In the Spotlight

May 20, 2020

Summer 2020 Virtual Programming 

Free. Connected. Inspired. For the summer of 2020, experience this pioneering approach to staging a music festival—by remote. more

May 04, 2020



April 29, 2020

In Spite of Closure, Millennium Park's Scott Stewart Readies Chicago's Famous Playground for the Arts 

“When we are able to open our doors, our biggest service will be to give people a place where they can come and get away from all their worries.” more

April 29, 2020


Ordinarily, Jeremy Black would be rushing between teaching gigs and rehearsals with the Pittsburgh Symphony. Instead, he’s at home, home-schooling two boys while keeping a full schedule online. more

April 07, 2020

Music in Time of Need 

Musicians make music—always—even in times of social upheaval. The musicians' legacy is one of perseverance and a steadfast belief in the human spirit. more

April 06, 2020

Staff Rallies from Home to Plan 2020 Festival 

On the morning of March 13, under the threat of COVID-19, Festival CEO Paul Winberg decided to send everyone home. Festival staff sprang into action, grabbing hard drives, downloading files and procuring all the necessary equipment to launch a major music festival—by remote. more

March 19, 2020

A Note To Chicago 

These past few weeks have been a powerful reminder of just how connected we are . . .  more

March 02, 2020

Chorus Auditions: "Next, Please!" 

Pushing through winter weather, hectic schedules, and pre-audition jitters, singers line up for a chance to be part of the 2020 Grant Park Chorus. more

March 02, 2020

A Conversation with Composer Judith Weir 

She is Master of the Queen's Music. The 65-year-old Judith Weir talks with the Grant Park Music Festival's Noel Morris about her work, Scottish tombstones, and the unlikely career path of a woman composer.  more

March 02, 2020

Building Tomorrow's Orchestra 

For the young musicians of the Grant Park Music Festival's Project Inclusion Fellowship, jam-packed summers lead to valuable life skills—and a deeper impact on the world. more

February 04, 2020

Carlos Kalmar Previews Summer 2020 

Expect the unexpected and some classic favorites, too — that's according to Carlos Kalmar, who spoke to a gathering of Festival friends onstage at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. more

February 03, 2020

The Birth of Gospel: A Chicago Tradition 

On July 1-2, the Grant Park Music Festival welcomes conductor Charles Floyd and the Soul Children of Chicago to honor one of the city's native art forms: gospel music. more

January 28, 2020

Beethoven: A Musical Behemoth 

2020 marks the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, a giant in music who continues to haunt, challenge and inspire composers, performers and audiences, alike. more

January 07, 2020

Thinking about a Family Get-together? 

Unique in its ability to move young and old, music is—and always has been—the perfect family entertainment. more

January 07, 2020

Rachel barton pine: A True Pioneer 

There are certain works that live in the violinist's DNA. For Rachel Barton Pine, this is only the beginning. more

January 07, 2020

chicago proud: inside the Year of Chicago music 

Classical. Blues. Gospel. House music. Jazz. Chicago is a heavy hitter within America's musical landscape. Now it's time to celebrate. more

August 06, 2019

The Stunning sounds of the Grant Park Chorus 

There's nothing quite like the unexpected brilliance of an outdoor performance, when music and song soar beyond the concert space and can be heard throughout the city. more

July 30, 2019

Acclaimed Violinist Vadim Gluzman Comes Home 

This August, world-renowned violinist Vadim Gluzman will step off his international tour and return to the Grant Park Music Festival on August 2 and 3 to perform Leonard Bernstein’s Serenade. The concert takes place at the intimate Harris Theater, with Carlos Kalmar conducting.   more

July 20, 2019

Piano Virtuoso Conrad Tao returns HOME  

An Illinois native and former student of the Music Institute of Chicago's late, legendary faculty member Emilio del Rosario, award-winning Chinese American pianist Conrad Tao returns to the Pritzker Pavilion to perform Shostakovich’s delightful Piano Concerto No. 2 on Wednesday, July 31 at 6:30 p.m. more

July 15, 2019

Grant Park Chorus in the Parks 

Join the Grant Park Chorus for an evening of a cappella works, as we go off campus to two of the city's cultural hubs: the Columbus Park Refectory (July 18) and South Shore Cultural Center (July 22). Celebrating the legacy of music written by women, Festival Chorus Director Christopher Bell leads the Grant Park Chorus in performances of works by Clara Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn, and the world premiere of Hands by composer Lori Laitman.  more

