Free Citywide Celebration MAKE MUSIC CHICAGO Returns June 21st For 12th Season

Free, day-long, citywide festival is part of Classical Music Chicago, celebrated innovator and presenter of acclaimed, free to the public, concert series

By: Jun. 08, 2023
Free Citywide Celebration MAKE MUSIC CHICAGO Returns June 21st For 12th Season

Classical Music Chicago spreads the beauty of music in multiple series, including the one-day fete of the musician within us all. Begun in summer 2011, Make Music Chicago is a citywide DIY music festival that invites and draws together people throughout the community in a celebration of music making, no holds barred. Age, ability, professional or amateur, preferred musical style or genre are not of import - all that matters is a love for music and musicmaking.


Open to everyone who wants to take part, all are invited to take to the streets, parks, plazas, porches - even one's own backyard 0 to share music with family, friends, neighbors and passersby. Additionally, music lovers can attend free performances, play-alongs, sing-alongs, kids' events, introductory music lessons and more.


Planned performance locations include: Jay Pritzker Pavilion; Bucktown Wicker Park Library; Touhy Park; Calvin House; Uptown Branch Chicago Public Library; Depaul Community Music Division, Allen Hall (Lincoln Park); Little Village Library; The Newberry Library Presents at Washington Square Park; Fourth Presbyterian Church; O'Briens Riverwalk Cafe; Seventeenth Church of Christ Scientist, Chicago; Harold Washington Library Center, (and many other Chicago Public Library branches); and The Spoke & Bird. For a complete list of locations, listing of performers and activities, and rain accommodations, check here.


Continuing what have become annual traditions, Pianos in the Parks, the Windows Serenades, and Sousapalooza will also continue. Visit the website for more details on these the Make Music Chicago events. Pianos in the Parks - six pianos will be placed in parks across the city on June 21st - available for anyone to play until August 1st. Those who have never played before, but want to try it out, can stop by for a free introductory lesson during one of the scheduled times. Those with some experience can feel free to sit down and play any time during each park's opening hours. Window Serenades share the joy of live music with isolated elderly people, bringing solo musicians or small groups to play outside nursing home windows for those who request a song. Sousapalooza brings together hundreds of brass, wind and percussion players to come together and sightread the music of the March King, John Philip Sousa.


Based on the French Fête de la Musique founded in 1982 and one of France's most important national holidays, Make Music Chicago was first presented in 2011. Chicago joins 800 cities in 120 countries across the globe, making the Fête de la Musique the world's largest single day music festival. Make Music Chicago is also a member of the Make Music Alliance, connecting Chicago with over 60 other U.S. cities in celebrating this day of music.

Pianos in the Parks is presented in partnership with the Chicago Park District as part of their Night Out in the Parks program. Make Music Chicago is grateful for the generous support of its sponsors:

Since 1976, Classical Music Chicago (CMC) has offered a variety of unforgettable classical music performances by up and coming and established artists throughout the Chicago community. A celebrated innovator from the very beginning and one of the first to focus on the importance of accessibility, presenting engaging concerts in various formats and venues free of charge, CMC is the 2016 union of two distinguished Chicago music institutions: the International Music Foundation (IMF), founded by Chicagoan Al Booth, and Rush Hour Concerts (RHC) founded by pianist and civic leader Deborah Sobol in 2000. Over the next few seasons, CMC will celebrate landmark anniversaries of each of its acclaimed series, beginning with the year-long 25th anniversary of the Rush Hour Concerts in 2024-2025, the 50th Anniversary of the Do-It-Yourself Messiah concert in and Make Music Chicago in 2025, the and the 50th anniversary of the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts in fall 2026.   IMF comprised the Do-It-Yourself Messiah at Orchestra Hall begun in 1976, and the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts, modeled on the series launched by Dame Myra Hess during World War II, to provide young artists with a performance outlet and present top caliber concerts free to the public.

