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Grant Park Festival will celebrate youth, honor composer Bolcom at 80 and roll out premiere

Submitted by on Jan 9, 2018 – 3:51 pm

Millennium Park, home of the Grant Park Music Festival, sprawls below the Chicago skyline.

Report: Announcement of 2018 Grant Park Music Festival details 10 weeks of classical programming, all of it free.
By Lawrence B. Johnson

A large-scaled world premiere for chorus and orchestra, a celebration of composer William Bolcom’s 80th birthday and a parade of stellar young soloists highlight plans for the Grant Park Music Festival’s 2018 summer, announced June 9.

Centerpiece of the 10-week series of free concerts, to be presented June 13-Aug. 18 at Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion and other venues throughout the city, will be the premiere of an as yet untitled work for orchestra and chorus by Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds.

Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds is creating a new work for chorus and orchestra. Commissioned by the Grant Park Music Festival, the new piece will have its first performance by the Festival Orchestra and Chorus under artistic director Carlos Kalmar on June 20, opening night of the 2018 annual conference of Chorus America, a national advocacy group for the choral music field, co-hosted by the Festival and the Chicago Children’s Choir.

In conjunction with the premiere, Ešenvalds will hold a composer residency in Chicago, with artistic development activities for young artists and educational programs for the general public.

The Festival will celebrate the 80th birthday of the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer William Bolcom with performances July 6-7 of his Fourth and Fifth Symphonies conducted by Dennis Russell Davies in his Festival debut. Featured in Bolcom’s Symphony No. 4 will be the acclaimed mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor, also making her first Festival appearance.

Throughout the week, Bolcom will participate in pre-concert lectures, open rehearsals and coaching for the Festival’s Project Inclusion ensembles.

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer William Bolcom will be honored in the 80th year.Project Inclusion, created in partnership with Chicago Sinfonietta, is a professional development program for guiding young musicians from diverse backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in the symphonic orchestral and choral field towards successful careers in music, with a goal of increasing diversity among orchestral ensembles.

As part of the City of Chicago’s Year of Creative Youth, the Festival will spotlight gifted young guest artists: 16-year-old pianist Emily Bear performs Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” 22-year-old pianist George Li plays Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1, 24-year-old violinist William Hagen solos in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4, and 25-year-old Spanish cellist Pablo Ferrández plays Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante.

Other masterworks on tap include Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with soloist Natasha Paremski, Dvořák’s Cello Concerto with Johannes Moser, Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with Kirill Gerstein, Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2,  Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet” and Carl Orff’s cantata “Carmina Burana.”

Here is the complete concert schedule for the 2018 Grant Park Music Festival. All programs are presented free of charge.

Pritzker Pavilion, in splendorous illumination for a evening concert. OPENING NIGHT


Wednesday, June 13, 6:30 PM

Saturday June 16, 7:30 PM

Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus; Carlos Kalmar, conductor; Dashon Burton, baritone

Shepherd: Magiya

Haydn:  Symphony No. 99

Walton:  Belshazzar’s Feast



Friday, June 15, 6:30 PM

Grant Park Orchestra; Carlos Kalmar, conductor; William Hagen, violin

Gluck: Overture: Orfeo ed Euridice

Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 4 in D major

Weber: Overture: Euryanthe

Elgar: Enigma Variations


Carlos Kalmar is artistic director of the Grant Park Music Festival.BERNSTEIN, BRAHMS AND A WORLD PREMIERE

Wednesday, June 20, 6:30 PM

Friday, June 22, 6:30 PM
Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus; Carlos Kalmar, conductor

Brahms: Gesang der Parzen

Messiaen: O Sacrum Convivium

Bernstein: Chichester Psalms

Ešenvalds: World Premiere



Saturday, June 23, 7:30 PM

Grant Park Orchestra; Carlos Kalmar, conductor; Natasha Paremski, piano

Piston: Symphony No. 6

Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3


Natasha Paremski is the soloist for Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3.SCHUBERT SYMPHONY NO. 3
Wednesday, June 27, 6:30 PM
Grant Park Orchestra; Carlos Kalmar, conductor; Adam Walker, flute

Roussel: Le festin de l’araignée (The Spider’s Feast)

Nielsen: Flute Concerto

Griffes: Poem

Schubert: Symphony No. 3



Friday, June 29, 6:30 PM

Saturday June 30, 7:30 PM

Grant Park Orchestra; Carlos Kalmar, conductor; Johannes Moser, cello

Dvořák: Cello Concerto

Kodály: Summer Evening

Janáček: Sinfonietta


Mezzo-soprano Kelley O'Connor sings in Bolcom's Symphony No. 4. INDEPENDENCE DAY SALUTE + GERSHWIN’S RHAPSODY IN BLUE
Wednesday, July 4, 6:30 PM
Grant Park Orchestra; Christopher Bell, conductor; Emily Bear, piano

Christopher Bell leads the Festival’s annual Independence Day tradition, featuring an evening of patriotic favorites, plus George Gershwin’s triumphant Rhapsody in Blue.



