CHICAGO ( July 29, 2019 ) The 85th season of the Grant Park Music Festival, led by Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar with Chorus Director Christopher Bell, concludes in August at Millennium Park's Jay Pritzker Pavilion. The 2019 season closes on August 17 with Mahler's Resurrection Symphony, featuring the award-winning Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus with guest soloists. All concerts take place on Wednesday and Friday evenings at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. Concerts on August 2 and 3 move indoors to the Harris Theater during Lollapolooza. The complete Grant Park Music Festival schedule is available at gpmf.org .
Patrons can order One Night Member Passes for reserved seats, starting at $26, by calling 312.742.7647 or going online to gpmf.org and selecting their own seat down front in the member section of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Membership support helps to keep the Festival free for all. For every Grant Park Music Festival concert, there are seats that are free and open to the public in Millennium Park's Seating Bowl and on the Great Lawn, available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Maestro Kalmar conducts the final weeks of the Festival beginning with Mozart's Prague Symphony ( Aug. 2-3 ) featuring violin soloist Vadim Gluzman in a performance of Bernstein's Serenade; the Festival moves indoors to the Harris Theater for these performances due to Lollapalooza. The Grant Park Orchestra returns to the Pritzker Pavilion with The Mambo Kings, known for their explosive blend of Afro-Cuban rhythms and jazz improvisation, for Hot Latin Nights ( Aug. 7 ). The week concludes with the rarely performed A Mass of Life ( Aug. 9-10 ) by Frederick Delius featuring soprano Melody Moore, mezzo-soprano Ewa Plonka, tenor Andrew Staples, and bass-baritone Nathan Berg.
The final week at the Grant Park Music Festival includes Rimsky-Korsakov's famed Flight of the Bumblebee ( Aug. 14 ) from his opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan, Amy Beach's Variations on a Balkan Theme, and Morton Gould's Cowboy Rhapsody. Additionally, the concert will be augmented by spectacular visuals, featuring the live performance, stunning images, and captivating video as part of Festival HD, a multimedia experience on the Jay Pritzker Pavilion's giant LED screen. The 2019 season concludes with Mahler's monumental Resurrection Symphony ( Aug. 16-17 ), featuring the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus with two internationally renowned vocalists — and Chicago favorites: J'Nai Bridges and Amanda Majeski.
The Festival's newly launched Festival Next initiative, a series of programs to reimagine the concert-going experience in the 21st century, continues in August. On August 11, members of the Grant Park Orchestra ( Jeremy Black, violin; Terri Van Valkinburgh, viola; Walter Haman, cello; Colin Corner, bass; Andrea Swan, piano ) present Schubert's beloved Trout Quintet as part of CenterStage, free intimate Sunday afternoon recitals held onstage in the enclosed Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Reservations are requested and can be made at gpmf.org/centerstage.
WFMT Relevant Tones host Seth Boustead and musicologist Laura Sauer host free pre-concert lectures one hour before select concerts in Millennium Park's Chase Promenade North tent. On August 2 and 3, the pre-concert lecture will take place in the Donor Lounge, located on the second floor of the Harris Theater. Special guests at these lectures include Vadim Gluzman ( Aug. 2-3 in the Harris Theater ) Melody Moore and Andrew Staples ( Aug. 9 ) Ewa Plonka and Nathan Berg ( Aug. 10 ), J'Nai Bridges ( Aug 16 ) and Amanda Mejewski ( Aug 17 ).
Special pre-concert activities include a free mambo lesson led by instructors from Arthur Murray Dance Studio on August 7 at 5:15 p.m. before the Mambo Kings take the stage with the Grant Park Orchestra at 6:30 p.m.
Open lunchtime rehearsals of the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus continue through August 16 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.
Many of the summer's concerts, including performances on August 14 and 16, both at 6:30 p.m., will be broadcast on 98.7WFMT, Chicago's classical and fine arts radio station, and online at wfmt.com/streaming.
The City of Chicago has implemented a security perimeter and bag check policy for all concerts and events that take place at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. For most Grant Park Music Festival concerts, security entails a bag check screening for weapons and other Millennium Park prohibited items. Beer and wine will be available for purchase at concession tents inside the Park. Generally, entrances and bag check lines are open to the public 2 hours before the concerts start. For a complete list of prohibited items, visit gpmf.org/prohibited.
For more than 80 years, the Grant Park Music Festival has been Chicago's summer musical sensation, demonstrating that classical music, performed by a world-class orchestra and chorus can have a transformative impact on the city. Showcased in the city's most spectacular setting, the Festival continues to be the summer gathering place for all of Chicago. The Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park is the official home of the Grant Park Music Festival, with free seats available for every concert. The 2019 season began on June 12 and runs through August 17.
The 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 Stephen Smith.
The Grant Park Music Festival is presented by the Grant Park Orchestral Association with key support from the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. The Festival gratefully acknowledges the generous support from its 2019 sponsors: AbelsonTaylor, American Accents Series Sponsor; BMO Harris Bank, Festival HD Series Sponsor; William Blair, Classic Series Sponsor; Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park, Official Hotel; Macy's, Official Picnic Sponsor; CIBC USA, Concert Sponsor; and ComEd, Concert Sponsor; with additional support from Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Walter E. Heller Foundation, Julius N. Frankel Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Sage Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
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.