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Maestro moves: Cleveland gofer lands Chicago orchestra

Andrew Grams, who started out as assistant conductor with the Cleveland Orch, is the new music director of the Elgin Symphony, in suburban Chicago. He’s 35.

andrew grams

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  1. The Elgin Symphony’s previous music director, Robert Hanson, was a remarkable musician who brought the Elgin Symphony to significant heights. We worked together several times, and when it had been announced of his departure, I thought, ‘who could fill his shoes?’ I am sure Maestro Grams will take the ESO to new heights in the 21st century, and congratulate him and the orchestra for this new partnership.

    • Robert Fitzpatrick says:

      Agreed on both counts. Robert Hanson’s son George is also an excellent conductor.

  2. I can’t imagine that Maestro Grams would appreciate being called as a “gofer.” I assure you that there are hundreds of young conductors who would love to be the Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra.

    • Robert Fitzpatrick says:

      Here are some of the other “gofers” who worked as Assistant Conductor for the CO: Jaja Ling, Yoel Levi, Michael Stern, Alan Gilbert, etc., etc., and last but certainly not least, the eminent Robert Shaw. At least the leadline didn’t spell it with “ph.”

      • Theodore McGuiver says:

        Here are some former Bayreuth ‘gofers’: Horst Stein, Christian Thielemann, David Syrus, Ed Spanjaard, Gabor Ötvös, Cornelius Meister…not to mention the originals: Felix Mottl etc. Don’t knock it…

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t forget Jimmy Gaffigan, who seems to be doing okay these days as well. Andrew is a terrific conductor with a bright future.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mmmm….James Levine?

      • Robert Fitzpatrick says:

        Of course. There was once a fabulous PBS documentary which showed George Szell teaching James Levine how to conduct the beginning of Strauss Don Juan. Jimmy now has his own gofers. (The towels, the towels…)

        • Robert Fitzpatrick says:

          Andrew Grams has lots of talent and a personality to match. It will be interesting see where this appointment leads. Congrats Maître André.

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