News & Stories

2023 Grant Park Music Festival Season Announcement

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

The Grant Park Music Festival steps to the vanguard of classical music with a season inspired by the bounty of America’s diversity. Celebrating a range of conductors, composers and guest artists, the series reflects the bustling metropolis of Chicago and the greater American tapestry.   

The season includes a thrilling lineup of classical favorites such as the Beethoven Symphony No. 7, the Brahms Requiem, Pictures at an Exhibition, and the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1. The lineup offers fun-filled evenings of lighter fare, including Rhapsody in Blue, Bravo Broadway, and Cirque Returns, with the return of the high-flying, death-defying aerialist team Troupe Vertigo. The Festival also welcomes the return of some Festival favorites, including the incomparable violin virtuoso Augustin Hadelich and piano legend Stephen Hough.  

CHICAGO (January 10, 2023) – The Grant Park Music Festival today announced its 2023 season under the leadership of Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar. The Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus will present a ten-week series that runs from June 14—August 19 at Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion and other venues throughout the city. Christopher Bell returns as Festival Chorus Director. 

All concerts are free and most will take place on Wednesday and Friday evenings at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. (Exceptions include a concert on Thursday, June 29 and no concerts on June 30 and July 1). A complete schedule follows and can be found at 

The Grant Park Music Festival is presented by the Grant Park Orchestral Association with key support from the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. 


· COMPOSER HIGHLIGHTS – Fostering equitable representation in the classical music field is a priority for the Grant Park Music Festival. The 2023 season aspires to better reflect our community by presenting more works by women and people of color, including Clarice Assad, Unsuk Chin, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Anna Clyne, Valerie Coleman, William Dawson, Edmond Dédé, Xavier Foley, Vivian Fung, Elaine Hagenberg, Arturo Marquez, Wynton Marsalis, Jessie Montgomery, Carlos Simon, Charlie Smalls, William Grant Still, Joel Thompson, and Joan Tower. 

· GUEST ARTIST HIGHLIGHTS – The Festival’s commitment to diversity extends to fostering a more equitable environment for music professionals, including the artists who grace our stages. This season, the Grant Park Music Festival welcomes a number of gifted women and people of color, including Olivia Boen, Michelle Cann, Kevin John Edusei, Xaver Foley, Zlatomir Fung, Stewart Goodyear, Maeve Höglund, Stefan Jackiw, LaKisha Jones, Siena Licht Miller, Ken-David Masur, Tai Murray, Gemma New, Valentina Peleggi, Masumi Per Rostad, Lindsey Reynolds, Jordan de Souza, Scarlett Strallen, Corinne Wallace-Crane, Joyce Yang, and Esther Yoo. 

· PREMIERES – The 2023 season features two world premieres by American composer Xavier Foley: a string quartet written for the Festival String Fellows, and a work for double bass and piano featuring the composer with pianist Joyce Yang (July 16). The Grant Park Orchestra will also play the Illinois premiere (August 4-5) of a work by American composer Jessie Montgomery, her viola concerto titled L.E.S. Characters, which was co-commissioned by the Grant Park Music Festival in 2020. The work features soloist Masumi Per Rostad. 

· GUEST CONDUCTOR DEBUTS – The 2023 Festival proudly introduces a new crop of conducting talent to the Pritzker stage, including Canadian conductor Jordan de Souza, who is active in European opera houses and is beginning to make a name for himself in the United States. Rising-star Italian conductor Valentina Peleggicurrently music director of the Richmond Symphony, makes her Festival debut; French conductor Ludovic Morlot, formerly of the Seattle Symphony, makes his Festival debut; German conductor Kevin John Edusei, who is appearing with major orchestras across Europe, leads the Grant Park Orchestra in July. Ken-David Masur is music director of the Milwaukee Symphony and is a champion of contemporary music. Broadway veteran Gerald Steichen makes his Festival debut in the ever-popular Broadway program, and Eric Jacobsen, co-founder of the dynamic classical ensemble The Knights, makes his Festival debut. 

· GUEST ARTIST DEBUTS – In 2023, a number of celebrated artists make their Festival debuts, including two Chicago natives: violinist Tai Murray and soprano Olivia Boen, daughter of two longtime members of the Grant Park Orchestra. Other debuts include violinist Esther Yoo, cellist Zlatomir Fung, soprano Lindsey Reynolds, Broadway singers Scarlett Strallen and LaKisha Jones, tenor Miles Mykkanen, baritones Hugh Russell and Alex Desocio; bass Joseph Beutel, double-bass player Xavier Foley and Italian guitarist Aniello Desiderio. 

