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ESO Opening Night Pre-Concert Party

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ESO Opening Night Pre-Concert Party

Sponsored by IL Senator Castro, David C. Waring, CFP®, CRPC® & International Vines

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) will celebrate its 67th Season Opening at a festive reception with Music Director Andrew Grams and ESO musicians beginning at 6 pm, Saturday, Sept 16. The event, to be held in a party tent on the Hemmens Cultural Center balcony, is sponsored by State Senator Cristina Castro, David C. Waring CFP®, CRPC®, and International Vines. Guests can mingle with Andrew Grams and musicians while enjoying wine and hors d’oeuvres included in the ticket price of $100 per person or $150 per couple. Proceeds benefit ESO programs and tickets are available online at ElginSymphony.Org. The ESO, awarded Illinois Professional Orchestra of the Year a record-setting four times, opens its season September 16 and 17 with critically-acclaimed music director Andrew Grams conducting works by the beloved composer Tchaikovsky, known for his lush, romantic melodies. The concerts feature one of the composer’s most famous masterworks, the Piano Concerto No. 1, performed by pianist Dinara Klinton. The program also includes Tchaikovsky’s Suite No. 3, an ESO premiere. For concert tickets, which start at $30, call 847.888.4000 or visit ElginSymphony.Org

State Senator Cristina Castro is a second generation Mexican-American and lifelong district resident. She has long been committed to her community and to public service. She has a marketing and communications management background and has held positions in both the public and private sector.  In 2015, Ms. Castro made the decision to run for the Illinois State Senate with the intention of using her professional background, life experiences and compassion to represent the interests and concerns of the people of the 22nd District in a bipartisan fashion to help solve problems and to move the State of Illinois in the right direction. She and her husband, Joe McKeown, reside in Elgin.

David C. Waring, CFP®, CRPC®, Wealth Management Advisor at Ameriprise, began his career at GE in 1980 where he rapidly advanced to become the Asia Sales Manager for GE Power Systems for India and other countries. David moved to Hong Kong in 1988 where he started his first entrepreneurial venture. While in Hong Kong, he joined an international services firm, which transferred him to Chicago in 1995. He received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech and an MBA from Cornell University. He has extensive volunteer and non-profit experience. A Rotary member for over twenty five years, he is a Past District Governor and major donor. He is a board member of the Barrington Area Community Foundation and the Elgin Symphony Orchestra. David was an elected Trustee of the Village of South Barrington, Finance Committee chairman. David is an Eagle Scout. 

W. Gillett Johnson, president of International Vines, is a wine industry professional specializing in branding, packaging, import logistics, distribution attainment, winery imaging, strategic long-term planning and the building of brand equity. Mr. Gillett graduated from The American University in Paris, and began a career on Wall Street in the fast paced world of currency trade. A native of “Wine Country” in Upstate NY, Gillett’s calling for the wine industry was strong. He moved to San Francisco in 1990 and began his new life dedicated to the wine business. Throughout his career in wine, Gillett has worked with over 200 wholesalers, represented over 30 wineries, and 65 brands (E & J Gallo, C. Mondavi & Sons, Raymond, Evans & Tate) of which over a dozen he has overseen the importation and complete development. A skilled insider, Gillett has served on the Board of The Australian Wine Bureau and served as an advisor to the Wine Industry Association WA. He has featured his wineries on many radio shows, and has been quoted by Wine Business Monthly among other major publications. Gillette recently relocated from California to the Barrington area with his partner Dawn Knight.

Andrew Grams, called “one of the great talents of the world” by cellist Lynn Harrell, became music director of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra in June 2013 after an international search. A graduate of the Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute of Music, he holds degrees in violin performance and conducting and has appeared with many of the great orchestras of the world.  Grams was a protégé of Franz Welser-Möst and served as assistant conductor for the Cleveland Orchestra for three years. Named 2015 Conductor of the Year by the Illinois Council of Orchestras, 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. To learn more about Andrew Grams, visit andrewgrams.com and https://www.instagram.com/andrewhgrams/

Dinara Klinton, piano is an active concert performer, and prize-winner of over 15 international competitions, including 3rd prize at the Cleveland International Piano Competition in USA, BNDES International Piano Competition in Brazil, 2nd Prize at the International Paderewski Competition in Poland, 2nd Prize at the Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano, Italy. In 2015 she was ranked as the top contestant who wasn’t selected into the final of the 17th F. Chopin International Piano Competition. Dinara has appeared at many festivals including the “Progetto Martha Argerich” Festival in Lugano, Cheltenham Music Festival, Aldeburgh Proms, “La Roque d’Antheron”, etc. Dinara has performed at the Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall in London, Berlin Philharmonic, Gewandhaus zu Leipzig, Tokyo Sumida Triphony Hall, and worked with such orchestras as The Philharmonia Orchestra, Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, and St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra.  Born in Ukraine, Ms. Klinton started her piano lessons in the age of five. A year later, she entered Kharkiv Special Secondary Music School. Upon graduating from the Moscow Central Music School, where she studied between 2001-2007 with Valery Pyasetsky, she went on her Graduate Diploma with Honors at the Moscow State Conservatory, where she worked with Eliso Virsaladze. Ms. Klinton has been awarded a Master of Performance degree at the Royal College of Music and has completed the Artist Diploma in Performance course, being under the tutelage of Dina Parakhina. Ms. Klinton’s website is Dinaraklinton.com.


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. 

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