Begun in 1977, such acclaimed musicians as sopranos Elizabeth Frutal, June Anderson and Jo Ann Pickens; baritone Richard Cowan; oboist Alex Klein; guitarists Eliot Fisk and Paul Henry; violinists Rachel Barton Pine, Jennifer Frautschi, Jennifer Koh, Robyn Bollinger, and Tessa Lark; cellists Steven Isserlis, Nathanel Rosen, Jeffrey Solow and Bion Tsang; pianists David Shrader, Jeffrey Kahane, Angela Hewitt, Barry Douglas, Daniel Trifonov, and Max Levinson; and ensembles including the Vermeer Quartet, the Chicago Bassoon Quartet, His Majesties Clerkes, the Enzo String Quartet, and Orchestra Sinfonica Haydn di Bolzano e Trentoto, to name a few, have graced the Hess stage. In 1982, Live Music Now! - currently Young People's Concerts - was founded by Booth with the assistance of his friend Yehudi Menuhin to bring professional musicians into the Chicago Public Schools. Students in grades K – 8 experience live performances, which have grown to reach more than 90 Chicago Public Schools annually.

Rush Hour Concerts, begun in 2000 as a welcoming summer concert format that removed accessibility barriers, in 2011 introduced Make Music Chicago, a citywide, daylong celebration of music making held on the summer solstice. It was followed by the addition of a professional ensemble residency program in Chicago's neighborhoods in 2012. The 2023 Rush Hour Concerts at the beautiful St. James Cathedral begin in June.

The latest addition to Classical Music Chicago's roster of offerings is The Concerts for Well-being and Rejuvenation, bringing the healing power of music to people and places who do not have access to live performances. CMC partners onsite with health care facilities, community centers, meals programs and other organizations where music can make a vital difference. promoting community, creative interaction and therapeutic benefits through 45-minute interactive performances followed by a Q & A with the artists.


Review: AMERICAN PSYCHO: The Musical at Kokandy Productions Photo
Review: AMERICAN PSYCHO: The Musical at Kokandy Productions

Kokandy Productions’ Chicago premiere of AMERICAN PSYCHO: The Musical is a delectable, campy romp. Producing Artistic Director Derek Van Barham’s production is a mainly bloodless vision for the bloody tale of serial killer finance bro Patrick Bateman — and it’s an approach that works incredibly well for the material. I know that AMERICAN PSYCHO: The Musical was short-lived on Broadway and that that production was a literal bloodbath. The fact that Kokandy’s production substitutes red confetti for stage blood is a microcosm of how well this scrappy interpretation of the musical works: By making the show more camp, less horror story, audiences are then free to indulge in the satire and fun.

The Annoyance Theatre to Present THE EVIL THAT MEN DO Beginning in October Photo
The Annoyance Theatre to Present THE EVIL THAT MEN DO Beginning in October

The Evil that Men Do brings together the best talent at the Annoyance to create a truly unforgettable theatrical experience. Get ticket and event information here!

WHO CHISELED THAT? by Merit Kahn Begins US Tour in Chicago Photo
WHO CHISELED THAT? by Merit Kahn Begins US Tour in Chicago

'Who Chiseled That?' by Merit Kahn will begin performances in Chicago this October ahead of a US tour.

Review: THE LEHMAN TRILOGY at TimeLine Theatre Company/Broadway In Chicago Photo
Review: THE LEHMAN TRILOGY at TimeLine Theatre Company/Broadway In Chicago

THE LEHMAN TRILOGY is a sweeping play that covers 164 years of history as it weaves together fact and fiction to chart the rise and fall of Lehman Brothers. The play’s title mirrors the ambition of the piece: It has a run-time of over three hours that unfolds in three acts — all performed by only three actors. The trilogy in the title is thus a literal reflection of the play’s structure and the roles, but it’s also suggestive of the piece’s mythical nature. Likewise, playwright Stefano Massani’s script (adapted by Ben Power) has a rhythmic storytelling style; the actors often narrate their own stories and actions in a chamber theater type of presentation. Although the run time is long, the fact that THE LEHMAN TRILOGY covers so much ground means it remains interesting throughout — although I found I was ultimately more intellectually than emotionally stimulated.

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