Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) Music Director Andrew Grams returns to the podium November 4 and 5 to conduct a blockbuster program that features Beethoven’s 7th symphony, an instant hit when first performed in 1813. The concerts also feature two (2) ESO premieres: Chicago-area composer James M. Stephenson’s TributesConcerto for Violin and Orchestra, performed by violinist Jennifer Frautschi, and Aaron Copland’s Our Town, composed for the 1940 film of the same name. Free ESO Listeners Clubs will be held Wednesday, November 1 that will discuss the upcoming concert program. Led by music lecturer, composer, and radio personality Jim Kendros, Listeners Clubs are free lecture/discussions that take place the Wednesday before ESO Classics Series concert weekends at Greenfields of Geneva, 10:30 am, and the Gail Borden Public Library at 1 pm. All part of the ESO’s goal to enrich, enlighten and entertain. Saturday concertgoers are invited after the performance toMingle with the Musicians at Bennigan’s Elgin. Beethoven 7 concert tickets start at $30. Student tickets are $12. Valet or free parking. For more information, visit ElginSymphony.Org or 847-888-4000.
Two-time GRAMMY nominee and Avery Fisher career grant recipient Jennifer Frautschi has garnered worldwide acclaim as an adventurous musician with a remarkably wide-ranging repertoire. Highlights of her past season included performances with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Tucson Symphony, as well as return engagements with the Alabama, Arkansas, Belo Horizonte, Chattanooga, Phoenix, and Toledo Symphonies and the Rhode Island Philharmonic. This past summer she performed at the Ojai, La Jolla, Santa Fe, Moab, Bridgehampton, and SaltBay Music Festivals. Born in Pasadena, California, Ms. Frautschi was a student of Robert Lipsett at the Colburn School; she also attended Harvard, New England Conservatory, and Juilliard, where she studied with Robert Mann. She performs on a 1722 Antonio Stradivarius violin known as the “ex-Cadiz,” on generous loan from a private American foundation.
Leading American orchestras, instrumentalists and wind ensembles around the world have performed the music of Chicago-based composer James M. Stephenson, both to critical acclaim and the delight of audiences. Stephenson came late to his full-time composing career, having performed 17 seasons as a trumpeter in the Naples Philharmonic in Florida. As such, the composer is largely self-taught, making his voice truly individual and his life’s work all the more remarkable. Recent and upcoming premieres include the St. Louis and Chicago Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, and Cabrillo Festival, as well as the US “President’s Own” Marine Band. Over 150 orchestras and bands play his music annually.
With a unique combination of intensity, enthusiasm and technical clarity, American conductor Andrew Grams has steadily built a reputation for his dynamic concerts and long-term orchestra building. He is the winner of 2015 Conductor of the Year from the Illinois Council of Orchestras and 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. 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.
Andrew Grams, now in his 5th ESO season, 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. In 2015-16, Mr. 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. This season, Mr. Grams is conducting the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, Sacramento Philharmonic, the Tulsa, Santa Rosa, Kalamazoo, and Omaha Symphony Orchestras, and Residentie Orchestra in The Hague, Netherlands.
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, visit andrewgrams.com and https://www.instagram.com/andrewhgrams/
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.
# # #