ESO Music Director Andrew Grams to conduct a program of his favorite Strauss waltzes and polkas Jan. 26-27

  • Elgin Symphony Orchestra Music Director Andrew Grams will conduct his favorite Strauss waltzes and polkas at the Jan. 26-27 concerts.

    Elgin Symphony Orchestra Music Director Andrew Grams will conduct his favorite Strauss waltzes and polkas at the Jan. 26-27 concerts. Courtesy of Paolo Cascio

Submitted by D. Handler

Spend "A Night in Old Vienna" with Music Director Andrew Grams and the Elgin Symphony Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, at the Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way in downtown Elgin.

Concerts feature the light-hearted and lively waltzes and polkas of Johann Strauss II, including the "Overture to Die Fledermaus," Tritsch-Tratsch, Pizzicato and "Thunder and Lightning" polkas and "On the Beautiful Blue Danube."

Andrew Grams will conduct an orchestra clinic at Bartlett High School on Thursday, Jan. 24.

The ESO is offering a free open rehearsal at 7:15 p.m. that evening. Registration is required at

Saturday concertgoers are invited after the performance to "Mingle with the Musicians" at Bennigan's Elgin. Concert and season sponsor is John B. Sanfilippo and Son, Inc. Otto Engineering, Inc. is also a season sponsor.

Tickets start at $30. Student tickets are $11. Valet or free parking. For more information, visit or (847) 888-4000.

With a unique combination of intensity, enthusiasm and technical clarity, American conductor Andrew Grams has steadily built a reputation for his dynamic concerts, ability to connect with audiences, 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 Chicago Symphony, Detroit Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, and the Houston Symphony.

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Andrew Grams 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. A frequent traveler, 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. Last season, Mr. Grams conducted Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts Orchestra, Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, Sacramento Philharmonic, the Tulsa, Santa Rosa, Kalamazoo, and Omaha Symphony Orchestras, Sewanee Symphony Orchestra, the Residentie Orchestra in The Hague, Netherlands and New York City Ballet's George Balanchine's The Nutcracker®. This season, Mr. Grams will conduct the Sacramento Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Curtis Symphony Orchestra, Zagreb Philharmonic, Fort Worth Symphony, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Detroit Symphony, Amsterdam Conservatory of Music, National Orchestral Institute, Colorado Music Festival and Minnesota Orchestra Sommerfest.

A Maryland native, Grams began studying the violin when he was 8 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. 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.

To learn more about Andrew Grams, visit, @andrewhilarygrams on Facebook and

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra offers programming unmatched for an entertaining, informative 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 event often features musicians performing in the lobby before concerts, and patrons can purchase 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. There is accessible, free parking around the Hemmens Cultural Center and valet service available. Visit

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