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One-night reserved seat passes

go on sale Wednesday, May 6



CHICAGO (May 4, 2015) — Summer in Chicago begins in just six weeks with the Opening Night of the Grant Park Music Festival on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar and Chorus Director Christopher Bell will lead the award-winning Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus in a ten-week season that runs through August 22. Most concerts are Wednesdays and Fridays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. The complete June schedule and artist bios are below.


For the first year, the Grant Park Music Festival will offer single night passes for reserved seats to any Festival concert. One-night passes, starting at $25, go on sale Wednesday, May 6 at 10 a.m. Patrons can call 312-742-7647 or go online at and select their own seats.


“One-night passes provide a long sought-after solution for both out-of-towners and devoted locals who want to see a concert up close, but don’t have the time or flexibility to purchase a membership,” said Paul Winberg, President and CEO of the Grant Park Orchestral Association. “It’s also a perfect way for patrons who usually picnic on the lawn to sample a membership, enjoy the comfort and peace of mind of having a reserved seat, and to experience the music close to the stage.”


Memberships to the Grant Park Music Festival 2015 season are still available, and include reserved seats for every Festival concert, along with exclusive benefits like access to concert receptions and discounts on parking and restaurants. For the first year, the Festival is selling packages of nine or 13 concerts that include reserved seats with complimentary exchange privileges. Memberships begin at $163, and are available by calling 312-742-7647 or visiting


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.


Opening Night brings Kalmar to the podium for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 and Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with soloist Yevgeny Sudbin (pictured) making his Festival debut with the Grant Park Orchestra (June 17). The Grant Park Chorus joins the Orchestra for the world premiere of American composer Kenji Bunch’s Symphony No. 3: Dream Songs, along with the overture to Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 6 (June 19 and 20). Audiences will hear Tchaikovsky’s beloved Symphony No. 4 and Walton’s Viola Concerto with guest artist Roberto Diaz (June 24). The month concludes with a powerful program including the prelude to Wagner’s Parsifal, Mendelssohn’s Reformation Symphony and the Midwest premiere of James MacMillan’s provocative work, Quickening, featuring the Anima Young Singers and vocalists Mark Dobell, Eamonn Dougan, Steven Harrold, and David James (June 26 and 27).


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 Opening Night, will be broadcast on 98.7WFMT, Chicago’s classical and fine arts radio station, and also online at


For more information about the Grant Park Music Festival including membership, one-night passes and group seating, visit 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, comprised of students from the Roosevelt University Chicago College of Performing Arts and DePaul University School of Music that have been hand-picked by Bell and 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.








Wednesday, June 17, 6:30 PM

Performers: Grant Park Orchestra; Carlos Kalmar, conductor; Yevgeny Sudbin, piano


Join Carlos Kalmar and the Grant Park Orchestra for a spectacular opening night, featuring the Russian-born piano sensation, Yevgeny Sudbin, making his Festival debut. The evening concludes with Beethoven’s rhythmically charged Seventh Symphony.


Norman                            Drip

Rachmaninov                     Piano Concerto No. 1

Beethoven                        Symphony No. 7


Yevgeny Sudbin, piano

Yevgeny Sudbin, whose Grant Park Festival appearance marks his Chicago debut, has been hailed by London’s Daily Telegraph as “potentially one of the greatest pianists of the 21st century.” In addition to annual recitals in London’s Wigmore Hall Master Series he has appeared in recital at the Tonhalle in Zurich, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Gilmore and Singapore international piano festivals, and in New York City, Boston, Seattle, Montreal, Vancouver and Milan, among others. He has performed with the London Philharmonic, at the BBC Proms, the Grand Teton Music Festival, Mostly Mozart Music Festival at Lincoln Center, and with the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Indianapolis, Utah, Kansas City and Vancouver. He has toured in Australia with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Sudbin records exclusively for BIS and has performed and recorded with the Sao Paulo and Singapore symphony orchestras, the Bergen Philharmonic, and Tapiola Sinfonietta in Finland. He is currently completing his recording project with the Minnesota Orchestra, under Osmo Vänskä, performing all of the Beethoven piano concerti. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Sudbin displayed exceptional musical talent from an early age and in 1987 entered the Specialist Music School of the St. Petersburg Conservatory. In 1990 he continued his studies in Berlin and in 1997 he moved to London. There he studied with Christopher Elton at the Royal Academy of Music. He now lives in London with his wife and two young children. The Pulvermacher Foundation, Alexis Gregory Foundation and Wall Trust have played important roles in Sudbin’s career.