· RETURN APPEARANCES – Many friends of the Festival return during the 2023 season, including conductor David Danzmayr, music director of the Oregon Symphony and Chicago’s own Stephen Alltop, music director of the Apollo Chorus and the Elmhurst Symphony. The Festival also welcomes New Zealand conductor Gemma New. Other guest artists include Grant Park Orchestra Concertmaster Jeremy Black, violin virtuoso Stefan Jackiw, violin superstar Augustin Hadelich, violist Masumi Per Rostad, double-bass player Xavier Foley, soprano Maeve Höglund, mezzo-soprano Siena Licht Miller, alto Corinne Wallace-Crane, Broadway veteran Hugh Panaro, tenors John Matthew Myers, and bass David Govertsen, and pianists Stewart Goodyear, Michelle Cann, Grammy-winner Joyce Yang, and piano superstar Stephen Hough. 

· ARTISTS-IN-RESIDENCE – New this year, distinguished artists will come into the Festival atmosphere to create deeper engagement and a more enriching experience for local music students, Festival musicians, and the public.  

The 2023 season features two artist residencies: double-bass virtuoso and composer Xavier Foley shows off his range, serving as soloist with the Orchestra in music by Nina Rota (June 21) and as composer in the world premiere of his string quartet, written for the Festival String Fellows. Behind the scenes, Foley will provide a coaching session with the Fellows. He’ll also teach a composition masterclass (June 20) for students from the Merit School of Music and Access Contemporary Music, part of the Festival’s Visiting Masters series.

The Grammy Award-winning pianist Joyce Yang returns to the Festival to play Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (July 12) and Franz Liszt’s Totentanz (July 14-15). Ms. Yang’s residency includes a session with local piano students (a Visiting Masters event on July 11) and a performance with Xavier Foley featuring the world premiere of Foley’s new work for double bass and piano (July 16). Both works by Xavier Foley are Grant Park Music Festival commissions. As part of their residencies with the Festival, both artists will participate in the Pre-Concert Lectures series ahead of performances with the Grant Park Orchestra. 

· GRANT PARK CHORUS -- Christopher Bell will conduct the Grant Park Orchestra in a program titled An American Salute: Rhapsody in Blue (July 5). He will also lead the Grant Park Chorus in two neighborhood concerts: the South Shore Cultural Center (June 26) and Columbus Park Refectory (June 27), featuring a performance of Elaine Hagenberg’s Illuminare. Bell will also prepare the acclaimed chorus for a series of appearances with the Grant Park Orchestra, including Dvořák’s Stabat Mater (June 16-17); Mozart’s Ave verum corpus, Fauré’s Cantique de Jean Racine, and Poulenc’s Gloria (July 7-8); and Johannes Brahms’ A German Requiem (July 21-22). Lyric Opera of Chicago Chorus Master Michael Black will prepare the Grant Park Chorus in a true rarity: Mendelssohn’s The First Walpurgis Night (August 18-19). 


Festival Next reimagines the classical music experience, breaking the fourth wall to deliver a deeper engagement between audience and artist. This year, Festival Next features public master classes and recitals with visiting guest artists, as well as world-premiere commissions with composer residencies. 

The guest soloists who will participate in the 2023 Visiting Masters program includes: composer Xavier Foley (June 20), violinist Tai Murray (July 9) pianist Joyce Yang (July 11), soprano Maeve Höglund (July 22), and cellist Zlatomir Fung (July 25). All master classes are free and open to the public, and provide a fascinating deep-dive into the art of music making. 


The Grant Park Music Festival continues its commitment to Festival Connect, a comprehensive initiative aimed at providing music education and access for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Working with the Chicago Park District and its Night Out in the Parks program, Festival Connect engages Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods with performances by the Grant Park Orchestra, the Grant Park Chorus, and its String and Vocal Fellows. 

·  FESTIVAL STRING AND VOCAL FELLOWSHIP: This unique artist development program is aimed at increasing diversity and guiding young professionals toward successful careers in music. The Fellowship encompasses: 

o        The Festival String Fellowship program, composed of four string players who rehearse and perform with the Grant Park Orchestra and perform as a chamber ensemble as part of the Chicago Park District's Night Out in the Parks program. In addition, they receive mentoring from Carlos Kalmar, guest artists and other members of the orchestra, and serve as teaching artists for the Festival’s Classical Campers program. In 2023, they will also work with Resident composer Xavier Foley on a world-premiere composition written specifically for them to perform. 

o        Four Festival Vocal Fellows rehearse and perform with the Grant Park Chorus and receive mentoring from artistic leadership, including Chorus Director Christopher Bell, guest artists and Chorus members. Vocal fellows also perform with the Festival String Fellows in Night Out in the Parks programs.   

