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The Elgin Symphony Orchestra

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) and Music Director Andrew Grams will explore excerpts from Richard Wagner’s epic opera cycle, The Ring of the Nibelung, at Inside the Music, Friday, November 2 at 8:00 pm, Hemmens Cultural Center.  A series of four music dramas based on Norse folktales, The Ring highlights the stories and struggles of gods, mortal heroes and mythical creatures, the Valkyries. The nibelung (dwarf) is Alberich, who creates a ring using gold stolen from the Rhine River. The monumental work remains the pinnacle of the art form and takes over four nights at the opera. The music is rich, complex and textured and uses a huge orchestra. Wagner even had a stage built in Bayreuth, Germany specifically for the work. At the ESO’s popular new program, Inside the Music, Andrew Grams explores a musical masterpiece, with discussion and excerpts performed by the ESO. After intermission, the entire piece is performed. The atmosphere is casual and relaxed, and food and drink are allowed in the hall. Popcorn by Mama Lees Gourmet Popcorn, mamaleespopcorn.com.  Tickets are $30; $11 for youths/students.  For more information, visit ElginSymphony.Org or call 847.888.4000.

Andrew Grams 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, @AndrewHilaryGrams on Facebook and Instagram.com/andrewhgrams. 

Now in its 68th season, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) offers programming unmatched for an entertaining, enlightening and relaxing cultural experience. The ESO’s won Illinois Professional Orchestra of the Year a record-setting 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 country. There is accessible, free parking around the Hemmens Cultural Center and valet service available. The festive concert event often features musicians performing in the lobby before concerts, and patrons can purchase unique, music-themed 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. Saturday night patrons are invited after concerts to meet Andrew Grams, guest artists and ESO musicians at Mingle with the Musicians, held at area restaurants.  Music historian Jim Kendros offers free Listeners Club discussions the Wednesday before ESO Classics Series concert weekends at Greenfields of Geneva and the Gail Borden Public Library. Flex passes are available for choosing concerts at a later date, 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 ESO is a world-class orchestra presenting quality musical explorations of some of the greatest music ever written, conveniently located close to home in the western suburbs. The ESO-Transforming the Symphony Experience. ElginSymphony.Org.

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