Oak Park River Forest Symphony Orchestra cellist Alex Groesch at rehearsal of his Groesch Symphony #3 in G minor at Concordia College, March 8, 2023. | Todd A. Bannor

Alex Groesch grew up in St. Louis and started playing cello at the age of 6. After he graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2017, he moved to Forest Park to be with Anne, now his wife, who was in medical school at Loyola University in Maywood. When he arrived, Groesch checked to see if there was a community orchestra and if they had need of a cellist. He has played with the Symphony of Oak Park & River Forest ever since.

Groesch started composing when he was a senior in high school. “I started out just dabbling and it grew from there. I wrote my first symphony the summer after high school graduation.”

When asked about his process, Groesch described how he “works backwards by writing the melody, figuring out which instruments will play, and determining how they will hand off to each other.” Then he works out the harmony and the background. “I listen to a lot of Tchaikovsky and Dvořák. I’ve always liked how emotional and dramatic Romantic music is and strive to mimic that style.”

Just 10 years after he started composing, Groesch can’t believe his Symphony No. 3 is premiering next month. “It’s crazy. To have the premiere at Symphony Center where the Chicago Symphony Orchestra plays is like a dream come true. I feel very lucky that everyone had faith in me and gave me a chance.”

When Groesch isn’t playing or composing, he owns his own video production company called Butterfly Productions. 

“I chose the name because of the butterfly effect. I liked the idea that a small thing can make a big impact.” Together, he and his wife enjoy doing arts and crafts and making gifts for friends and family. Groesch also enjoys running and playing with his beagle Bonnie.

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