Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago 2012: Highlights and Special Events.

June 13, 2012

by Carole Kuhrt Brewer, Chicago Now

CHICAGO Wednesday, June 13, 2012. The Grant Park Music Festival kicks off its 78th season tonight at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.  In honor of the season's opening Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago City Council and the State of Illinois House of Representatives have declared Wednesday, June 13 as Grant Park Music Festival Day in Chicago.

The day will include an Open Rehearsal at 11 a.m. and a performance at 6:30 p.m. at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, featuring masterpieces by Elgar and Dvořák.

This summer, also celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Grant Park Chorus with a series of special events, including two world premiere commissions for orchestra and chorus by American composers Michael Gandolfi (June 15 and 16) and Sebastian Currier (July 6 and 7).

The 2012 Festival embarks on an ambitious ten-week season of 30 concerts today through August 18.  “Every year, the Festival integrates the best of the local arts scene and the wider national and international arts community,” said Executive Director Paul Winberg.  “This season, we will collaborate with a variety of partners including the Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera, the Harris Theater and the Paris Opéra Ballet, as well as other Chicago artists, music schools and choruses, offering a season of exciting programming that reflects our vibrant cultural community.”

Highlights for June 2012.

Opening Night.
Wednesday, June 13, 6:30 PM
The season begins with Carlos Kalmar joined by Festival favorite, German cellist Alban Gerhardt and the Grant Park Orchestra, performing masterpieces by Elgar (Cello Concerto) and Dvořák (Symphony No. 8).

An Exaltation of Place.
Friday, June 15, 6:30 PM and Saturday, June 16, 7:30 PM
The Grant Park Chorus begins its 50th anniversary celebration with two performances of a world-premiere commission by American composer, Michael Gandolfi, inspired by Chicago history.

Other June highlights include:

Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony with guest pianist Steven Osborne making his Festival debut (June 20 and 22);

An American in Paris program with guest conductor Koen Kessels making his Festival debut (June 23);

A collaboration with the Paris Opéra Ballet indoors at the Harris Theater that will also be simulcast to audiences outside at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion (June 27);

A Golden Anniversary Choral Spectacular featuring Carlos Kalmar and Christopher Bell sharing the podium for two unforgettable evenings (June 29 and 30).

July Highlights:

The annual Independence Day Celebration under the baton of Christopher Bell (July 4).

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).

Perfectly Frank: From Broadway to Hollywood, celebrating the music of Frank Loesser, led by returning guest conductor Kevin Stites (July 13 and 14);

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);

Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony with guest conductor Jun Märkl and pianist Pascal Rogé (July 27 and 28).

Dates, Time and Location.

All concerts take place at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park on Wednesday and Friday evenings at 6:30 p.m., and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. (unless otherwise noted).

Memberships are Available.

Admission to the Grant Park Musical is free but memberships are available for those wishing special seating privileges. Memberships with seating benefits begin at $140. For more information about the Grant Park Music Festival including membership and group seating, visit the Grant Park Music Festival or call 312 742 7638.