Friday, June 19, 6:30 PM

Saturday, June 20, 7:30 PM

Performers: Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus; Carlos Kalmar, conductor; Christopher Bell, chorus director


Carlos Kalmar conducts the world premiere of Kenji Bunch’s symphony for orchestra and chorus, inspired by Native American culture. Mozart’s playful overture from The Magic Flute and Shostakovich’s enigmatic Sixth Symphony round out the evening.


Mozart                             Overture: The Magic Flute

Bunch                              Symphony No. 3: Dream Songs

Shostakovich                     Symphony No. 6


Symphony No. 3: Dream Songs was commissioned by the Grant Park Music Festival with funds from the Prince Prize for Commissioning Original Work, which was awarded to Kenji Bunch and the Grant Park Music Festival in 2014.




Wednesday, June 24, 6:30 PM

Performers:  Grant Park Orchestra; Carlos Kalmar, conductor; Roberto Díaz, viola


Internationally acclaimed violist Roberto Díaz plays Walton’s bold and innovative Viola Concerto. The program concludes with Tchaikovsky’s perennially popular Fourth Symphony, showcasing the composer’s distinctive romantic Russian voice.


Walton                             Viola Concerto

Tchaikovsky                      Symphony No.4


Roberto Díaz, viola

Roberto Díaz is president and CEO of the Curtis Institute of Music. In addition to performing with major string quartets and pianists in chamber music series and festivals worldwide, Mr. Díaz has toured Europe, Asia and the Americas as a member of the Díaz Trio with violinist Andrés Cárdenes and cellist Andrés Díaz. Mr. Díaz received an honorary doctorate from Bowdoin College and was awarded an honorary membership by the national board of the American Viola Society. Mr. Díaz received a bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Burton Fine, and a diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music, where his teacher was Joseph de Pasquale. In addition to his decade-long tenure as principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Mr. Díaz was also principal viola of the National Symphony under Mstislav Rostropovich, a member of the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa, and a member of the Minnesota Orchestra under Sir Neville Marriner. Mr. Díaz plays the ex-Primrose Amati viola.




Friday, June 26, 6:30 PM

Saturday, June 27, 7:30 PM

Performers: Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus; Carlos Kalmar, conductor; Christopher Bell, chorus director; David James, counter tenor; Steven Harrold, tenor; Mark Dobell, tenor; Eamonn Dougan, bass; Anima Young Singers, Emily Ellsworth, artistic director


Celebrate the beginning of summer with a powerful program including the prelude to Wagner’s Parsifal, Mendelssohn’s Reformation Symphony, and the Midwest premiere of James MacMillan’s provocative work, Quickening.


Wagner                            Prelude: Parsifal

Mendelssohn                      Symphony No.5 in D Major, Reformation

MacMillan                          Quickening


David James, counter-tenor

David James, was a choral scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford and subsequently joined the choir of Westminster Abbey. He won first prize in the Hertogenbosch competition in The Netherlands in 1978 and has since enjoyed an international career as soloist and ensemble singer, performing with such groups as The Sixteen and taking major operatic roles for English National Opera, Händel Opera, Geneva Opera and the Aldeburgh Festival.  A founder-member of The Hilliard Ensemble, David James gives some 100 concerts a year with this internationally renowned vocal chamber group. Officium, the ensemble’s collaboration with the jazz saxophonist Jan Garbarek on the ECM label, has topped both classical and jazz charts in many countries around the world. The Hilliard Ensemble has gained a special reputation for performances of the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, several of whose works they have recorded on the ECM label. David James’ solo engagements have taken him world-wide, and he specializes in Baroque and contemporary repertoire. He recently recorded the alto arias in J.S. Bach’s St Mark Passion’ (BWV 247) with the European Community Baroque Orchestra and also took part in a recording of Kancheli’s Third Symphony for EMI with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.


