Elmhurst Symphony Announces New Executive Director Gregory Hughes

Experienced Fundraiser and Arts Administrator to Lead Elmhurst Symphony Strategy and Growth

ELMHURST — The Elmhurst Symphony Association (ESA) is proud to announce Gregory Hughes as the organization’s new Executive Director. Mr. Hughes began a transition period in April, and assumed the full responsibilities of his role on July 1, 2022.

“The Elmhurst Symphony’s selection of Gregory Hughes is the result of a five-month search process conducted by the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors,” ESO President Linda Kozak said. “From a field of diverse candidates from across the nation, three were interviewed in depth, and provided references that were checked by the committee members. We are extremely pleased with the results and look forward to Greg’s leadership as a fundraiser and marketer.”

A classically-trained musician and nonprofit leader, Greg brings more than a decade of experience in marketing, donor development, and arts administration to the Elmhurst Symphony Association. Prior to joining the ESA, Hughes served in fundraising roles with Human Rights Watch, Foundations of Music, and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Mr. Hughes continues to serve as the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Lakeview Orchestra, a position he has held since 2013.

“I’m very excited and honored to be joining the team of the venerable Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra as it looks ahead to nearly 65 years of sharing vibrant performances of orchestral music in the Western suburbs,” Hughes said. “It’s a privilege to serve as the Executive Director, and to inherit such a well-managed institution from Cynthia Krainc and the board of directors. I’d like to thank Maestro Stephen Alltop, the board of directors, musicians, staff, and community of supporters for the warm welcome. I look forward to an exciting future of growth and great music-making.”

“The Symphony is in very good hands with Greg,” remarked outgoing Executive Director Cynthia Krainc in her farewell address to ESO patrons.

“I look forward to working with Greg,” said ESO Music Director and Conductor Stephen Alltop. “His experienced background and immediate connection with our patrons bodes well for a promising future of this great organization.”

About the Elmhurst Symphony

The Elmhurst community has a long and proud tradition of coming together to enjoy well-performed symphonic music. The encouragement and generous financial support of the community has allowed the symphony to provide quality concerts for 60 years. In the 1940s the Elmhurst Community Theatre Orchestra provided music between sets of summer plays at the Elmhurst Community Theatre. They also performed at schools, churches, parks and other civic functions. From 1959 to 1961 the Theatre Orchestra transitioned into the current organization led by its first Music Director John Lazich. The first performance of the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra was on November 19, 1961.

The last 30 years has seen the successful accomplishment of more diverse and complex musical challenges and more and more talented professional musicians becoming a part of our rich symphonic traditions. We are especially proud of the contributions of Music Director Dale Clevenger (1981-1995) to the growth of the ESO. The growing reputation of the Elmhurst Symphony has expanded enormously with the nationally-renowned leadership of Dr. Stephen Alltop who has been the Music Director since 1995.