· GRANT PARK ORCHESTRA AND GRANT PARK CHORUS IN THE NEIGHBORHOODS: The Grant Park Orchestra will reprise its concert of Coleman, Saint-Saëns, and Tchaikovsky at the South Shore Cultural Center (June 30). Christopher Bell and the Grant Park Chorus will return to the South Shore Cultural Center (June 26) and the Columbus Park Refectory (June 27) for a program that includes the gorgeous choral work Illuminare by Elaine Hagenberg. These free concerts are a part of Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks program. 

· CLASSICAL CAMPERS: The Festival hosts Classical Campers, its popular half-day music immersion program for children ages 6-12, in collaboration with the Chicago Park District.  Throughout the season, nearly 2,000 campers from more than 30 different Chicago neighborhoods will learn about the instruments and sections of the orchestra with Festival educators; take part in hands-on musical activities, and conclude their day with a visit to a Festival rehearsal and talkback with Grant Park Orchestra members. Classical Campers often provides children with their first exposure to a live classical music performance.   

· YOUNG ARTISTS SHOWCASE: On Fridays at 5:30 p.m., before the Grant Park Orchestra takes the stage, audiences are treated to concerts by students from local music schools and summer music programs at the front of the Great Lawn at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. 

· OPEN LUNCHTIME REHEARSALS: Orchestra and chorus rehearsals take place June 13 through August 18, Tuesdays through Fridays (typically) between 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Rehearsals are free and open to the public. Audiences are welcome to sit in the Pavilion Seating Bowl. Festival docents will talk about the week’s concerts during rehearsal breaks.  

· BROADCAST: Ten concerts will be broadcast on 98.7WFMT, Chicago’s classical and fine arts radio station, and online at  


Memberships to the Grant Park Music Festival 2023 season are now available and include reserved access for every Festival concert along with premium benefits, such as access to concert receptions and events, and discounts on parking. The Festival also offers packages with fewer concerts that include reserved seats with complimentary exchange privileges, as well as Choose Your Own four or six concert series packages. Memberships begin at $99. 

In addition, every Grant Park Music Festival concert has seats that are free and open to the public. Seats in the Seating Bowl and on the Great Lawn are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Priority access to reserved seats in the Pavilion is available for groups of ten or more. Premium seating on the stage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in the Choral Balcony is available for groups of 50 or more. Group seating begins at $20 per person. 

For information about memberships and group seating or to learn more about the Grant Park Music Festival, visit or call 312.742.7647. For additional information, visit the Grant Park Music Festival Facebook page or follow the Festival on Twitter @gpmf. 


For nearly 90 years, the Grant Park Music Festival has been Chicago’s summer musical sensation, demonstrating that classical music performed by a world-class orchestra and chorus can have a transformative impact on the city. Showcased in the city’s most spectacular setting, the Festival continues to be the summer gathering place for all of Chicago. The Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park is the official home of the Grant Park Music Festival, with free seats available for every concert.

The Grant Park Music Festival is led by Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar, Grant Park Chorus Director Christopher Bell, Grant Park Orchestral Association President and CEO Paul Winberg, and Board Chair Adam Grais. 

The Grant Park Music Festival gratefully acknowledges the generosity of its major sponsors: AbelsonTaylor, BMO Harris Bank, ComEd, Epstein Becker Green, Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park, and William Blair; and generous support from Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Julius N. Frankel Foundation, Smart Family Foundation, and Illinois Arts Council Agency. 

The Grant Park Music Festival is a key partner in Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks program. Night Out in the Parks presents engaging cultural events and performances in neighborhood parks, enhancing the quality of life across Chicago and amplifying artistic and cultural vibrancy in every neighborhood.

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) also provides key support to the Grant Park Music Festival. DCASE supports artists and cultural organizations, invests in the creative economy, and expands access and participation in the arts throughout Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods. As a collaborative cultural presenter, arts funder, and advocate for creative workers, DCASE programs and events serve Chicagoans and visitors of all ages and backgrounds, downtown and in diverse communities across our city — to strengthen and celebrate Chicago. For details, visit


Carlos Kalmar has been Principal Conductor of the Grant Park Music Festival since 2000 and was named Artistic Director in 2011. Under Kalmar’s leadership, the Grant Park Music Festival has become one of the world’s preeminent classical music festivals, and his role has been essential in shaping its artistic vision.

