' music, which has been influenced by Mahler," he added. "We're hoping a synergy between the two takes place."