July 15, 2019

Piano Virtuoso Stephen Hough returns 

It is with great delight that we welcome the return of polymath, piano virtuoso, and Grant Park Music Festival favorite Stephen Hough for two nights of concerts, performing Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3 led by British conductor Martyn Brabbins in his Festival debut on Friday July 19 at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday July 20 at 7:30 p.m.  more

July 15, 2019

Internationally Acclaimed Harpist YOlanda Kondonassis 

Yolanda Kondonassis is celebrated as one of the world’s premiere solo harpists and is today’s most recorded classical harpist. Her many albums have earned universal critical praise as she continues to be a pioneering force in the harp world, striving to push the boundaries of what listeners expect of the harp. Kondonassis’ extensive discography includes twenty titles and her 2008 release, Air, was nominated for a Grammy Award. Her latest album, Ginastera: One Hundred, celebrates Ginastera's 2016 centennial. Kondonassis will perform Ginastera’s Harp Concerto with the Grant Park Orchestra, led by guest conductor Emmanuel Villaume, on Wednesday, July 17, at 6:30 p.m. This concert will also be broadcast live on 98.7WFMT and streamed live at more

June 22, 2019

The Wizard of Oz With the Grant Park Orchestra 

Love the film The Wizard of Oz? Come watch it on the giant LED screen at Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion with the Grant Park Orchestra providing the live soundtrack to this classic film. Join us for Classic Movie Night: The Wizard of Oz on Wednesday, July 10, led by conductor Norman Huynh.  more

June 19, 2019

A Night in Vienna 

Join us for an evening of music and dance! more

June 17, 2019

Where in Chicago is Augustin Hadelich? 

Catch this internationally celebrated violinist with the Grant Park Orchestra on Friday June 21 and Saturday night June 22; leading a master class with our Project Inclusion Fellows on Saturday June 22 at 11 AM at the Chicago Cultural Center; and with pianist Orion Weiss in an intimate, free recital on the Pritzker Stage as part of our CenterStage series on Sunday June 23 at 2 PM. more

June 03, 2019

A Pastoral Picnic in White 

It's Our Backyard Party for the City! On the evening of Saturday, July 27, people from all over Chicago will be dressed in white, enjoying dinner on the Great Lawn in Millennium Park, listening to Dvořák's Seventh Symphony played by the Grant Park Orchestra. more

May 29, 2019

Open Rehearsals Begin Tuesday, June 11 

The sounds of the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus come alive on Tuesday through Fridays at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion when the Festival is in season. Each summer, more than 28,000 Chicagoans and visitors spend their lunch break watching rehearsals and listening to docent-led talks about the Festival's concert programs. more

May 16, 2019


Opening night cannot come soon enough and with it comes the Festival debut of the brilliant young violinist Benjamin Beilman, one of the classical world’s most rapidly rising stars more

May 09, 2019

new in 2019: pritzker pavilion sound system gets an upgrade 


May 08, 2019

Concertmaster Jeremy Black's Picks for Choose Your Own Concerts 

As Concertmaster of the Grant Park Orchestra, Jeremy Black is in the center of the action at the Festival more

April 25, 2019

Festival-HD A New MultiMedia Series 

On four special nights, the Grant Park Orchestra’s performance will be augmented by spectacular visuals, featuring live performance video, images and video related to the music more

January 30, 2019

Carlos Kalmar Talks About the Historic 2019 Season 

On a warm summer night in Millennium Park, the lights of the city twinkle and the air is filled with beautiful music as you turn to your friend and exchange a glance that says "I'm so glad we're here more

January 08, 2019

WFMT Brings the Festival to You 

Can't make it to a Grant Park Music Festival this summer? Again this year,  many of the Festival concerts will be broadcast on 98.7WFMT, Chicago's classical and fine arts radio station. They will also be available online at  more

July 27, 2018

Mars and the Stars Arrive at the Festival 

See the stars of the Grant Park Orchestra on August 1 for Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet, featuring the return of the Festival's Principal Conductor, Carlos Kalmar. Then, join us after the concert when the Chicago Astronomical Society leads view of Jupiter, Saturn and Mars with telescopes from the back of the Great Lawn. more

July 14, 2018

A Homecoming for a World-Class Violin 

THE LEGENDARY VIOLIN, the ‘Wieniakwski’ Guarneri del Gesù returns to Chicago for the first time since 2010 in the trusted hands of guest violinist, Paul Huang. more

July 05, 2018

A Night of Music of the Silver Screen 

ON THE HEELS OF LAST SUMMER'S concert featuring the Grant Park Orchestra performing film scores by composer John Williams, this year the Festival showcases the scope and history of movies and their music. more

