Grant Park Music Festival Announces its 2014 Summer Season

Grant Park Music Festival Announces its 2014 Summer Season
The Blue Planet in Concert, led by composer-conductor George Fenton, returns with his thrilling score set to breathtaking underwater images from the that will be shown on Millennium Park’s state-of-the-art screen.

A sure sign that there will be a summer, Grant Park Music Festival has just announced its summer season. Grant Park Music Festival Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar and Chorus Director Christopher Bell unveiled an adventurous schedule of programming filled with thirty spectacular concerts including two world premiere commissions for the Festival’s 80th Anniversary Season taking place at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago’s Millennium Park from June 11 through August 16.

Kalmar will lead the Grammy® Award-nominated Grant Park Orchestra and Bell will direct the award-winning Grant Park Chorus in an anniversary season of world premieres, Festival favorites, world renowned guest artists, a weeklong composer-in-residency, two visiting youth symphonies, and collaborations with local artists and cultural organizations.

The GPMF Season also will feature performances in the neighborhoods through its Festival Connect initiative as part of Chicago Park District's Night Out in the Parks program.

Highlights of the Season include:

  • Former Festival Principal Conductors Leonard Slatkin and Hugh Wolff return as guest conductors.
  • The Legend of the Northern Lights, with music by Grammy® Award-nominated composer Christopher Theofanidis,  showing off the Grant Park Orchestra against a backdrop of awe-inspiring images in a film by Emmy-nominated astronomer and visual artist, Dr. Jose Francisco Salgado, seen on the huge Millennium Park screen.
  • The Blue Planet in Concert, led by composer-conductor George Fenton, who returns with his thrilling score set to breathtaking underwater images from the BBC/Discovery series that will be shown on Millennium Park’s state-of-the-art screen.
  • Throughout the ten week season, the Festival will be joined by a roster of nationally and internationally acclaimed guest artists including conductors Mei-Ann Chen, George Fenton, Andrew Grams, Giancarlo Guerrero, Leonard Slatkin, Jeff Tyzik and Hugh Wolff; pianists Michel Camilo, Jean-Philippe Collard, Stephen Hough and Natasha Paremski; violinists Stefan Jackiw and Christian Tetzlaff; cellist Gabriel Cabezas and trumpeter Byron Stripling.
  • Vocalists appearing during the 80th Anniversary season include Marva Hicks in a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, and Storm Large, of Pink Martini fame, performing The Seven Deadly Sins, along with Paul Appleby (tenor), Julie Boulianne (mezzo-soprano), Tracy Cantin (soprano), Christine Goerke (soprano), Jill Grove (mezzo-soprano), Shenyang (bass), Garrett Sorenson (tenor), Alfred Walker (bass) and artists from Lyric Opera’s Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center.

All concerts are free and most will take place on Wednesday and Friday evenings at 6:30 p.m., and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. For the full season line-up, click here or call 312.742.7638.

Concert Extras

Club 615, a free pre-concert lecture series, takes place every Saturday night throughout the season at 6:15 p.m. in the Choral Hall, located on the east side of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.  Club 615 provides an engaging way to learn about the evening’s program, with insights shared by the Festival’s conductors, composers, and musicians.  Club 615 begins on Saturday, June 14; lectures are 45 minutes long.

Open lunchtime rehearsals of the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus return June 10 through August 15 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.

Every Friday at 5:30 p.m. before the Grant Park Orchestra takes the stage, audiences will be treated to concerts by students from local music schools and summer music programs at the front of the Great Lawn at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

Membership and Ticket Information

All Grant Park Music Festival concerts are free and open to the public. Seating in the Seating Bowl and on the Great Lawn is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Memberships to the Grant Park Music Festival 80th season are also available, and allow access to premium seats in a reserved area for all Festival concerts.  Memberships begin at $157 and include parking and restaurant discounts, as well as other exclusive benefits.

For more information about the Grant Park Music Festival including membership and group seating, visit or call 312.742.7638.

Subscribe to Show Me Chicago by email

If you would like to keep in touch with what's happening in Chicago, like us on Facebook or subscribe to Show Me Chicago by email. To subscribe, type your email address in the box below and click the "create subscription" button. Our list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

Leave a comment