An Offer You Can't Refuse

13th Season: mAY 26-June 11, 2017


The 13th 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, patriotic music, and jazz in an informal and inviting atmosphere. Casual dress is welcome!

This year’s Festival is titled “An Offer You Can’t Refuse” and runs May 26-June 11. Highlights include unique performances of Mozart’s masterpiece, Don Giovanni, updated with gangsters, fully staged, sung in Italian with projected English titles, with full orchestra and an incredible cast (June 9 and 11); three large orchestral concerts (June 2, 3 and 4) featuring symphonies and concertos by Dvorak and Tchaikovsky; a Memorial Day Extravaganza, modeled on the one in Washington DC (May 29), a virtuoso organ recital (June 5), numerous chamber music performances (May 27, 31 and June 1, 4, 5, 7, 8. 9 and 10); the New Arts Jazztet (May 26 and June 8), Young Artists Concerts (June 5 and 6); and Klassics for Kids and Jive with Jazz events at venues throughout the region. Many of the Festival events are free. Admission for other performances are noted on the website. Go to www.SIFest.com for the latest schedule updates or email benyas@siu.edu. Please join us for our 13th season of great music!

Tickets for all 2017 Southern Illinois Music Festival performances are available: In advance, online and in person at any of the SIU Ticket offices, or at the door of each performance. Patrons may also purchase a non-transferable SIFest pass, through the ticket office at a cost of $100. This will allow admission to all SIFest events (except the Chamber Music Soirées and Happy Hour Mozart), a value of $160 with no waiting in line for tickets and special reserved parking on the SIU campus.

The Southern Illinois Music Festival has been nationally recognized:

·         In Symphony magazine, the premiere publication for American orchestras, as one of only four professional music festivals in Illinois, alongside such distinguished peers as the Ravinia Festival, summer home of the Chicago Symphony;

·         By the Chicago Tribune Travel section as one of 24 top summer activities (musical and otherwise) in an eight-state region;

·         By AAA Midwest magazine as a Midwest Travel Treasure and in a full-page photo feature;

·         BY WTTW’s Arts Across Illinois, in Chamber Music America; and with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council and a variety of private foundations.

Major sponsors of the 2017 Southern Illinois Music Festival include: WSIU Public Broadcasting, WSIL TV 3, SIU Foundation,  Oris B. Hastings Foundation, City of Marion, Samuel Goldman, Peter Gregory, University Mall, Southern Illinois Ob-Gyn Associates, First Bank and Trust Company, Rob & Melissa Jensen, John & Marsha Ryan, Brehm School and Anna Arts Center.


SIFest Radio Preview

An hour-long radio preview of the Festival takes place on WSIU Radio, 91.9 FM Carbondale, 88.9 FM Mt. Vernon and 90.3 FM Olney. Artistic Director, Edward Benyas discusses all aspects of the Festival and plays musical excerpts. The radio preview will air TBD.