June 28, 2018

The Festival in the Neighborhoods 

EVERY YEAR, THE GRANT PARK MUSIC FESTIVAL GOES ON THE ROAD, with free performances by the Orchestra and Chorus in neighborhood cultural centers. more

June 23, 2018


IN 2014, WILLIAM BOLCOM HELPED MARK THE GRANT PARK MUSIC FESTIVAL’S 80TH ANNIVERSARY with a week long residency that culminated in the world premiere of Millennium: Concerto-Fantasia, specially commissioned by the Festival. more

May 17, 2018

Welcome to Our New Musicians 

From familiar faces in new places, to new faces in old places, the Grant Park Music Festival has some introductions to make! Get to know a little bit more about the people behind the music you love—from the longtime Festival violinist who became our Assistant Concertmaster this year, to the newcomers who spend their summer break with us after a year of performing around Chicago and all over the world. To our new orchestra and chorus members: welcome to the Festival! more

May 17, 2018

Important Information for Our Audiences 

WHILE MUSIC IS OUR MISSION, PATRON SAFETY IS OUR PRIORITY. Here are some important things to know when attending the Grant Park Music Festival: more

April 16, 2018

Celebrate the Fourth! 

Everyone is invited to the Grant Park Music Festival's Annual Independence Day Salute! Each year, conductor Christopher Bell puts on the greatest show in town with a program full of rousing marches and patriotic anthems, including Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever and the Armed Forces Salutemore

April 03, 2018


When Jeremy Black's friends asked which concerts to see this summer, he created a Choose Your Own package that included some of his favorite music and guest artists.  more

April 02, 2018

live from WFMT 

Listen to select Festival concerts on 98.7WFMT throughout the summer. more

April 01, 2018

2018 Year of Creative Youth 

When you get to Millennium Park early on a Friday night this summer, be sure to check out the performers at the front of the Great Lawn. more

March 13, 2018

City Announces Updated Security Plan for Millennium Park 

Beginning in May and running through September, the City of Chicago and the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) will be implementing a new security perimeter and bag check policy for all concerts at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. more

February 05, 2018

Become a Festival Member 

HOW GOOD DOES MEMBERSHIP SOUND? Become a member today and help support free classical music in Millennium Park. more

February 05, 2018

An Epic Season Finale: Carmina Burana 

The fully orchestrated version of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana will return to the Grant Park Music Festival for the first time since 2006. more

December 05, 2017

Marlea Simpson Returns to Chicago 

Last month, Festival Impresario members were treated to a performance on the stage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion by the accomplished violist, Marlea Simpson, the youngest member of the Grant Park Orchestra. more

November 06, 2017

On Being a Festival Docent 

This year I begin my 13th season as a Grant Park Music Festival docent and I can say, “I have loved every minute!” more

October 27, 2017

2017 Advocate for the Arts Awards Benefit 

Four hundred of Chicago's civic leaders and cultural elite gathered for a festive evening of musical entertainment in support of our city's cultural gem--the Grant Park Music Festival.  more

September 29, 2017

Sponsor Spotlight: ComEd 

Thank you to our friends at ComEd-Exelon who have been a sponsor of the Grant Park Music Festival for the past 14 years more

August 11, 2017

Children's book Electric Angel Celebrates Beethoven, The Blues, Buskers and all things Chicago 

Order a copy of Electric Angel for only $15 by calling 312.742.7647 Monday through Friday between 10am-4pm. more

August 03, 2017

A Classic Chicago Benefit 

You're invited, so save the date. more

July 28, 2017

A World Premiere Legacy 

“It’s pretty special when you can communicate with a high-level composer like that,” said Jonathan Boen, the Festival’s principal horn. more

July 14, 2017

Stephen Hough, Renaissance Man 

He's a Renaissance man of his time. Named by The Economist as one of 20 Living Polymaths, Stephen Hough has secured his reputation as a leading concert pianist, as well as a writer, composer, and painter. more

July 11, 2017

A Broadway Romance 

True love, crushes, bitter breakups and eternal amour are all fair game in this warm and witty concert that traces the path of romance through unforgettable Broadway classics. more

July 08, 2017

The Stunning Sounds of the Grant Park Chorus 

There's nothing quite like the unexpected brilliance of an outdoor performance, when music and song soar beyond the concert space and can be heard throughout the city. more

June 29, 2017

concert tips for star wars and more july 8 

Whether you’re attending Star Wars and More on July 8 to show off your Star Wars costume or to hear the famous music of John Williams, we can’t wait to see you at the Festival! more

