News & Stories

Impresario Society Donors Play Vital Role

December 1, 2023 | Noel Morris

Impresario Society members Kate Donaldson and Ryan Whitacre sample wines with chorus director Christopher Bell ahead of a Festival concert in Millennium Park

im·pre·sa·ri·o /ˌimprəˈsärēō/
noun: impresario; plural noun: impresarios
1.    a person who organizes and often finances concerts, plays, or operas.

Maybe it’s the serendipity, the thrill of discovery, or the delight in something unexpected. Maybe it’s the feeling of community or the “wow factor.” And—of course—it's the music.

People catch the Festival bug for lots of reasons. Coming from across the economic spectrum, they plan their summers around the free concerts in Millennium Park. But there is one subset that plays a larger role in making it happen: the Impresario Society.

“They are all absolutely devoted to keeping our concerts free and accessible to everyone who enters the Park” said Festival CEO Paul Winberg.

The Impresario Society includes more than 200 members and donors who support the Festival’s many free events. At the same time, they have a lot of fun doing it.

“I’ve seen people become good friends through the Impresario Society,” said Winberg. Throughout the summer, they gather in the Impresario Tent before concerts to enjoy hors d’oeuvres and wine tastings. Through the off-season, they gather for live music at the Festival’s popular Soirées. And at the season preview event, Impresario Society members rub elbows with Carlos Kalmar and Christopher Bell. Always, their gatherings include a delicious array of wines.Binny's Bill Kirchmeyer in the choral balcony during a Festival concert

“Binny’s is a great partner in helping enhace our Impresario Society gatherings,” said Winberg. “They provide a wonderful mix of wines for our events. And Bill Kirchmeyer [Binny’s Director of Product Operations] is one of our biggest fans.” Kirchmeyer, who laughingly wears an official Festival badge with the job title, “King of Wine,” brings enormous enthusiasm, along with his cases of tasty reds and whites.

“The Impresario Society is a terrific way to meet fellow Festival supporters and music lovers while supporting a great cause,” said Winberg. “Everybody wins.”