Chicago's Grant Park Music Festival Kicks Off in July
Summer in Chicago continues this July with the Grant Park Music Festival, led by Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar and the Grammy Award-nominaTed Grant Park Orchestra, along with Chorus Director Christopher Bell and the Grant Park Chorus in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago's Millennium Park. The Festival will bring performances by outstanding guest conductors and guest artists from around the world, in a month of exciting programming that includes a world premiere commission, a live concert screening of Frozen Planet, the latest hit series from BBC/Discovery Channel, a tribute concert to Broadway and Hollywood legend, Frank Loesser and other Festival favorites.
All concerts are free and take place on Wednesday and Friday evenings at 6:30 p.m., and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. (unless otherwise noted).
Throughout the season, the Festival will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Grant Park Chorus with a series of special events, including two world premiere commissions for orchestra and chorus and the release of the Grant Park Chorus' first-ever a cappella recording. Entitled Songs of Smaller Creatures and other American Choral Works, the CD features Christopher Bell leading the chorus in works by American composers Abbie Betinis, Paul Crabtree, David Del Tredici, Stacy Garrop, Ned Rorem, Lee Kesselman and Eric Whitacre. The recording will be available for sale at performances of the Grant Park Music Festival and through Cedille Records.
July begins with the annual Independence Day Celebration under the baton of Christopher Bell (July 4). Other highlights this month include a world premiere commission for the Grant Park Music Festival by American composer Sebastian Currier (July 6 and 7); the sequel to Planet Earth Live! called Frozen Planet in Concert, a live concert performance of the hugely successful BBC/Discovery Channel documentary led by guest conductor and composer George Fenton (July 11). The month continues with Perfectly Frank: From Broadway to Hollywood, celebrating the music of Frank Loesser, led by returning guest conductor Kevin Stites (July 13 and 14) and featuring an acclaimed quartet of Broadway vocalists-Marin Mazzie, Rebecca Luker, Jason Danieley and Howard McGillin.
The last two weeks of July include Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances with guest conductor Rossen Milanov and violinist Mikhail Simonyan both making their Festival debuts (July 18); Rossini's Stabat Mater with guest artists Jonita Lattimore, Jennifer Holloway, René Barbera and Ryan McKinny (July 20 and 21); Frozen in Time with guest conductor James Gaffigan making his Festival debut and guest soloist Martin Grubinger on percussion (July 25); and Beethoven's Fifth Symphony with guest conductor Jun Märkl and pianist Pascal Rogé (July 27 and 28).
Memberships to the Grant Park Music Festival are still available. Most membership levels include specific reserved seats or general seating in a reserved section of the Pavilion for all Grant Park Music Festival concerts. Memberships with seating benefits begin at $140.
For more information about the Grant Park Music Festival including membership and group seating, visit grantparkmusicfestival.com or call 312.742.7638. For additional information, visit Grant Park Music Festival on Facebook or follow the Festival on Twitter @gpmf.
GRANT PARK MUSIC FESTIVAL JULY SCHEDULE
Independence Day Celebration
Wednesday, July 4, 6:30 p.m.
Grant Park Orchestra; Christopher Bell, Conductor; Paul Corona, Baritone
Bernstein, Candide: Overture
Gould, Amber Waves
Williams, Olympic Fanfare and Theme
Copland, Old American Songs
Grofé, Mississippi Suite
Gershwin, Girl Crazy: Overture
Wendell, Sea to Shining Sea
Tchaikovsky, 1812 Overture
Sousa, The Stars and Stripes Forever