Andrew Grams, conductor
Robert Everson, timpani
Daugherty: Raise the Roof Timpani Concerto
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade, op.35
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Health and Safety
The ESO is thrilled to return to the stage for an exciting 2021-2022 season. We look forward to welcoming you back to live performances with your Elgin Symphony Orchestra.
The health and safety of our musicians, staff, and audience are paramount as we resume live concert experiences. We have established the following policies in accordance with CDC and State of Illinois guidelines to best protect everyone who enters our concert hall:
- Audience members must provide proof of complete vaccination for COVID-19 prior to entering the concert venue, regardless of if these were previously shown or submitted.
- Please bring your COVID-19 vaccination record to the performance (photos of the record are also accepted), as well as photo Identification.
- As currently mandated by the State of Illinois, concert attendees will be required to wear masks at all times within concert venues.
- Tickets will be on sale at the Hemmens Cultural Center one-hour prior to each performance. However, to be mindful of the safety concerns surrounding COVID-19, we encourage that our patrons purchase tickets in advance to prevent crowding within the venue.
- Pre-purchased tickets may be collected at Will Call on the day of the concert. Tickets purchased online the day of the concert will require proof of purchase.
We look forward to welcoming you back for a wonderful season of great music. If you have any questions, please contact our Box Office at 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.
The youngest of a large mixed-race family from Severn, Maryland, Andrew began studying the violin when he was eight years old in the public school system. 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. Mr. 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.
in 2013, 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’s 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, Philadelphia Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, and the Houston Symphony.
A frequent traveler, Mr. Grams has worked extensively with orchestras abroad, including the symphony orchestras of Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, the Orchestre National de France, Hong Kong Philharmonic, the BBC Orchestras of London, Wales and Scotland, the symphony orchestras of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Western Australia, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, Het Residentie Orchestra in The Hague, Netherlands. He has led multiple performances of New York City Ballet’s George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® and the first performances of the new production of The Nutcracker for the Norwegian National Ballet in Olso. Last season, Mr. Grams led the Sacramento Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Zagreb Philharmonic, Fort Worth Symphony, Detroit Symphony, and the Minnesota Orchestra.
Also an educator, Mr. Grams has worked with orchestras at institutions such as the Curtis Institute of Music, the Cleveland Institute of Music, Indiana University, Roosevelt University, the National Orchestral Institute at the University of Maryland, and the Amsterdam Conservatory.
An accomplished violinist, Mr. Grams was a member of the New York City Ballet Orchestra from 1998-2004, serving as acting associate principal second violin in 2002 and 2004. Additionally, he has performed with ensembles including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the New Jersey Symphony as well as performing with chamber music ensembles around the country.
In his debut performance as a soloist, Robert Everson was hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “a most outstanding performer”, and the Chicago Sun-Times called him a “master timpanist”. Although soloing on the timpani is relatively rare, Mr. Everson has done so many times, playing Darius Milhaud’s Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra with the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Chicago String Ensemble and the Illinois Philharmonic. With the Sinfonietta, he has also performed Georg Druschetzky’s Concerto for Oboe and Eight Timpani, Russell Peck’s Harmonic Rhythm, and the world premier of Jiri Gemrot’s Concertino for Flute, Bagpipes and Timpani. More recently, he performed the Phillip Glass Concert Fantasy for Two Timpanists with the San Francisco Ballet.
Mr. Everson is the timpanist with many orchestras in the Chicago area in addition to the Chicago Sinfonietta, including the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Ars Viva, the Lake Forest Symphony, the Chicago Philharmonic, the Chicagoland Pops Orchestra, and the Joffrey Ballet Orchestra. He also performs as an extra with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Grant Park Symphony. He is a frequent extra player with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO), and has performed on CSO recordings under Bernard Haitink and Pierre Boulez, the latter having won the Grammy award for best orchestral performance in 2001. He has played with dozens of pop artists, and for many Broadway shows, commercial jingles and TV broadcasts.
Mr. Everson earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Percussion Performance from DePaul University, and is the percussion instructor at Concordia University Chicago in River Forest, IL as well as at the Birch Creek Music Performance Camp in Door County, WI. He performs solo in-school percussion demonstrations for the International Music Foundation of Chicago, and participates in the educational outreach SEED Program with the Chicago Sinfonietta. He is a life-long resident of the Chicago area with his wife Ellen and their son Ian, an aspiring singer and music producer.