Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Elgin Symphony Orchestra to Perform French National Anthem This Weekend



Media Release - for immediate release.
November 17, 2015

Elgin Symphony Orchestra to Perform 
French National Anthem This Weekend

“This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.” Leonard Bernstein on the death of President Kennedy.

Orchestras around the nation are responding to the recent tragic terrorist attacks that took place in Paris on Friday, November 13 with music, heartfelt commentary, and moments of silence. (League of American Orchestras)

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra will participate in this response by performing “La Marseillaise,” the national anthem of France, this weekend.  The piece will be performed at the beginning of ESO’s “French Connection with Isabella Lippi” concerts on November 21 and 22 at the Hemmens Cultural Center of Elgin. Other pieces on the program include Adams’ Tromba Lontana (distant trumpet), Chausson’s Poème, Berlioz’s Rêverie et caprice and Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2. Music Director Andrew Grams will conduct and Concertmaster Isabella Lippi performs as the violin soloist. 

Visit www.ElginSymphony.Org for concert details.

Please direct media inquiries to
Julie Baker
Director of Marketing
j.baker@elginsymphony.org
Elgin Symphony Orchestra
847-888-0404 ext. 234
20 DuPage Court
Elgin, IL 60120-6424


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Tchaikovsky n Tacos!


Thursday, November 11th at the Sears Centre Arena! 

Tacos -N- Tchaikovsky promises to be a fun-filled night of tacos, margaritas, and great music headlined by the Elgin Symphony Chamber Ensemble performing classic pieces from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, the Nutcracker, and more! Tickets are available here: http://goo.gl/AxbFtz

Monday, November 9, 2015

French Connection with Isabella Lippi

Media Release - for immediate release
November 9, 2015

ELGIN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA’S French Connection with Isabella Lippi
ESO Concertmaster, Isabella Lippi 
November 21 & 22, 2015


Elgin Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Isabella Lippi takes the stage under the direction of ESO Music Director Andrew Grams for the orchestra’s upcoming classical concerts on November 21 and 22, 2015 at the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin.  The concert will feature a piece by an American composer, John Adams.  Music Director Andrew Grams has programmed an American piece on every concert program. Adams’ Tromba Lontana (distant trumpet) was written as a fanfare.  Audience members will be pleasantly surprised at both the beauty and stillness of this fanfare. 

Also on the concert are two beautifully composed French pieces, Chausson’s Poèm and Berlioz’s Rêverie et Caprice.  For both of these pieces, violinist Isabella Lippi performs in the style of a French impressionist. Layers of passionate and beautiful sound will transform the Hemmens into a panoramic view of the French countryside. The Sibelius Symphony No. 2 is a four movement piece with a “grandiose” finish! Some call this piece the “Symphony of Independence” because at the time it was written, Finland was struggling to find their independence.  Don’t miss the “Musically Speaking Pre-concert Chats” where Andrew Grams will speak about all of the pieces and the meaning behind them. 

Violinist Isabella Lippi, who has been called "a standout, even among virtuosos," began performing in public at the age of 10 when she made her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She has since performed in numerous recitals and has appeared as guest soloist with orchestras in the United States, Mexico, Europe and the Far East.  Ms. Lippi has been a featured artist on a number of radio stations throughout the United States including WQXR in New York, WNIB in Chicago and KFAC in Los Angeles; and in a nationally distributed educational program entitled Encounters. She is featured on a CD on the Koch International label which contains complete works for violin and piano and the solo works by the late composer, Miklos Rozsa.  Born in Chicago, Isabella Lippi's teacher have included Robert Lipsett at the University of Southern California, Dorothy Delay at the Juilliard School and Almita and Roland Vamos in Chicago.

An audience favorite and graduate of the The Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute of Music, Andrew Grams is one of America’s most promising and talented young conductors and has already appeared with many of the great orchestras of the world.  Andrew Grams was recently named “2015 Conductor of the Year” by the Illinois Council of Orchestras.  Andrew’s style of conducting is exciting, dynamic and approachable. 

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra experience is unmatched for a fun, relaxing, cultural experience.  Patrons can enjoy a drink, time with friends and even shopping in the lobby of the Hemmens Cultural Center.  After Saturday night performances, the audience is invited to “Mingle with the Musicians” at the local restaurant, Elgin Public House.  From start to finish – the ESO brings world class, big city entertainment without the hassles of the big city. 


The ESO’s French Connection with Isabella Lippi will be performed at the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin on Saturday, November 21st at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 22nd at 2:30 p.m.  Tickets start at only $30 and can be purchased through the ESO Box Office (847-888-4000) or by visiting www.elginsymphony.orghttp://www.elginsymphony.org.  