Friday, July 6, 6:30 PM

Saturday, July 7, 7:30 PM

Grant Park Orchestra; Dennis Russell Davies, guest conductor; Kelley O’Connor, mezzo-soprano

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5

Bolcom: Symphony No. 4

Bolcom: Symphony No. 5: Machine


Vinay Parameswaran leads favorite music of the silver screen. MUSIC OF THE SILVER SCREEN: AN AMERICAN IN PARIS AND MORE

Wednesday, July 11, 8:00 PM

Grant Park Orchestra; Vinay Parameswaran, guest conductor

Orchestral favorites from An American in Paris, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Citizen Kane, Ben Hur and more



Friday, July 13, 8:00 PM

Saturday, July 14, 8:00 PM

Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus; Kevin Stites, guest conductor; Sierra Boggess, Ryan Silverman, Ben Crawford, vocalists

The Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus and guest artists from the Broadway stage in an evening of favorites by the acclaimed team of librettist-lyricist Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Loewe. With selections from My Fair Lady, Camelot, Brigadoon, Gigi and more.



Wednesday, July 18, 6:30 PM

Grant Park Orchestra; Roderick Cox, guest conductor; Jeremy Black, violin; Walter Haman, cello; Eric Hall, bassoon; Nathan Mills, oboe

Beethoven: Symphony No. 2

Haydn: Sinfonia Concertante

Wagner: Overture to Tannhäuser



Thursday, July 19, 7:00 PM       South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Drive

Sunday, July 22, 7:00 PM          Columbus Park Refectory, 5701 W. Jackson Boulevard

Christopher Bell, conductor

Christopher Bell and the Grant Park Chorus return to two of the city’s cultural hubs with a concert of a cappella music, featuring works by Bruckner, Britten, Tippet, Leighton and more.


Paul Huang is the soloist for Barber's Violin Concerto. BARBER VIOLIN CONCERTO

Friday, July 20, 6:30 PM

Saturday, July 21, 7:30 PM

Grant Park Orchestra; Markus Stenz, guest conductor; Paul Huang, violin                                                                                        Glanert: Frenesia

Barber: Violin Concerto

Schumann: Symphony No. 1, Spring



Wednesday, July 25, 6:30 PM

Grant Park Orchestra; Gemma New, guest conductor; Kirill Gerstein, piano

Lilburn: Aotearoa

Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 2

Sibelius: Symphony No. 2



Friday, July 27, 6:30 PM

Saturday, July 28, 7:30 PM

Grant Park Orchestra; David Danzmayr, guest conductor; Colin Currie, percussion

Vaughan Williams: Norfolk Rhapsody No. 2

Norman: Switch

Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3, Scottish


Carlos Kalmar will lead the Festival Orchestra and Chorus in a Haydn mass.TCHAIKOVSKY ROMEO AND JULIET
Wednesday, August 1, 6:30 PM
Grant Park Orchestra; Carlos Kalmar, conductor

Dvořák: Othello Overture

Wagner: Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde

Strauss: Macbeth

Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet Overture Fantasy




Friday, August 3, 6:30 PM

Saturday, August 4, 7:30 PM

Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph Street

Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus; Carlos Kalmar, conductor; Janai Brugger, Lauren Segal, mezzo-soprano; Brendan Touhy, tenor; Michael Sumuel, bass

Haydn: The Creation: Overture

Debussy: Nocturnes

Haydn: Mass in B-flat Major: Theresa Mass


George Li solos in Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1.CHOPIN PIANO CONCERTO NO. 1
Wednesday, August 8, 6:30 PM
Grant Park Orchestra; Carlos Kalmar, conductor; George Li, piano

Vincent: Symphony in D Major

Chopin:  Piano Concerto No. 1

Chopin: Nocturne in A-flat Major

Chopin: Grande Valse Brilliante



Friday, August 10, 6:30 PM

Saturday, August 11, 7:30 PM

Grant Park Orchestra; Carlos Kalmar, conductor; Pablo Ferrández, cello

Prokofiev: Sinfonia Concertante

Ives: The Unanswered Question

Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 4


Pablo Ferrández takes on the solo cello role in Prokofiev's Sinfonia Concertante. RYAN OPERA CENTER: THE OLD MAID AND THE THIEF

Wednesday, August 15, 6:30 PM

Grant Park Orchestra; Carlos Kalmar, conductor; Artists from Lyric Opera’s Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center

Menotti: The Old Maid and the Thief



Friday, August 17, 6:30 PM

Saturday, August 18, 7:30 PM

Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus; Carlos Kalmar, conductor; Claire de Sevigne, soprano; Michael Maniaci, counter tenor; John Brancy, baritone; members of the Anima – Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus

Dvořák: Water Goblin

Orff: Carmina Burana

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