Kalmar is Director of Orchestral and Conducting Programs and Principal Conductor of the Cleveland Institute of Music. He served as music director of the Oregon Symphony for nearly two decades where he received several Grammy nominations. He previously served as the Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Spanish Radio/Television Orchestra and Choir in Madrid as well as the Music Director for the Hamburg Symphony, the Stuttgart Philharmonic, Vienna’s Tonkünstler Orchestra, and the Anhaltisches Theater in Dessau, Germany. Kalmar keeps an active schedule conducting in concert halls and opera houses around the world. Born in Uruguay to Austrian parents, he and his family returned to Vienna when he was fifteen.


Christopher Bell has served as Chorus Director of the Grant Park Chorus since 2002. Each year, he conducts several concerts featuring the Chorus and the Grant Park Orchestra. He and the Chorus are recipients of the coveted Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence from Chorus America and have received glowing reviews from both critics and audiences alike. In 2013, Bell won the Michael Korn Founders Award for Development of the Professional Choral Art. 

In 1996, Bell founded the National Youth Choir of Scotland and continues to serve as its Artistic Director. Between 2007 and 2018 he was chorus director of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, and between 2017 and 2020 was Artistic Director of the Washington Chorus. Bell was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Music from the Royal Conservatoire in Scotland in 2012. In 2015, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Aberdeen. 


Millennium Park is the #1 attraction in the Midwest and among the top 10 most-visited sites in the United States. It is also the anchor of an urban cultural campus (Millennium Park Campus) that includes the Chicago Cultural Center, Maggie Daley Park and The Art Institute of Chicago. Millennium Park is located on Michigan Avenue, bordered by Randolph St. to the north, Columbus Dr. to the east and Monroe St. to the south. The Park is open daily 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. For the latest news and events, visit, like us on Facebook (@MillenniumParkChicago) and follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@Millennium_Park). 

all programs subject to change

Wednesday, June 14, 6:30 PM 
Grant Park Orchestra  
Carlos Kalmar, conductor 
Jeremy Black, violin 

Robert Muczynski – Symphonic Dialogues  
Camille Saint-Saëns – Violin Concerto No. 3 
Robert Schumann – Symphony No. 4  

Friday, June 16, 6:30 PM 
Saturday, June 17, 7:30 PM 
Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus 

Carlos Kalmar, conductor  
Olivia Boen, soprano 
Siena Licht Miller, mezzo-soprano 
John Matthew Myers, tenor 
Joseph Beutel, bass
Antonín Dvořák - Stabat Mater  

Wednesday, June 21, 6:30 PM 
Grant Park Orchestra  
Carlos Kalmar, conductor 
Xavier Foley, double bass 

Johannes Brahms – Academic Festival Overture 
Nino Rota – Divertimento Concertante 
Robert Fuchs – Symphony No. 2  

Harris Theater 
Friday, June 23, 6:30 PM 
Saturday, June 24, 7:30 PM 
Grant Park Orchestra  
Carlos Kalmar, conductor 

Carl Maria von Weber – Overture to Oberon  
Ralph Vaughan Williams – Serenade to Music 
Felix Mendelssohn – Incidental Music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream  
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – Hamlet Fantasy Overture after Shakespeare 
Dmitri Shostakovich – Incidental Music to Hamlet 

Wednesday, June 28, 6:30 PM 
Grant Park Orchestra 
Jordan de Souza, conductor 
Stefan Jackiw, violin 

Leonard Bernstein – Overture to Candide  
Ludwig van Beethoven – Violin Concerto  
William Grant Still – Symphony No. 1, Afro-American Symphony 

Thursday, June 29, 6:30 PM 
Repeats Friday, June 30, 6:30 PM at South Shore Cultural Center
Grant Park Orchestra  
Valentina Peleggi, conductor 
Stewart Goodyear, piano  

Valerie Coleman – Umoja  
Camille Saint-Saëns – Piano Concerto No. 2  
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – Symphony No. 4  

Wednesday, July 5, 6:30 PM 
Grant Park Orchestra  
Christopher Bell, conductor 
Michelle Cann, piano 

