April 23, 2016
On Stage With the Impresario Society
For over 80 years, the Grant Park Music Festival has been bringing free classical music, with world-class conductors and renowned soloists, to hundreds of thousands of people each summer. Through Festival Connect, a comprehensive initiative aimed to increase music education and engagement opportunities for audiences of all ages, the Festival engages with the greater Chicago community in programs like Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Night Out in the Parks, Classical Campers, Project Inclusion, pre-concert lectures, lunchtime rehearsals and more.
These programs wouldn't be possible without the generous support of the Impresario Society members, who contribute an annual leadership gift to the Festival. These members are invited to experience the creative process first hand and mingle with Carlos Kalmar, Christopher Bell, guest artists, and Grant Park musicians throughout the season. Exclusive opportunities and benefits are available at different giving levels.
Last month, Impresario Society members were treated to an intimate soirée indoors on the Pritzker stage with Susan Platts (mezzo-soprano), Neil Kimel (French horn), and Alan Darling (piano). The trio performed Schubert's Auf dem Strom, Cooke's Nocturnes, and Mahler's Kindertotenlieder.
Chuck Kierscht, Impresario Society member and Chair of the Grant Park Orchestral Association, fondly remembers attending the Festival with his Navy buddies in the 1960s when concerts were held in the original bandshell. His reasons for supporting the Festival were simple. "It's something I enjoy and have an affinity for. The question is, does it do good for humankind?" he said. "To me, education is the key to the future. And this is the way the future is nurtured, through what we do at the Festival."