GRANT PARK MUSIC FESTIVAL JULY HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE AN INDEPENDENCE DAY SALUTE AND A SONDHEIM CELEBRATION WITH GUEST CONDUCTOR PAUL GEMIGNANI

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GRANT PARK MUSIC FESTIVAL JULY HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

AN INDEPENDENCE DAY SALUTE AND

A SONDHEIM CELEBRATION WITH GUEST CONDUCTOR PAUL GEMIGNANI

 

CHICAGO (June 22, 2015) — The 81st annual Grant Park Music Festival continues into July with the patriotic annual Independence Day Salute, a theatrical Sondheim Celebration, Leonard Bernstein‘s vibrant, jazz-tinged Fancy Free and more. Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar leads the Grammy®-nominated Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus Director Christopher Bell directs the award-winning Grant Park Chorus in a ten-week season that continues through August 22 at the Festival’s home in Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion, with additional performances at the South Shore Cultural Center, the Columbus Park Refectory and the Harris Theatre. With a few exceptions during the neighboring Taste of Chicago, Festival concerts are Wednesdays and Fridays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. The July program schedule is below. A complete Grant Park Music Festival schedule is accessible at www.gpmf.org.

 

July highlights of the nation’s only free, summer-long outdoor classical music series of its kind include Christopher Bell leading the Grant Park Orchestra for the annual Independence Day Salute, full of patriotic favorites including Gershwin’s soaring Piano Concerto in F with pianist Terrence Wilson (July 4). Then enjoy a little night music and celebrate the award-winning master of the musical in A Sondheim Celebration led by Broadway conductor and long-time Sondheim collaborator Paul Gemignani, with Illinois native and Broadway veteran Elizabeth Stanley, Broadway tenor Alexander Gemignani and the Grant Park Orchestra performing Sondheim favorites, including selections from Sweeney Todd, Company, Into the Woods and the world premiere of A Little Night Music symphonic suite (July 10-11).

 

Prolific film, TV and stage composer Douglas Cuomo (who wrote the theme song to Sex and the City) will be busy during his five-day residency with the Festival. The Grant Park Orchestra will perform excerpts from Cuomo’s opera Doubt (based on John Patrick Shanley’s play and film of the same name) during the contemporary American opera program (July 22). Audiences can learn more about Cuomo’s work first-hand at a Brown Bag lunch Q&A at the open rehearsal July 21 during the orchestra break (approximately 12 noon). On performance day, Seth Boustead, host of WFMT’s Relevant Tones, leads an in-depth discussion with Cuomo about his creative process at the Club 615 pre-concert lecture on July 22, 5:30 p.m. in Millennium Park’s Family Fun Tent.

In July, audiences will also hear Schummann’s beloved Rhenish Symphony and Lalo’s Cello Concerto with guest artist Tanja Tetzlaff (July 3), excerpts from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet with guest conductor Thierry Fischer (July 15), Brahms’ lush A German Requiem with rising stars Caitlin Lynch and Stephen Hegedus (July 17-18) and Dvořák’s beautiful, large-scale Symphony No. 6 with guest conductor Thomas Wilkins (July 29). The month concludes with a powerful program including the prelude to Bruckner’s Symphony No. 6 with guest conductor Christoph König making his Festival debut, indoors at the Harris Theatre (July 31 and Aug. 1).

 

Christopher Bell and the Grant Park Chorus return to two of the city’s cultural hubs – the magnificent South Shore Cultural Center July 21 at 7 p.m., and the Columbus Park Refectory July 23 at 7 p.m. – with Songs from the Heart, a concert of a cappella music including Douglas Cuomo’s Kyrie, as part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Night Out in the Parks program.

 

WFMT’s Relevant Tones host Seth Boustead, Rivet Radio’s Dialogue host Ron Litke, CSO’s Sounds and Stories contributor Laura Sauer, former WFMT Program Director Dennis Moore and production manager Gary Zabinski host free Club 615 pre-concert lectures every Wednesday and Friday at 5:30pm and Saturdays at 6:15 p.m. in Millennium Park’s Family Fun Tent located just west of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Special guests at these lectures include Project Inclusion String Quartet (July 15), soprano Caitlin Lynch and bass-baritone Stephen Hegedus (July 17, 18), composer Douglas Cuomo (July 22) and pianist Andrew von Oeyen (July 24, 25).

 

Creative Chicagoans are invited to pack a festive picnic and show off their clever, elaborate and imaginative feasts in the fourth annual Grant Park Music Festival Picnic Contest Saturday, July 25, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. on the Great Lawn before the Grant Park Orchestra takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. to perform Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 2 with guest conductor Emmanuel Villaume and guest pianist Andrew von Oeyen. This year’s contest theme, A Danceable Feast, is inspired by the furious tarantella that closes Saint-Saëns’ popular work. For more information about the Grant Park Music Festival picnic contest, visit grantparkmusicfestival.com/dining or call 312.742.7638.

