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Elgin Symphony Orchestra to expand free ticket offer for federal workers affected by shutdown

'A Night in Old Vienna' to waltz onto stage

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra expands its offer of free concert tickets for January performances to include all federal government workers affected by the shutdown.

“We hope this program of lively and exuberant music, performed by the world-class ESO, will transport concertgoers beyond everyday worries to a place of calm and relaxation – music is a powerful healer,” Diane Handler, the ESO’s director of marketing, stated in a news release.

While supplies last, the ESO will provide one free ticket and up to three guest tickets to each federal government employee – furloughed or working without pay – who presents a valid government ID.

Music Director Andrew Grams will conduct “A Night in Old Vienna,” a program of his favorite Strauss waltzes and polkas, at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 26 and 2:30 p.m. Jan. 27, at Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way in downtown Elgin. While supplies last, the free tickets will be offered to walk-up patrons only, starting at 6:30 p.m. for the Jan. 26 concert, and 1:30 p.m. for the Jan. 27 concert. More information is offered at ElginSymphony.Org.

The concert will feature the light-hearted and lively waltzes and polkas of Johann Strauss II, including the “Overture to Die Fledermaus,” “Tritsch-Tratsch,” “Pizzicato” and “On the Beautiful Blue Danube.”

In conjunction with the concert, Grams will conduct an orchestra clinic at Bartlett High School on Jan. 24, and the ESO will offer a free open rehearsal at 7:15 p.m. that evening; registration is required at ElginSymphony.Org.

Concert tickets start at $30 for adults, and $11 for student tickets. Valet service is available and there is free parking. For more information, visit ElginSymphony.Org or call the ESO office at 847-888-4000.

Saturday concertgoers are invited after the performance to Mingle with the Musicians at Bennigan’s in Elgin.

With a combination of intensity, enthusiasm and technical clarity, American conductor Andrew Grams has built a reputation for his dynamic concerts, ability to connect with audiences, and long-term orchestra building, the release stated.

He’s the winner of 2015 Conductor of the Year honors 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 Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Dallas Symphony and Houston Symphony.

Born in Maryland, Grams began studying the violin when he was 8 years old. In 1999, he received a bachelor’s degree in violin performance from The Juilliard School, and, in 2003, received a conducting degree from the Curtis Institute of Music. He served as assistant conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra.

The ESO has been named Illinois Professional Orchestra of the Year a record-setting four times – in 1988, 1999, 2005 and 2016.

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