Joan Tower – Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman 
Edmond Dédé – Chicago, Grande valse à l’Américaine  
George Gershwin – Rhapsody in Blue  
Leonard Bernstein – Symphonic Dances from West Side Story 

Friday, July 7, 6:30 PM 
Saturday, July 8, 7:30 PM 
Grant Park Orchestra  
Ludovic Morlot, conductor 
Tai Murray, violin 
Lindsey Reynolds, soprano 

Wynton Marsalis – Violin Concerto 
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Ave verum corpus 
Gabriel Fauré – Cantique de Jean Racine  
Francis Poulenc – Gloria  

Wednesday, July 12, 6:30 PM 
Grant Park Orchestra  
Gemma New, conductor 
Joyce Yang, piano 

Vivian Fung – Aqua  
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – Piano Concerto No. 1              
Samuel Barber – Symphony No. 1  

Friday, July 14, 6:30 PM 
Saturday, July 15, 7:30 PM 
Grant Park Orchestra  
Kevin John Edusei, conductor 
Joyce Yang, piano 

Anna Clyne – This Midnight Hour  
Franz Liszt – Totentanz  
Sergei Prokofiev – Suite from Romeo and Juliet 

Wednesday, July 19, 6:30 PM 
Grant Park Orchestra  
Ken-David Masur, conductor 
Esther Yoo, violin 

Carlos Simon – Profiles 
Alexander Glazunov – Violin Concerto  
Modest Mussorgsky – Pictures at an Exhibition 

Friday, July 21, 6:30 PM 
Saturday, July 22, 7:30 PM 
Grant Park Orchestra  
Carlos Kalmar, conductor 
Maeve Höglund, soprano 
Hugh Russell, baritone  

Joel Thompson – Seven Last Words of the Unarmed  
Johannes Brahms – A German Requiem  

Wednesday, July 26, 6:30 PM 
Grant Park Orchestra  
Carlos Kalmar, conductor 
Zlatomir Fung, cello 

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor – The Bamboula 
Edward Elgar – Cello Concerto   
William Dawson – Negro Folk Symphony  

Friday, July 28, 6:30 PM 
Saturday, July 29, 7:30 PM 
Grant Park Orchestra  
Gerald Steichen, conductor 
Scarlett Strallen, vocals 
LaKisha Jones, vocals 
Hugh Panaro, vocals 

A salute to Broadway classics with music from Rent, Les Misérables, The Wiz, Dear Evan Hansen, Cabaret and more.  

Wednesday, August 2, 6:30 PM 
Grant Park Orchestra  
David Danzmayr, conductor  
Aniello Desiderio, guitar 

Unsuk Chin – subito con forza  
Joaquín Rodrigo – Concierto de Aranjuez 
Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 7 

Harris Theater 
Friday, August 4, 6:30 PM 
Saturday, August 5, 7:30 PM 
Grant Park Orchestra  
Eric Jacobsen, conductor 
Masumi Per Rostad, viola 

Antonín Dvořák  –  Carnival Overture  
Jessie Montgomery – L.E.S. Characters                           
Aaron Copland – Quiet City  
Ottorino Respighi – Pines of Rome  

Wednesday, August 9, 6:30 PM 
Grant Park Orchestra  
Stephen Alltop, conductor 
Troupe Vertigo 

Olé! Summer sizzles as the high-flying aerialists of Troupe Vertigo perform eye-popping feats to the irresistible sounds of Bizet’s Carmen, Falla, Piazzolla, and more.   

Friday, August 11, 6:30 PM 
Saturday, August 12, 7:30 PM 
Grant Park Orchestra 
Carlos Kalmar, conductor 
Augustin Hadelich, violin 

Sergei Prokofiev – Violin Concerto No. 2  
Dmitri Shostakovich – Symphony No. 8  

Wednesday, August 16, 6:30 PM 
Grant Park Orchestra  
Carlos Kalmar, conductor 
Stephen Hough, piano 

Moritz Moszkowski – From Foreign Lands 
Felix Mendelssohn – Piano Concerto No. 1 
Franz Liszt – Les préludes  

Friday, August 18, 6:30 PM 
Saturday, August 19, 7:30 PM 
Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus 
Carlos Kalmar, conductor 
Corinne Wallace-Crane, alto
Miles Mykkanen, tenor
Alex Desocio, baritone
David Govertsen, bass 

Modest Mussorgsky – Night on Bald Mountain 
Felix Mendelssohn – The First Walpurgis Night  
Sergei Rachmaninov – Symphonic Dances