The Grant Park Orchestra
About The Grant Park Orchestra
The Grant Park Orchestra was formed in 1944 when the Chicago Park District assembled a single resident orchestra under the direction of Principal Conductor Nikolai Malko to perform at the Grant Park Music Festival (which began in 1935 and featured a series of visiting orchestras). Since then, other prestigious conductors have held the position, including Irwin Hoffman, Leonard Slatkin, David Zinman, Zdnek Macal and Hugh Wolff. In 2000, Carlos Kalmar was named the Festival’s Principal Conductor.
Today, the Grant Park Orchestra draws its musicians from different orchestras and musical institutions throughout the United States. Each summer, all of the orchestra members gather in Millennium Park for a ten-week long season consisting of intensive rehearsals and performances. During the year, the musicians can be found across the country performing with major orchestras, teaching at numerous universities and appearing frequently in concert stages across the country. Some organizations represented by Grant Park Orchestra musicians include the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Metropolitan Opera, the Buffalo, Colorado, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Milwaukee, New Mexico, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Richmond, San Antonio, Seattle, and Utah Symphonies. The Grant Park Orchestra was nominated for a Grammy award in 2004 for its recording entitled Robert Kurka: Symphonic Works.