February 02, 2017

Catching Up with Christopher Bell

After leading the Grant Park Chorus in another outstanding season and directing the National Youth Choir of Scotland (NYCoS) and the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras during the Festival’s 2016 Independence Day Salute, Chorus Director Christopher Bell has been busy making music in Scotland and Ireland. We had a chance to catch up with him and learn what he’s currently working on and what he’s the most excited for this summer with the Grant Park Chorus.

What kind of work have you been doing since the summer?

When I leave Chicago at the end of July, I am catapulted into the Edinburgh Festival. This past year involved performances of Elgar’s The Apostles, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Rossini’s Stabat Mater and Schoenberg’s mighty Gurrelieder—All within a four week period!

I was most recently working on holiday concerts in Scotland and Ireland. We managed to clock up 17 concerts in five weeks.

And now I am gearing up to travel to Chicago in February for the Festival’s annual season preview event for members and donors.

What’s up next after you leave here in February?

Over the first two weeks of April I will direct the NYCoS National Boys Choir and NYCoS National Girls Choir residential courses. Around 150 boys and 130 girls will rehearse intensively for six days and learn new repertoire which will be performed throughout the year all over Scotland.

Which works are you most excited for this summer with the Grant Park Chorus?

This summer will be a mixture of old and new repertoire. I’m excited to be returning to Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony and Rachmaninov’s Vespers, both of which we have successfully performed before. But new for 2017 is Frank Martin’s In terra pax and Sierra’s Missa Latina. They’re all fabulous—chorus concerts are always very special events at the Grant Park Music Festival.

Don’t miss Christopher Bell and the Grant Park Chorus in Millennium Park this summer! Choral concerts include A Sea Symphony, Missa Latina, A Broadway Romance, Martin’s In terra pax, Beethoven Symphony No. 9, and Rachmaninov’s Vespers. Reserve your seats close to the stage and explore our membership packages today.