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Music Director Andrew Grams Conducts ESO Concerts March 24 and 25 Featuring Works by Brahms and Elgar

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Music Director Andrew Grams Conducts ESO Concerts March 24 and 25 Featuring Works by Brahms and Elgar

2016 Sphinx Competition Winner Thomas Mesa will perform Elgar’s Cello Concerto


Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) Music Director Andrew Grams returns to the podium to conduct concerts Saturday, March 24, 7:30 pm and Sunday, March 25, 2:30 pm at Hemmens Cultural Center. The program features works that use a theme and variation form - Brahms’ Haydn Variations and English composer Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations  This musical style introduces a theme, and then changes it over and over using notes, rhythm, tempo and dynamics to create new variations. The fourteen (14) Elgar Enigma Variations represent friends and family members of the composer and even a dog! Guest artist Thomas Mesa, cello, winner of the 2016 Senior Division Sphinx Competition, will perform Elgar’s Cello Concerto, a solemn masterpiece and cornerstone of the solo cello repertoire, written in the aftermath of World War One (WWI). Jim Kendros will lead free Listeners Clubs discussions on Wednesday, March 21 at 10:30 am at GreenFields of Geneva and 1:00 pm at the Gail Borden Public Library. Music Director Grams will lead Pre-Concert Chats starting one hour before concert time. Saturday concertgoers are invited after the performance to Mingle with the Musicians at Bennigan’s Elgin. The concerts are sponsored by Gwen Gage, The Haight, Elgin Cultural Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Tickets start at only $30. Student tickets $12. Valet service or free parking. For more information, visit ElginSymphony.Org.

Thomas Mesa, Cuban-American cellist, is quickly establishing himself as one of the most charismatic and versatile performers of his generation with a wide variety of solo engagements across the United States.  Mr. Mesa is a Winner of the Astral Artists Auditions (2017), the Sphinx Competition (2016), Thaviu Competition for String Performance (2013), and the Alhambra Orchestra Concerto Competition (2006).  He is a graduate of The Juilliard School, where he received various scholarships; and Northwestern University, where he was the recipient of the Richard and Helen Thomas Fellowship and Graduate Program Honors for extraordinary contributions to the String Department.  Mr. Mesa’s orchestral experience includes being principal cellist for Northwestern Symphony Orchestra and the Juilliard Orchestra. He has performed under the batons of James Levine, Alan Gilbert, James Conlon, Franz Welser-Most, Victor Yampolsky, and others. To learn more, visit thomasmesacello.com.

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 Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA) Chamber Orchestra, Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, Sacramento Philharmonic, the Tulsa, Santa Rosa, Kalamazoo, and Omaha Symphony Orchestras, and Residentie Orchestra in The Hague, Netherlands. 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 Music Director 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. Get to Know YOUR ESO!


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