Elgin Symphony, Andrew Grams, and Brahms

Posted on: April 6, 2017

“In an effort to demystify classical music, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra hosted an ‘Inside the Music’ session,” writes Mike Danahey in Monday’s Elgin Courier-News (Illinois). “The gathering explored Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 4, which was one of the works to be featured in full concerts Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at the Hemmens Cultural Center. It was also played in full after ESO Music Director Andrew Grams gave his music lesson Friday. Taking the stage at the Hemmens Friday, Grams looked a bit like a mid-20th century crooner.… The business casual look for Grams set the informal mood for the evening as he talked a little bit about Brahms’ life and a lot about how Symphony No. 4 was put together. An actor dressed as Brahms was in the lobby before the talk to offer a glimpse into the composer’s personal life … It all comes together in what The Guardian calls a ‘despairing, troubling and astonishing symphony’ … That I read on my own after attending the ‘Inside the Music’ session and after hearing the ESO play the piece again Sunday. To use Grams’ term, I was ‘geeking out’ a bit about Brahms, by being intrigued enough to find out more.”

Posted April 6, 2017

In photo: Elgin Symphony Orchestra Music Director Andrew Grams