ESO Cellist & Composer Elizabeth Start to Perform her Assisi Impressions at c3’s Concert October 20


Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) cellist and composer Elizabeth (Betsy) Start performs her Assisi Impressions with flutist Caroline Pittman on the Chicago Composers’ Consortium’s (c3) opening concert Friday, October 20 at 7:30 pm, North Shore Baptist Church, 5244 N. Lakewood Avenue. c3 is highlighting the work of three guest composers on this program, all distinctly different musical voices who call Chicago home: Randall West, whose aleatoric trio Aqua evokes the undulating architecture of the distinctive building downtown; Marta Ptaszynska, whose striking Red Rays explores the sonic possibilities of flute and piano; andGeorge Flynn, whose evocative and haunting Introduction and Lullaby for clarinet, violin, cello and piano will close the program. Besides Start, other c3 members represented will be Timothy Ernest Johnson, who will perform his own solo guitar work Solitary Confinement, and Lawrence Axelrod’s MandalaMartha Horst’sShades of Silence will be performed by pianist Lawrence Axelrod. Tickets are $20/$10 students/seniors at the door. To learn more, visit

Ms. Start shares background about her composition: “The Assisi Impressions was written after my return July 18, 2013 from performing at the Assisi Suono Sacrofestival and was premiered on Aug 28th that year.  It is experiential and visceral.  The first movement is about reverence of a place–whether you totally share the reverence, the feeling is there, and quite palpable (like the Basilica of St. Francis, for instance)–one can get excited about something, or powerfully moved, or even mildly amused, but it doesn’t get far from a hushed feeling.  The second movement, a little scherzo and trio, “getting around”, is a look at driving in the crazy busy winding streets (in my little rental car!) contrasted with lots of walking, perhaps even slogging, up hills on foot–again moments of excitement and sharing a sight or discovery, but back to the slogging (in hot weather)–then back to the car.  The third movement represents to me a very memorable evening, at a restaurant overlooking the basilica of St. Francis church–light changing on it as the sun set, and birds rising around it.  Yes, flute, birds: type-cast again.”


Elizabeth Start has degrees in mathematics and cello from Oberlin, master’s degrees in cello and composition from Northern Illinois University, and a PhD in composition from the University of Chicago. She spent 10 years as a Chicago free-lancer, performing and teaching for many organizations, before returning to her hometown of Kalamazoo (MI) in 2001. She is (part-time) Executive Director of the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music (, which celebrates diverse faiths and cultures through music. She performs with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, the Kalamazoo Symphony, Chicago Philharmonic, among others, and is a member of the Chicago Composers’ Consortium and Accessible Contemporary Music (ACM), Chicago. She is also Vice President-Secretary of the Kalamazoo Federation of Musicians, Local 228 AFM. As a performer, she has premiered over 90 works. As a composer she has had numerous commissions and grants, and over 300 performances of over 100 works in the U.S. and abroad. See


The Chicago Composers’ Consortium (c3) is a grass-roots organization of composers dedicated to creating new music in Chicago. c3 is a non-profit, 501(c) (3) organization formed in 1988 and incorporated in 1989. Since then c3 has organized scores of concerts, invited many distinguished composers, and collaborated with several musicians and ensembles, creating unique musical events. What has set the consortium apart from other contemporary music organizations has been its composer-generated collaborative projects. As a presenter of contemporary music in the Chicago area, the consortium has found new ways to introduce Chicago to what is new in music.


Now in its 67th season, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) offers programming unmatched for an entertaining, informative and relaxing cultural experience. The ESO has won Illinois Professional Orchestra of the Year an unprecedented four times – in 1988, 1999, 2005 and 2016. The ESO strives to create an enjoyable entertainment experience that goes beyond the magnificent music performed by some of the best musicians in the region. There is accessible, free parking around the Hemmens Cultural Center and valet service available. Before concerts, area musicians often perform in the lobby, and patrons can buy drinks at the bar and purchase gifts at the Elgin Symphony League Boutique. Pre-concert chats are given by Andrew Grams, guest artists and others one hour before most performances, and Saturday night patrons are invited after concerts to Mingle with the Musicians at area restaurants.  In addition, free Listeners Club discussions presented by music historian Jim Kendros are offered in Geneva and Elgin on Wednesdays before ESO Classics Series concert weekends. Flex passes are available for purchase so that you can choose your concerts at a later date based on your own schedule. And if a patron can’t make a concert, the ESO offers free exchanges to subscribers and to single ticket buyers for a small fee. The Elgin Symphony Orchestra is a world-class orchestra providing quality musical explorations that are entertaining, hassle-free and conveniently located close to home in the western suburbs. The ESO-Transforming the Symphony Experience. ElginSymphony.Org

Media Contact:
Elgin Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
77 Riverside Drive, Elgin, IL 60120
(800) 217-5362 or (847) 695-7540