Internationally-renowned conductor Andrew Grams, who became music director of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra in 2013 and won 2015 Conductor of the Year from the Illinois Council of Orchestras, returns to the ESO to kick-off the 2016-17 season with a program of all-Russian music featuring Shostakovich’s Festive Overture, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto performed by guest violinist Simone Porter, and Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances on September 17 & 18 at the Hemmens Cultural Center. “Our opening concerts exude the finest, ebullient, and sensitive qualities of the Russian spirit,” says Grams. “Enjoy virtuosity from the orchestra and young Simone Porter alike, a mellow sax melody, and the culmination of the compositional life’s work of Sergei Rachmaninoff.” Andrew Grams will present a free Pre-Concert Chat one hour before concert time for ticketholders. For tickets, which start at just $30, see ElginSymphony.Org or call 847-888-4000.
Andrew Grams became music director of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra after an international search. His charismatic conducting and easy accessibility have made him a favorite of Elgin Symphony audiences. He has extended his contract with the ESO through 2021. With a unique combination of intensity, enthusiasm and technical clarity, Mr. Grams has steadily built a reputation for his dynamic concerts and long-term orchestra building. He has led orchestras throughout the United States including The Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Detroit Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, The Dallas Symphony, and the Houston Symphony. A frequent traveler, Mr. Grams has worked extensively with orchestras abroad, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Orchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn, BBC Symphony Orchestra London, Sydney Symphony, Melbourne and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras, and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Last season, Grams led a Gershwin festival with the Orquestra Simfoica de Barcelona before returning to Australia to work with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Western Australia Symphony Orchestra.
Born in Severn, Maryland, Mr. Grams began studying the violin when he was eight years old. In 1999 he received a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from The Juilliard School, and in 2003 he received a conducting degree from the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with Otto-Werner Mueller. He was selected to spend the summer of 2003 studying with David Zinman, Murry Sidlin and Michael Stern at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen and returned to that program again in 2004. Mr. Grams served as Assistant Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra from 2004-2007 where he worked under the guidance of Franz Welser-Möst, and has since returned for several engagements. As an accomplished violinist, Mr. Grams was a member of the New York City Ballet Orchestra from 1998-2004, serving as acting associate principal second violin in 2002 and 2004. Additionally, he has performed with ensembles including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the New Jersey Symphony. To learn more about Andrew Grams, visitandrewgrams.com and https://www.instagram.com/andrewhgrams/
Now in its 66th season, the 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 works to create an enjoyable entertainment experience that goes beyond the world-class 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. Area student musicians often perform in the lobby before concerts and patrons can 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 andSaturday night patrons are invited after concerts to Mingle with the Musicians at the Elgin Public House. In addition, free Listeners Club lecture/discussions presented by music historian Jim Kendros are offered before ESO concert weekends on Wednesdays at 1 pmat the Gail Borden Public Library. 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 $5 fee. The ESO is a world-class orchestra providing quality musical explorations that are entertaining, hassle-free and conveniently located close to home in the western suburbs. For more information, see ElginSymphony.Org.