Steven Harrold, tenor

Steven Harrold, was accepted to the choir of St. Paul when he was 8 years old. With this choir he sang at the Royal Wedding of Charles and Diana and visited the famous Abbey Road Studios to sing on a pop single, ‘We all stand together’ with Paul McCartney and the King’s Singers. He won a choral scholarship to St John’s College, Cambridge where he studied for an economics degree in his spare time. After graduating he sang for a year at St Albans Abbey choir, before moving to Westminster Abbey. It was there that he met his fellow Gothic Voice, Leigh Nixon. St Albans is still his home (and coincidentally also home to Rogers Covey-Crump, his predecessor in Gothic Voices). Over the years he has sung with most of the early music ensembles including The Tallis Scholars, Gabrieli Consort, Taverner Consort, Clerk’s Group, The Sixteen and Collegium Vocale Gent, but it was Chris Page who introduced him to the beauty of medieval music. Besides Gothic Voices, he still sings regularly for The Cardinall’s Musick, but much of his time is now spent with The Hilliard Ensemble.


Mark Dobel, tenor

Originally from Tunbridge Wells in Kent, Mark Dobell was a choral scholar of Clare College, Cambridge, where he read Classics. He later studied as a postgraduate at the Royal Academy of Music, and was awarded the Clifton Prize for the best final recital.  Mark has worked as a soloist throughout Europe and North America with world-renowned conductors including Harry Christophers, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Roger Norrington and James MacMillan. His extensive concert and oratorio repertoire includes many of the major works of Handel, Bach and Mozart, as well as pieces by composers as varied as Monteverdi, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Britten and Karl Jenkins. Equally established as a consort singer, Mark enjoys performing with many leading choirs and consort groups, such as The Cardinall’s Musick, I Fagiolini and The King’s Consort. He is proud to be a member of The Sixteen, The Tallis Scholars, The Orlando Consort and the choir of Westminster Abbey.


Eamonn Dougan, bass

Eamonn Dougan is Principal Guest Conductor of The National Youth Choir of Great Britain and Chorus Director of Britten Sinfonia Voices. He is a regular Guest Conductor with Wrocław Philharmonic Choir, Poland, the Coro de la Comunidad, Madrid and the St Endellion Festival Orchestra & Chorus. In September 2008 he was appointed a Visiting Professor to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, where he teaches ensemble singing and directs the Guildhall Consort. In 2006 Eamonn was appointed the first Assistant Conductor of The Sixteen and now holds the position of Associate Conductor. He has directed the ensemble to considerable acclaim in concerts across England and Europe including performances in France, Spain, Antwerp and during the Choral Pilgrimage. As a soloist Eamonn has sung with The Academy of Ancient Music, The Hanover Band, The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra de la Comunidad, Madrid and The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Recent performances have included Bach’s St Matthew Passion, Mozart’s Requiem and Haydn’s Nelson Mass at Symphony Hall, Bach’s B Minor Mass at the Festival de Musique Ancienne de Lyon and Handel’s Messiah at the Auditorio Nacional de Musica, Madrid.


Anima Young Singers

Anima’s four ensembles, ranging from introductory to advanced, are open to boys and girls grades K-12. In after-school rehearsals students learn to read music, sing music from many cultures and genres, participate in a confidence and character-building culture, sing with Chicago’s major musical organizations, and make lifelong friends. Founded in 1964 as the Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus, Anima is an internationally recognized youth choral organization located in Glen Ellyn, IL, serving youth throughout the Chicagoland area. Anima’s mission is to transform young lives through excellence in music education and choral singing. Anima performs regularly in concert locally, nationally and internationally. Recent appearances include Hänsel and Gretel with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Otello with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Nutcracker with Joffrey Ballet, and Mozart Journey VIII–Mozart for the Masses with St. Charles Singers.




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