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Actor-conductor Damon Gupton is in Elgin this weekend to help a buddy bring some seasonal sounds to town.

Actor-conductor Damon Gupton is in Elgin this weekend to help a buddy bring some seasonal sounds to town.

Gupton, friends with Elgin Symphony Orchestra Maestro Andrew Grams, will be narrating "The Composer Is Dead," the final piece in the "Musical Chills and Thrills" concert performances Halloween Saturday and Sunday. The bill also includes Arnold's "Tam O'Shanter Overture," Saint-Saëns' "Danse Macabre," Gounod's "Funeral March of a Marionette" and Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain."

"The Composer Is Dead" is a wry children's story/murder mystery about the killing of a composer in which the musical instruments are the main suspects. It's told through the music of Nathaniel Stookey and a story by children's book author Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler).
Gupton said the piece has things in common with works such as "Peter and the Wolf" which introduce components of an orchestra to a young audience.

"It's sort of fantastical," Gupton said.

And it will be the second time he has narrated the tale with Grams conducting, the first being summer 2014 with the Grant Park Orchestra outdoor in downtown Chicago.

"Andy picked the piece. He thought it was campy and a challenge for the orchestra. It's great and a lot of fun," Gupton said.

Gupton and Grams were suitemates and only acquaintances in New York City while attending the Juilliard School in the late 1990s, where Gupton was studying acting and Grams was studying music and conducting.

"It was a pretty intense program, and sometimes you'd be trying to take naps, and (Grams) would be practicing French horn in his dorm room, playing Wagner and Mahler," Gupton said.
The two men didn't really become friends until about three years after Juilliard when both were studying conducting at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado.

"We maybe said two words to each other during our four years at Juilliard, but out in Aspen I thought, he's actually cool," Gupton said.

By that time, Gupton was on two career paths — conducting, which he studied as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, and acting, which came about from an interest in the works of August Wilson and Lorraine Hansberry and performing in theater in college.

A Detroit native and trombonist, Gupton was planning to continue his music studies at Michigan, but when he didn't get a spot in the graduate conductor's program, and having not applied to other schools, he opted to audition for Juilliard's acting program.

"It turned out not getting into the music program at Michigan was the best thing that could have happened," Gupton said. "I took the time to attend drama school, and figured why not give acting a shot, too."

As such, Gupton's dual resume includes a fellowship with the Houston Symphony, being assistant conductor of the Kansas City Symphony, appearances with many other symphonies and leading the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra on a national tour.

His work in theater includes appearing as the male lead opposite Phylicia Rashad in New York in the world premiere of Tracey Scott Wilson's "The Story" and in the Broadway cast of the Pulitzer and Tony winning Chicago-based drama "Clybourne Park."

Like many an actor who was calling New York home, Gupton recalled one of his first television roles was on "Law and Order" where he played a chauffeur who was a prime suspect in a murder.
"I wanted him to be guilty," Gupton said.

Gupton said his most recent TV roles were as a lawyer (on the WE TV drama "The Divide") and as detectives on NBC's "Prime Suspect," Fox's "Empire" and on NBC's "The Player."

On that mystery drama set in Las Vegas, Gupton was portraying the best friend of the lead character. The show's loose ends apparently will remain untied, though, as the cast recently learned the season had been cut from the 13 ordered episodes to just nine, Gupton said, effectively canceling the run of a show that was drawing 7-8 million viewers each week.

Between projects now, he said he hopes to find more conducting opportunities. He also may work with Rashad on a stage production of August Wilson's "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" in L.A. and will be in the next film from writer-director Damien Chazelle. Gupton appeared in Chazelle's "Whiplash," for which J.K. Simmons won a best supporting actor Oscar as a bullying jazz music instructor.
The movie took some heat from critics for how it portrayed the worlds of jazz and music school, but Gupton said, "The movie was always about a fantasy. It's based on one guy's (Chazelle's) heightened experience. It is a bit extreme, but it's about obsession and its costs."

While obsession can be scary, of his own frightful experiences as a conductor, Gupton said the closest would be when the score wasn't on the stand one time (and had to be retrieved backstage) or the occasional pages of music sticking together.

"If there were a ghost (at a performance), it might be fun and in the moment," he said.
Actors probably are just a bit more superstitious than musicians, Gupton said. That includes a friend who is with Chicago's Steppenwolf who once asked Gupton to walk outside and around a theater where Gupton inadvertently said "Macbeth" backstage, which is supposed to invoke a curse on the playhouse.

As for Chicago itself, Gupton said he wouldn't mind performing with one of its acclaimed theaters, but for the Midwest's cursed weather.

"Maybe when it's warmer," he said.

