ESO to open new season, with new director, on Oct. 5
FROM STAFF REPORTS September 20, 2013 4:10PM
Updated: October 24, 2013 6:14AM
ELGIN — Andrew Grams will make his debut as the new music director as the Elgin Symphony Orchestra begins its 2013-14 season with concerts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6, at the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin.
A native of Maryland, Grams received a bachelor of music degree in 1999 in violin performance from the Juilliard School. In 2003 he received a conducting degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he worked with Otto-Werner Mueller. He accepted the position of music director of the ESO in June after more than a year of worldwide searching and auditioning.
The first half of the concert will highlight two Gershwin pieces, “Second Rhapsody” and “I Got Rhythm Variations,” with guest artist Terrence Wilson. Pianist Wilson has received numerous awards and prizes, including the SONY ES Award for Musical Excellence, an Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Juilliard Petschek Award. In December 2010, Wilson was nominated for a Grammy Award for his recording of Michael Daugherty’s “Deus ex Machina for Piano and Orchestra” with the Nashville Symphony conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero. Wilson is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where he studied with Yoheved Kaplinsky.
The crisp rhythms for which Gershwin is famous will contrast with the second half of the concert featuring the powerful “Titan” Symphony No. 1 composed by Mahler. This piece will highlight the virtuosity and strength of the ESO musicians and their new music director.
After Saturday night performances, the audience is invited to “Mingle with the Musicians” at the Elgin Public House on East Chicago Street.
“From start to finish, the ESO brings world-class, big-city entertainment without the hassles of the big city,” said ESO spokeswoman Cheryl Wendt.
Tickets are still available and can be purchased through the ESO Box Office at 847-888-4000 or by visiting www.elginsymphony.org.