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Mary Stolper, PrincipalFlute

Mary Stolper

Mary Stolper

Hometown:

Champaign, Illinois

Where you live now:

Chicago, Illinois

Year you joined the Grant Park Music Festival:

1982 as a sub on piccolo; 1984 to 1997, and 2001 to present

Where did you study?

Arizona State University, Northwestern University

Career highlight?

Performances with George Solti in Russia and Hungary, and chamber concerts with Pierre Boulez

What would you be if you were not a musician?

A lounge singer

If you could sit down and chat with any musical figure (dead or alive) who would it be?

Amy Cheney Beach

Can you share any memorable stories about your experience with the Grant Park Music Festival?

I started the GPMF softball team in 1984. I supplied bags, bats, gloves, uniforms and balls. We played WFMT (they used to be located just across the Fairmont hotel) and the CSO in the field at the Petrillo Shell.

What do you love most about your instrument?  

I sit in the middle of the orchestra, perfect to hear everyone.

What would you be if you were not a musician?  

A full time gardener and flower shop owner.

Can you share any memorable stories about your experience with the Grant Park Music Festival?   

The night of the bugs, and the rehearsals with the air and water show!

What’s on your playlist at the moment?   

Banjo music

Any hobbies?  

Many—gardening, cooking, therapy dog visits to special-needs people, and paddle boarding on Lake Michigan.

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