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra "Musical Chills and Thrills" concerts are Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at the Hemmens Cultural Center in downtown Elgin. For tickets and information visit www.elginsymphony.org/concert/musical-chills-thrills/ or call 847-888-4000.
MDanahey@tribpub.com

Friday, October 23, 2015

Funny story...Damon Gupton WILL join ESO this Halloween Weekend!



THE ELGIN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA’S Musical Chills & Thrills
October 31 & November 1, 2015

Damon Gupton will indeed join Andrew Grams and the Elgin Symphony Orchestra for this fun Halloween concert weekend.  Due to Gupton’s scheduling conflicts for his role on NBC’s The Player, ESO previously announced that he would not be able to narrate at the concerts on October 31 and November 1.  However, this is show business and things change all the time!  Damon is BACK on the schedule for the Musical Chills & Thrills ESO concert weekend.  The Elgin Symphony Orchestra is happy to welcome critically acclaimed T.V. and movie actor Damon Gupton to the Hemmens stage on October 31 and November 1. 

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra will perform spooky, exciting and hilariously funny music this Halloween weekend!  Audience favorite, Maestro Andrew Grams leads you through hair-raising, short classical pieces at this casual concert.  A friend of Grams’ from the Juilliard School, Damon Gupton, will also narrate the witty and funny orchestra instrument tutorial The Composer is Dead.
The Composer Is Dead is a murder mystery about the killing of a composer. It takes place in an orchestra, and also is designed to help explain all of the instruments of the orchestra to the audience in a very clever and comical way.  The music is by composer Nathaniel Stookey and the story is by the famous author, Lemony Snicket.   Damon Gupton narrates this tale that is hilariously funny!
Other classical pieces featured are Arnold’s Tam O’Shanter Overture, Saint-Saëns’ Danse Macabre, Gounod’s Funeral March of a Marionette and Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain
This Musical Chills and Thrills concert consists of shorter pieces and a more casual atmosphere.  Patrons can shop in the lobby of the Hemmens, bring a beverage into the theater and mingle with other patrons.  The Musical Chills and Thrills concert features a full orchestra in a concert with spooky and hilariously funny music. 

Actor and conductor Damon Gupton is best known for his roles in NBC’s The Player, Suits, Empire, The Divide, Whiplash, Law and Order and Unfaithful!  Damon is a graduate from The Juilliard School and also has a background in musical conducting. 

An audience favorite and graduate of the Julliard School and the Curtis Institute of Music, Andrew Grams is one of America’s most promising and talented young conductors and has already appeared with many of the great orchestras of the world.  A frequent traveler, Mr. Grams has worked extensively with orchestras abroad, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra Ottawa, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn, BBC Symphony Orchestra London, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Sydney Symphony, Melbourne and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra dell’Accademia di Santa Cecillia, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Residentie Orchestra, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Malmö Symphony Orchestra.  Recently, cellist Lynn Harrell likened Grams to the conducting capacity to that of Ricardo Muti and James Levine.

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra experience is unmatched for a fun, relaxing, cultural experience.  Patrons can enjoy a drink, time with friends and even shopping in the lobby of the Hemmens Cultural Center.  After Saturday night performances, the audience is invited to “Mingle with the Musicians” at the local restaurant, Elgin Public House.  From start to finish – the ESO brings world class, big city entertainment without the hassles of the big city. 

The ESO’s Musical Chills & Thrills will be performed at the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin on Saturday, October 31st at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 1st at 2:30 p.m.   Tickets start at only $30 and can be purchased through the ESO Box Office (847-888-4000) or by visiting www.elginsymphony.org. Student tickets are available for $10 (plus a city tax) by calling the Box Office at 847-888-4000.  Must show student I.D. when picking up the ticket.






Monday, October 12, 2015

Out of this World - Sci-fi Movie Music


October 16, 2015 / 7:30 p.m.
Schaumburg Prairie Center for the Arts
October 17, 2015 / 7:30 p.m.
October 18, 2015 / 2:30 p.m.
Hemmens Cultural Center

Matthew Kraemer, conductor
Dundee-Crown High School Chamber Choir under the direction of Lisa Bettcher.

Strauss – Also sprach Zarathustra (Fanfare from 2001: A Space Odyssey)
Silvestri – Suite from Back to the FutureCuster –Star Trek Through the Years
Giacchino –Star Trek Into Darkness
Horner –Suite No. 1 from AliensWilliams –Close Encounters of the Third KindStrauss –Blue Danube Waltz (2001: A Space Odyssey)
Williams –Music from Star Wars

This sci-fi concert connects you to music that brings science fiction to life. Hear music from si-fi classics such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Back to the Future and more!