Grant Park Music Festival Announces 2008 Season

April 08, 2008

Pinchas Zukerman's Festival debut; U.S. Premiere of ‘A Throw of Dice' film with orchestral accompaniment; Venetian Night Luciano Pavarotti Tribute Concert; and Opera Week, Among 2008 season highlights.

Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival — the Grammy®-nominated Grant Park Orchestra and the award-winning Grant Park Chorus led by Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar and Chorus Director Christopher Bell — will celebrate its 74th annual season with a wide ranging series of classical music concerts and special events at the state-of-the-art Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, and in other select city locations, June 11–August 16, 2008. The concerts, which are free and open to the public, will generally take place on Wednesday and Friday evenings at 6:30 p.m., and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. 

“The Grant Park Music Festival experience is unparalleled,” says Artistic and General Director James W. Palermo. “We’re set in one of the world’s best outdoor summer concert venues — the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Add to that the thrill of hearing the great classics of the symphonic repertory with our amazing sound system, the Chicago skyline in full view, performed by legendary guest artists and Carlos Kalmar with our own world-class Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus — and all for free. That’s an experience that’s hard to beat. The Grant Park Music Festival has become not only the hottest ticket in town, but one of Chicago’s vital artistic treasures, an irreplaceable part of our lives each summer.”

A number of new programs have been implemented this season to accommodate increased demand for reserved seating and to enhance the overall concert-going experience. “Wednesday, Friday and Saturday Select Series” memberships (similar to the 2007 “8’s Series” membership and priced this year at only $80) feature guaranteed access to the reserved seating area for eight Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday concerts at which members will receive usher-guided access to some of the Pavilion’s best available seats 10 minutes prior to each concert. This series augments the traditional Grant Park Music Festival membership program, which provides guaranteed seating for all 30 concerts. Traditional memberships are now on sale, but have become extremely popular, sometimes selling quickly. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday Select Series memberships are an alternative for those interested in either attending on a particular day of the week or looking for an extremely affordable membership option. Another addition to the Festival this season is the “PlayBack” programming, where on three selected evenings, specially chosen guest artists return to the stage immediately following concerts to present bonus, intimate solo or chamber performances of works of their choosing.