July 28, 2016

A Homecoming

The next three weeks will be a homecoming for a series of internationally acclaimed soloists, as the Festival welcomes back pianists Stephen Hough and Kirill Gerstein, and violinist Christian Tetzlaff.

The Festival is known for presenting a mix of emerging and established guest artists each summer. Already this year, we’ve seen rising stars like pianist Joho Pohjonen, soprano Alisa Jordheim in Michael Torke’s Book of Proverbs or Dane Thomas, the impressive tenor from The Epic of Gilgamesh.

The next three weeks will be a homecoming for a series of internationally acclaimed soloists, as the Festival welcomes back pianists Stephen Hough and Kirill Gerstein, and violinist Christian Tetzlaff.

Up first: British piano sensation Stephen Hough will perform Rachmaninov’s popular Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini on August 3. Of the music’s famous 18th variation, Carlos Kalmar explained, “Rachmaninov takes a simple theme by the 19th century Italian virtuoso violinist Niccolo Paganini, turns it upside down, puts it in a major key, slows it down and suddenly it becomes this exquisite beautiful melody…It’s an amazing piece of music and Stephen plays it brilliantly.”

Kirill Gerstein’s appearance for the Festival’s much anticipated Tchaikovsky Spectacular weekend is a perfect marriage of artist and material. A highlight of the program will be the “re-discovered” 1879 version of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto. Published last year by the Tchaikovsky Museum and Archive in Russia, in honor of the 175th anniversary of the composer’s birth and the 140th anniversary of the concerto’s premiere, Gerstein and the Grant Park Orchestra will play the version of the composition that Tchaikovsky himself conducted.

Internationally recognized violinist Christian Tetzlaff is a hands-down Festival favorite, having performed with the Grant Park Orchestra four times over the past ten years. On August 17, the violinist returns once more to play Mendelssohn’s lyrical and flowing Violin Concerto in E Minor.

“All three of these performers are at the top of their career,” said Kalmar. “Festival audiences have come to know them over the years and each of the artists look forward to playing for them in this stunning outdoor venue.”

We can’t wait.