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Grant Park Music Festival returns for full-on 2022 season

The 10-week series, June 15-Aug. 20, returns to the Jay Pritzker Pavilion with the Grant Park Orchestra under the leadership of artistic director and principal conductor Carlos Kalmar.

Concertgoers listen to the Grant Park Orchestra at the Pritzker Pavilion during the Grant Park Music Festival’s Independence Day Salute in Millennium Park on July 2, 2021.
Concertgoers listen to the Grant Park Orchestra at the Pritzker Pavilion during the Grant Park Music Festival’s Independence Day Salute in Millennium Park on July 2, 2021.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

The sounds of classical music will once again be filling the air this summer at Chicago’s lakefront. The Grant Park Music Festival on Tuesday announced its full-on 2022 season in Millennium Park.

The 10-week series, June 15-Aug. 20, returns to the Jay Pritzker Pavilion with the Grant Park Orchestra under the leadership of artistic director and principal conductor Carlos Kalmar. Christopher Bell returns as the Grant Park Chorus director. Several performances will also take place at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance (205 E. Randolph), the South Shore Cultural Center (7059 S. South Shore Drive) and the Columbus Park Refectory (5701 W. Jackson Blvd.).

The in-person festival was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, but returned last year for an eight-week run.

Carlos Kalmar will return to conduct the Grant Park Orchestra at Millennium Park for the 2022 Grant Park Music Festival.
Carlos Kalmar will conduct the Grant Park Orchestra at Millennium Park for the 2022 Grant Park Music Festival.
Elliot Mandel

This year’s festival highlights include an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion, Tuesday’s announcement stated, with an increase in the number of works by women and composers of color.

The festival also will present three cross-genre commissions: Billy Child’s Violin Concerto No. 2 featuring renown Chicago violinist Rachel Barton Pine (July 15-16); Mischa Zupko’s world premiere of “Blue Matter” (June 17-18) inspired by jazz, hip-hop, gospel and blues; and “A Gospel Jubilee” with Charles Floyd, conducting, (July 27) celebrating the music of Albertina Walker, Thomas A. Dorsey and more.

The annual “Lights on Broadway” (8 p.m. July 8-9) program will showcase “Sunday in the Park With George,” “Hamilton,” “South Pacific” and more iconic musicals. “A Mariachi Fiesta” (6:30 p.m. Aug. 3) honors the city’s Latino communities and cultures. Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings (July 25 at the South Shore Cultural Center and July 28 at the Columbus Park Refectory) will feature members of the Grant Park Orchestra and the Project Inclusion String Quartet.

Other key events include the annual Independence Day Salute (7 :30 p.m. July 2) and “Cirque Goes to Hollywood” (8 p.m. July 6), featuring aerialists and jugglers of Troupe Vertigo performing choreographed movements to music from iconic films. The Grant Park Chorus will celebrate its 60th anniversary with an a cappella concert (6:30 p.m. Aug. 4) of choral classics in works from Samuel Barber, Eric Whitacre and Morten Lauridsen.

Billy Childs | Photo by Raj Naik 
Billy Childs.
Photo by Raj Naik

The festival closes out the season with Tchaikovsky’s “Sleeping Beauty” (6:30 p.m. Aug. 17), and Haydn’s “The Creation” oratorio (Aug. 19-20) featuring soprano Janai Brugger, tenor Duke Kim and bass Douglas Williams.

All concerts are free and most most take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays. For the complete schedule, times and locations visit gpmf.org.