A biographical memorial to iconic Russian classical music composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky will become the newest addition to Chicago’s “Legacy Walk” art installation, a half-mile outdoor “museum” along Halsted Street dedicated to celebrating “the contributions LGBT people have made to world history and culture,” it was announced Thursday.
The Legacy Walk, part of the Legacy Project, is the only outdoor museum of its kind in the world. Featured in the installation, which is situated along Halsted Street between 3245 and 3705 North, are bronze markers digitally linked to a cloud-based system “that enables patrons to access video and download lesson plans, study guides, and reading resources through their smartphones. The Legacy Walk also serves as an outdoor classroom for LGBTQ youth to learn about historically significant role models,” Thursday’s announcement stated, which also noted that the streetscape will soon be granted Historic Landmark status.
“As good as things are today and promise to be in the future, we must remember that we stand on the shoulders of giants. Honoring Tchaikovsky through the Legacy Project is another step that our free and open society can take in acknowledging the suffering of previous generations as we work toward a future of empathy and equality,” said State Senator Heather Steans, who, along with the Ravinia Festival, is among the sponsors of the Tchaikovsky induction.
Some of the artists currently celebrated along the walk include activist/social worker Jane Addams, astronaut Sally Ride, novelist James Baldwin, choreographer Alvin Ailey, playwright Lorraine Hansberry, composer Leonard Bernstein, jazz composer/pianist Billy Strayhorn, jazz icon Josephine Baker, composer Cole Porter, artist Frida Kahlo and ballet legend Rudolf Nureyev.
The memorial exhibit to Tchaikovsky will be unveiled Oct. 13.
Tchaikovsky’s most famous works include “The Nutcracker,” “Swan Lake” and “The Sleeping Beauty” ballets, the iconic “1812 Overture,” and the operas “The Queen of Spades” and “Eugene Onegin.”
Fans of the composer’s work can head to Ravinia July 21 and 22 for the festival’s annual “Tchaikovsky Spectacular,” featuring the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a program of some of his greatest music, punctuated by the 1812 Overture with live cannon fire. For tickets and more information about the concerts, visit ravinia.org.