 

Open lunchtime rehearsals of the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus return June 16-August 21 and typically take place Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.  Audiences are welcome to sit in the Pavilion Seating Bowl during rehearsals, and Festival docents will be on site to talk about the week’s concerts during rehearsal breaks.

 

Ten of this summer’s concerts – including July 3, 4, 10, 24 and 29 – will be broadcast live on 98.7WFMT, Chicago’s classical and fine arts radio station, and also online at wfmt.com/streaming.

 

For more information about the Grant Park Music Festival including membership, one-night passes and group seating, visit gpmf.org or call 312-742-7647.  For additional information, visit the Grant Park Music Festival Facebook page or follow the Festival on Twitter @gpmf.

 

 

Grant Park Music Festival

Acclaimed by critics and beloved by audiences, the Grant Park Music Festival is the nation’s only free, summer-long outdoor classical music series of its kind. The Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, located between Michigan and Columbus Avenues at Washington Street, is the official home of the Grant Park Music Festival.

 

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

 

The Grant Park Music Festival gratefully acknowledges the generous support from its 2015 sponsors: BMO Harris Bank, Season Sponsor; Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park, Official Hotel; Macy’s, Official Picnic Sponsor; and ComEd, Concert Sponsor. The Grant Park Music Festival is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

 

The Grant Park Music Festival participates in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Night Out in the Parks series. Night Out in the Parks is an initiative featuring more than 1,000 cultural activities in Chicago Park District locations citywide, in support of the City of Chicago’s Cultural Plan.

 

Carlos Kalmar

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

 

In addition to his role at the Grant Park Music Festival, Carlos Kalmar is the Music Director of the Oregon Symphony, a position he has held since 2003 and Principal Conductor of the Orquestra Sinfónica de Radio Televisión Española in Madrid. He has served in artistic leadership roles for the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra, the Opera House and Philharmonic Orchestra in Dessau, Germany and the Tonkünstler Orchestra in Vienna, while also traveling the world as a guest conductor appearing with some of the world’s most important orchestras. Kalmar has made six recordings with the Grant Park Orchestra.

 

Christopher Bell

Christopher Bell has served as Chorus Director of the Grant Park Chorus since 2001, and led the Chorus through its 50th anniversary in 2012 with a series of special events, including the release of its first ever a cappella recording entitled Songs of Smaller Creatures and other American Choral Works, available on Cedille Records. He works extensively with the Grant Park Apprentice Chorale, comprising students from the Roosevelt University Chicago College of Performing Arts and DePaul University School of Music who have been hand-picked by Bell, and he conducts the Festival’s annual Independence Day Salute.

 

In addition to working with the Grant Park Music Festival, Bell is the Chorus Master of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Junior Chorus, and the Belfast Philharmonic Choir. Largely responsible for the formation of the National Youth Choir of Scotland (NYCoS) in 1996, he has been its Artistic Director ever since. In 2012, Bell was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow for his contributions to music in Scotland. He is the recipient of the 2013 Michael Korn Founders Award given by Chorus America, established in 1978 to honor an individual with a lifetime of significant contributions to the professional choral art.

 

 

GRANT PARK MUSIC FESTIVAL

JULY SCHEDULE

 

CYSO’s SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA WITH BLUE MAN GROUP

Wednesday, July 1, 6:30 PM in Millennium Park

Performers:  CYSO’s Symphony Orchestra; Terrance Gray, associate conductor; Blue Man Group, special guest soloists. (The Grant Park Orchestra does not perform at this concert)

The Grant Park Music Festival presents one of the nation’s leading youth orchestras in an evening of Russian favorites and collaborative performances with special guests Blue Man Group.

Rachmaninov  Symphonic Dances

Kabalevsky    Overture to Colas Breugnon

Tchaikovsky   Capriccio Italien

 

 

INDEPENDENCE DAY SALUTE

Wednesday, July 1, 6:30 PM at South Shore Cultural Center

Performers:  Grant Park Orchestra; Christopher Bell, conductor; Terrence Wilson, piano

Christopher Bell leads the Grant Park Orchestra for its annual Independence Day Salute, full of patriotic favorites including Gershwin’s soaring Piano Concerto in F with pianist Terrence Wilson.

Gershwin       Piano Concerto in F

Tchaikovsky   1812 Overture

Copland         Appalachian Spring

Sousa           Stars and Stripes Forever

and more

 

SCHUMANN RHENISH SYMPHONY

Friday, July 3, 6:30 PM in Millennium Park

Performers: Grant Park Orchestra; Carlos Kalmar, conductor; Tanja Tetzlaff, cello

Acclaimed cellist Tanja Tetzlaff returns to perform Lalo’s Cello Concerto. Schumann’s joyful and exuberant Rhenish Symphony and David Diamond‘s Rounds for String Orchestra complete the program.

Diamond        Rounds for String Orchestra

Lalo              Cello Concerto in D Minor

Schumann     Symphony No. 3, Rhenish

 

INDEPENDENCE DAY SALUTE

Saturday, July 4, 7:30 PM in Millennium Park

Performers:  Grant Park Orchestra; Christopher Bell, conductor; Terrence Wilson, piano

Christopher Bell leads the Grant Park Orchestra for its annual Independence Day Salute, full of patriotic favorites including Gershwin’s soaring Piano Concerto in F with pianist Terrence Wilson.

