July 15, 2016

Celebrating 35 Years of the MacArthur Fellowship

In 2016, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation celebrates 35 years of its iconic MacArthur Fellows Program. Dubbed "genius grants" by the media, the MacArthur Fellowship recognizes exceptionally creative individuals with a track record of achievement and the potential for significant contributions in the future.

The Foundation also supports more than 300 Chicago-area arts and culture organizations annually, including our Festival.

The Grant Park Music Festival is proud to take part in the celebration by presenting a week-long collaboration curated by renowned conductor Marin Alsop (2005 MacArthur Fellow) in July. Alsop is the Music Director of the Baltimore and Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestras and is among the most accomplished conductors working today. She is deeply committed to educational programming and development of music for all ages. Known for her concert presentation, she often addresses audiences directly and previews short passages demonstrating themes and motifs of pieces to be played. These engaging presentations demystify challenging music for a wide range of audiences.

Kicking off the celebration on Wednesday, July 20, Alsop conducts the Grant Park Orchestra in multimedia event LIFE: A Journey Through Time, which features cellist Alisa Weilerstein (2011 MacArthur Fellow) in “21st-century Baroque adagio” Azul by Argentina-born composer Osvaldo Golijov (2003 MacArthur Fellow).

Over the weekend, July 22 and 23, Alsop leads the Grant Park Orchestra with an exploration through immigration and assimilation, in a program that includes Dvorák’s New World Symphony. MacArthur 2006 Fellow Regina Carter, this generation’s foremost jazz violinist, guest solos on Duke Ellington’s Imagine My Frustration and two excerpts from Ellington’s Black, Brown, and Beige, his 1943 jazz suite illustrating the struggles of early African Americans.

The Festival is grateful to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for its generous support of its weeklong collaboration with conductor Marin Alsop.

To order a One Night Pass or to view the full program, visit the event pages for LIFE: A Journey Through Time and The New World Symphony.