June 28, 2017

Summer Holidays at the Festival 

The Grant Park Music Festival will feature two holiday celebrations in July, beginning with an appearance by the world-renowned brass quintet, Canadian Brass, for Canada's 150th Birthday Celebration on Saturday, July 1. Then, on the Fourth, guests are invited to don their favorite red, white and blue apparel for our nations's 241st birthday. more

June 26, 2017

May the Force Be With You 

Our Great Lawn is like one giant block party, where the neighbors change every week, and on Saturday, July 8, Festival audiences will be in the company of Jedi, Stormtroopers, and Droids at Star Wars and More: The Music of John Williams. more

June 23, 2017

David Schiff on the Origin of Infernal 

The seed for Infernal was planted in the summer of 1959, just before I turned 14, when I heard Stravinsky's Firebird Suite for the first time, performed outdoors at the Baths of Caracalla in Rome. more

June 19, 2017

A "Vintage" Carlos Kalmar Program 

It’s a “vintage Carlos Kalmar program,” a patron told me when he looked at the description for the Stravinsky Firebird concert on our website. And it’s true…it is. more

June 15, 2017

Meet the 2017 Project Inclusion Fellows 

The Festival's Project Inclusion is a professional development program that guides young musicians from diverse backgrounds, traditionally underrepresented in the music industry, towards careers in music. New this year, the Festival will launch the Project Inclusion Vocal Fellowship initiative. The Project Inclusion String Fellowship program is now in its fifth year. more

June 12, 2017


Listen to select Festival concerts live on 98.7WFMT throughout the summer. more

June 06, 2017

Set Sail with "A Sea Symphony" 

Opening weekend is always a favorite when the Grant Park Chorus joins the orchestra for their first concert of the summer. This year will be no exception. more

May 02, 2017

Chicagoan Vadim Gluzman Comes Home 

When Chicagoan Vadim Gluzman returns to the Festival to perform Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, he will be playing on the Stradivarius once owned by the great violinist Leopold Auer, to whom Tchaikovsky originally dedicated the concerto. more

April 27, 2017

Getting Ready for Summer 

Sunny skies, blossoming flowers, and the increase in the number of visitors flooding the streets of downtown Chicago are sure signs that warm weather is approaching, but for the team at Millennium Park, it's time to get the Park ready for summer. more

April 04, 2017

Murasaki Duo Performs for the Impresario SoirÉe 

Last month's Impresario Society Soirée featured an intimate concert with the Murasaki Duo on the Jay Pritzker Pavilion stage. Over 70 Festival supporters and friends gathered as Grant Park Orchestra cellist Eric Kutz and pianist Miko Kominami performed selections by Schumann, Cassado, De Falla and Castelnuovo-Tedesco. more

March 07, 2017

Experience a Festival Season to Remember 

In February, Festival Circle and Impresario Society members attended an exclusive Season Preview event on the stage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, in which WFMT's Candice Agree interviewed Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar and Chorus Director Christopher Bell about the 2017 Festival season. more

March 02, 2017


When a Chicago businessman decided to throw a surprise birthday party for his wife, he reached out to Lou Ann Hayes, the Festival’s group sales associate, to help organize the perfect celebration for 50 of the couple’s family and friends. more

February 07, 2017

Soprano Susanna Phillips Returns to Chicago 

The Festival is excited to feature guest soloist Susanna Phillips in Aaron Copland's Eight Poems of Emily Dickinson. This piece will be part of the program featuring Beethoven's Fourth Symphony on Wednesday, June 21. more

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. more

January 03, 2017

Catching up with the 2016 Project Inclusion Fellows 

As the Grant Park Music Festival prepares for auditions for the next cohort of Project Inclusion Fellows, we had the opportunity to catch up with the 2016 String Quartet. more

September 02, 2016

Remembering Deborah Guscott 

The Chicago singing community mourns the loss of Grant Park Chorus member Deborah Guscott, who passed away from an illness on August 10, 2016. more

August 01, 2016

A World Premiere Unites Science, Nature and Religion 

On August 5 and 6, The Cosmic Garden in Bloom, composed by Michael Gandolfi and commissioned by the Grant Park Music Festival, premiered at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. more

July 29, 2016

Advocate for the Arts Awards Benefit—The Last Picnic of the Summer 

Save the date for the last picnic of the summer—Monday, September 12 at 6PM—for the Grant Park Music Festival's signature fundraising event, the Advocate for the Arts Awards Benefit, when Chicago's civic leaders and cultural elite gather at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park to celebrate the Grant Park Music Festival's extraordinary 2016 season. more