Gershwin       Piano Concerto in F

Tchaikovsky   1812 Overture

Copland         Appalachian Spring

Sousa           Stars and Stripes Forever

and more.

 

BERNSTEIN FANCY FREE

Wednesday, July 8, 6:30 PM in Millennium Park

Performers: Grant Park Orchestra; Karina Canellakis, guest conductor

Karina Canellakis conducts the Grant Park Orchestra in Leonard Bernstein‘s vibrant, jazz-tinged ballet score. Also featured on the program are John Adams’ Lollapalooza and César Franck‘s most famous work, his Symphony in D.

Adams          Lollapalooza

Bernstein       Fancy Free

Franck          Symphony in D

 

A SONDHEIM CELEBRATION

Friday, July 10, 8:00 PM in Millennium Park

Saturday, July 11, 8:00 PM in Millennium Park

Performers: Grant Park Orchestra; Paul Gemignani, guest conductor; Elizabeth Stanley, vocalist; Alexander Gemignani, vocalist; Tedd Firth, piano

Led by conductor and longtime Stephen Sondheim collaborator Paul Gemignani, the Grant Park Orchestra and renowned vocalists perform Sondheim favorites, including selections from Sweeney Todd, Company, Into the Woods and the world premiere of A Little Night Music symphonic suite.

Songs and Suites from Sondheim’s greatest and most popular repertoire

 

PROKOFIEV ROMEO AND JULIET

Wednesday, July 15, 6:30 PM in Millennium Park

Performers: Grant Park Orchestra; Thierry Fischer, guest conductor

Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet captures the tenderness and fury of Shakespeare’s beloved drama. Written in response to World War II, Stravinsky‘s turbulent Symphony in Three Movements is startling in its breadth of energy and complexity.

Stravinsky     Symphony in Three Movements

Prokofiev       Excerpts from Romeo and Juliet

 

BRAHMS REQUIEM

Friday, July 17, 6:30 PM in Millennium Park

Saturday, July 18, 7:30 PM in Millennium Park

Performers: Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus; Thierry Fischer, guest conductor; Caitlin Lynch, soprano; Stephen Hegedus, bass-baritone

Rising stars Caitlin Lynch and Stephen Hegedus join guest conductor Thierry Fischer for Brahms‘ lush A German Requiem. Schoenberg‘s musical metamorphosis Transfigured Night opens the program.

Schoenberg    Transfigured Night

Brahms         A German Requiem

 

BARBER AND MENOTTI

Wednesday, July 22, 8:00 PM in Millennium Park

Performers: Grant Park Orchestra; Ward Stare, conductor; artists from Lyric Opera’s Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center: Laura Wilde, soprano; Anthony Clark Evans, baritone; Annie Rosen, mezzo-soprano

Lyric Opera’s Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center continues its long successful collaboration with the Grant Park Orchestra in an evening showcasing works of contemporary American opera.

Cuomo          The Boy’s Nature from Doubt

Menotti          The Telephone

Cuomo          Doubt Sermon

Barber          Symphony No. 1

Higdon          Fanfare Ritmico

 

SAINT-SAËNS PIANO CONCERTO

Friday, July 24, 6:30 PM in Millennium Park

Saturday, July 25, 7:30 PM in Millennium Park

Performers: Grant Park Orchestra; Emmanuel Villaume, guest conductor; Andrew Von Oeyen, piano

Guest conductor Emmanuel Villaume returns to conduct an evening of European fare. You’ll be transported by Saint-Saëns‘ keyboard gem with pianist Andrew von Oeyen, along with music celebrating the cities of Vienna, Paris and Rome.

Suppé           Overture to Morning, Noon, and Night in Vienna

Mozart           Symphony No. 31, Paris

Saint-Saëns   Piano Concerto No. 2

Bizet             Roma

 

DVOŘÁK SYMPHONY NO. 6

Wednesday, July 29, 6:30 PM in Millennium Park

Performers: Grant Park Orchestra; Thomas Wilkins, guest conductor

Thomas Wilkins conducts the Sunday Symphony by the prolific William Grant Still, the “Dean of all African-American composers.” The evening concludes with Dvořák‘s beautiful large-scale work, his Sixth Symphony, which recalls the Czech folksongs of his native Bohemia.

Goldsmith      Fireworks

Still               Symphony No. 3, Sunday Symphony

Dvořák          Symphony No. 6

 

BRUCKNER SYMPHONY NO. 6

Friday, July 31, 6:30 PM in Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph Street

Saturday, Aug. 1, 7:30 PM in Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph Street

Performers: Grant Park Orchestra; Christoph König, guest conductor

Guest conductor Christoph König makes his Festival debut, leading the Grant Park Orchestra in Bruckner‘s noble and dignified Symphony No. 6, indoors at the Harris Theater.

Weber           Overture to Der Freischütz

Bruckner       Symphony No. 6

 

 

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