South suburban philharmonic orchestra back for 43rd year with online concert

PARK FOREST, Ill. (WLS) -- The Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra is back for its 43rd year with an online opening night concert.

The virtual concert will stream for free on Saturday.

Music Director Stilian Kirov joined ABC 7 Chicago Thursday to talk about the upcoming event.

Kirov said adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic was "a process," but said music brings them together despite social distancing and masks.

It's been difficult to go from outdoor concerts to virtual ones, but safety is the No. 1 priority, he said.

The pandemic has given them an opportunity to make the IPO stronger than ever before, Kirov said, and it's seeking to make the organization more diverse.

"IPO Reimagined" will feature 30 IPO string players performing George Walker's "Lyric for Strings" and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "Serenade." The 45-minute program takes place at 7 p.m. Saturday. It's free to the public via livestream on IPO's Facebook page and YouTube channel, as well as on Palos Channel 4.

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