July 28, 2016

A Homecoming 

The next three weeks will be a homecoming for a series of internationally acclaimed soloists, as the Festival welcomes back pianists Stephen Hough and Kirill Gerstein, and violinist Christian Tetzlaff. more

July 15, 2016

Celebrating 35 Years of the MacArthur Fellowship 

In 2016, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation celebrates 35 years of its iconic MacArthur Fellows Program. Dubbed "genius grants" by the media, the MacArthur Fellowship recognizes exceptionally creative individuals with a track record of achievement and the potential for significant contributions in the future. more

July 08, 2016

Rachel Barton Pine Comes Home 

Chicago's own hometown violin virtuoso Rachel Barton Pine makes a long-overdue return engagement to the Grant Park Music Festival on Wednesday, July 13 to solo on Bruch's flashy Concerto in G Minor, an audience favorite beloved for its flowing melodies and graceful rhythms. more

July 03, 2016

Rising Stars with the Ryan Opera Center 

For more than 25 years, the Grant Park Music Festival has been presenting rising stars from Lyric Opera of Chicago's Ryan Opera Center as part of the Festival's summer concert season. What started as a night of operatic highlights at the Petrillo Bandshell has blossomed into an integral part of the Grant Park Orchestra's rich offerings. more

July 02, 2016

Author Nathan Hill Joins the Festival as Special Guest Lecturer 

Nathan Hill explores Bruch's Violin Concerto as a central theme in his debut novel, The Nix. Join him on Wednesday, July 13 at 5:30 pm in the Family Fun Tent as he reads an excerpt from The Nix and discusses Bruch with host Laura Sauer. more

June 30, 2016

Chicago’s Cole Porter Celebration 

To celebrate the red-hot-and-blue songbook of musical theater legend Cole Porter on the 125th anniversary of his birth, the Grant Park Music Festival welcomes sought-after Broadway music director Kevin Stites and an all-star lineup of guest soloists. more

June 27, 2016

Under the City Lights 

Pack a picnic in the Park and enjoy a movie under the Chicago skyline. The Grant Park Orchestra, led by guest conductor Andrés Franco, will perform a live orchestral screening of Charlie Chaplin's City Lights (1931) at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion on Wednesday, July 6 at 8 PM. more

June 23, 2016

Telling the Oldest Story in the World 

The Grant Park Orchestra tackles Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu's rarely performed heroic English-language oration, The Epic of Gilgamesh. more

June 07, 2016

A Picnic in the Cosmos 

Creative Chicagoans are invited to recruit their friends, choose a team name, pack a festive picnic and show off their clever, elaborate and imaginative feasts in the fifth annual Grant Park Music Festival Picnic Contest on the Great Lawn of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. more

May 31, 2016

Crazy, Passionate Storm 

Festival favorite Storm Large returns to the Jay Pritzker Pavilion to perform The Crazy Arc of Love with her band Le Bonheur on Wednesday, June 22. more

March 28, 2017

We're Classic Chicago 

Celebrate Chicago's summer music sensation in the city's most spectacular setting—Millennium Park. Relive the season and enjoy our video. more

May 17, 2016

Lunchtime Learning 

Docent Susan Fauer shares her insights at an open rehearsal. more

April 29, 2016

From Project Inclusion to Grant Park Orchestra 

The Festival welcomes one of its newest—and youngest—musicians. more

April 27, 2016

Today's Grant Park Music Festival 

The Festival celebrates its 82nd season, still going strong. more

April 27, 2016

Getting Ready for Summer 

Millennium Park prepares for an estimated 3 million visitors this summer. more

April 29, 2016

An International Independence Day Salute 

The National Youth Choir of Scotland and the Chicago Youth Symphonies take stage. more

June 15, 2016

WFMT Brings the Festival to You 

Listen to select Festival concerts live on 98.7WFMT throughout the summer.  more

June 16, 2016

Rising Talent 

After a rigorous audition process, four young women—Alexandra Switala, Caitlin Edwards, Rita Andrade and Diana Flores Barquero—have been selected to spend their summer rehearsing and performing with Carlos Kalmar and the Grant Park Orchestra. more

April 14, 2017

Pick 3 Concerts, Get the 4th for free! 

Support free concerts in Millennium Park and get a reserved seat up close in the member section of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. more

September 01, 2017

Thank you for a spectacular 2017 Festival season 

Every concert is a note of gratitude for this generous-hearted city. We're Classic Chicago. more

May 24, 2019

Welcome to our new musicians 

Meet the new members of the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus more