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Andrew Grams, Music Director of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra Biography



As one of America’s most promising and talented young conductors, ANDREW GRAMS has already appeared with many of the great orchestras of the world including the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, the Detroit Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington D.C., and the orchestras of Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, New Jersey and others in the United States. Internationally, he has conducted the Montreal Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony, the Orchestre National de Lyon, the Orchestra of the Beethovenhalle Bonn, the BBC Symphony Orchestra London, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Melbourne Symphony, the Orchestra of Santa Cecilia Rome, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, the Residentie Orchestra of the Hague, the Hamburg Symphony, and the Malmo Symphony to name a few.

Maestro Grams was a protégé of Franz Welser-Moest and served as Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra from 2004 to 2007.

Mr. Grams made his first subscription series appearance with the Cleveland Orchestra in May 2006 conducting Schoenberg’s Second Chamber Symphony. He later conducted his first series of full-length subscription concerts with the Cleveland Orchestra in November 2006. He also led programs with the orchestra at the Blossom Music Center in 2006 and 2007 and returned to lead the orchestra again at the same location in July 2010.

This season sees major subscription debuts for Mr. Grams with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic, the Bergen Philharmonic, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Netherlands Philharmonic (Amsterdam), the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. He also makes debut appearances with the Slovenian Philharmonic, the Zagreb Philharmonic, the Belgrade Philharmonic, the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana Lugano, the North Carolina Symphony, the Adelaide Symphony, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. He also makes debuts with the summer festivals of Chautauqua and the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. He returns no fewer than three different times to the Residentie Orchestra (The Hague) as well as to the RTE Symphony Orchestra Ireland (Dublin), the Limburgs Symphony and the Louisville Orchestra.

Last season (2010-11) witnessed a major debut for Grams with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London which was highly acclaimed alongside debut appearances with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Beethovenhalle Bonn, State Symphony Orchestra of Sao Paulo, the Louisville Orchestra, the Colorado Symphony, the Grand Rapids Symphony and several others including an appearance at the Grant Park Festival in Chicago. Grams returned to the podium last season with the Residentie Orchestra several times including a Concertgebouw Hall appearance and made welcomed repeat visits with the Hamburg Symphony, the Malmo Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra Ottawa and the Utah Symphony among others.

Recent history has seen Maestro Grams at the helm of the Detroit Symphony, the Residentie Orchestra of the Hague, L’Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland (RTE), the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, the Seoul Philharmonic, the Kansas City Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Ottawa.

In 2002, Grams was appointed the assistant conductor of the Reading Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania and returned to conduct that orchestra in 2005. 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 the Aspen Music Festival, and returned to that program in 2004.

A Maryland native raised in Severn, Andrew Grams began conducting at the age of 17, when he directed the World Youth Symphony Orchestra at Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan. In 1999 he received a bachelor of music degree in violin performance from the Juilliard School and in 2003 he received a conducting degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he worked with Otto-Werner Mueller.

Also an accomplished violinist, Mr. Grams was a member of the New York City Ballet Orchestra at Lincoln Center from 1998 to 2004, serving as acting associate principal second violin in 2002 and 2004. In addition, he has performed with ensembles including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the New Jersey Symphony.

Mr. Grams is currently the Music Director of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, which began in June 2013. He will lead this orchestra for the first three Classic Series concerts of the ESO’s 2013-2014 season.