Elgin Symphony Orchestra

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The Elgin Symphony Orchestra is a regional orchestra founded and headquartered in Elgin, Illinois. Its Music Director is Andrew Grams.

The Orchestra's season includes some 50 concerts annually (Classics, Pops, Educational Programming, and Holiday performances) at the 1,200-seat Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin, the 440-seat Prairie Arts Center in Schaumburg, and Batavia Fine Arts Centre in Batavia, Illinois.


The Elgin Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1950 by Douglas Steensland at Elgin Community College. In 1971, with the appointment of Grammy Award-winning conductor Margaret Hillis as Music Director, the Orchestra’s artistic growth advanced significantly. Conductor/composer Robert Hanson was appointed the Orchestra's Associate Conductor in 1974 and Co-Music Director with Hillis in 1983. Hanson became Music Director in 1985, and the Orchestra achieved an artistic and service growth described by the Chicago Tribune as “impressive.” In 1985 the Orchestra became a fully professional ensemble. In 1988, 1999, and 2005 the Elgin Symphony Orchestra was named Orchestra of the Year by the Illinois Council of Orchestras. The Orchestra was the first three-time winner of the award recognizing programming excellence, artistic quality and leadership.

In June 2011 Hanson stepped down as Music Director. Following a two-year search, the Orchestra on June 12, 2013, announced the appointment of Andrew Grams as the new Music Director.

Michael Pastreich served as the Orchestra's executive director from 1995 to 2007. He was succeeded by Dale J. Lonis in 2008. Following Lonis's resignation in 2012 he was succeeded as interim CEO by David Bearden. Isabella Lippi has been the Orchestra's concertmaster since 2004.

In 1996, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra moved its administrative and box offices from Elgin Community College, the Orchestra’s home for nearly 50 years, to downtown Elgin. In 1997, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra began broadcasting its Classic Series concerts on WFMT 98.7-FM, Chicago’s Fine Arts Station; performances are available on WFMT’s cable network in 38 states, and throughout the world on the Internet. Over the years the Elgin Symphony Orchestra has engaged accomplished musicians including Yo-Yo Ma, James Galway, Itzhak Pearlman, Pinchas Zuckerman, Midori Goto, Kathleen Battle, and Alisa Weilerstein.

In May 2008 the Orchestra released its first commercially recorded compact disc. The recording on the Naxos label featured music from the Orchestra's 2007 "Aaron Copland: American Icon" festival of concerts including Copland's Piano Concerto with soloist Benjamin Pasternack and a suite from Copland's opera The Tender Land.

Performing Season[edit]

Information on ESO concerts and events is available at www.elginsymphony.org [1].

http://andrewgrams.com/== External links ==