Christopher Bell Conducting (photo credit Patrick Pyszka)

Summer in Chicago begins next week with the Opening Night of the Grant Park Music Festival on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Opening Night brings Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar to the podium for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 and Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with soloist Yevgeny Sudbin (pictured) making his Festival debut with the Grant Park Orchestra.


Wednesday, June 17, 6:30 PM

Performers: Grant Park Orchestra; Carlos Kalmar, conductor; Yevgeny Sudbin, piano

Join Carlos Kalmar and the Grant Park Orchestra for a spectacular opening night, featuring the Russian-born piano sensation, Yevgeny Sudbin, making his Festival debut. The evening concludes with Beethoven’s rhythmically charged Seventh Symphony.

Norman         Drip

Rachmaninov  Piano Concerto No. 1

Beethoven     Symphony No. 7

Yevgeny Sudbin, piano

Yevgeny Sudbin, whose Grant Park Festival appearance marks his Chicago debut, has been hailed by London’s Daily Telegraph as “potentially one of the greatest pianists of the 21st century.” In addition to annual recitals in London’s Wigmore Hall Master Series he has appeared in recital at the Tonhalle in Zurich, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Gilmore and Singapore international piano festivals, and in New York City, Boston, Seattle, Montreal, Vancouver and Milan, among others. He has performed with the London Philharmonic, at the BBC Proms, the Grand Teton Music Festival, Mostly Mozart Music Festival at Lincoln Center, and with the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Indianapolis, Utah, Kansas City and Vancouver. He has toured in Australia with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Sudbin records exclusively for BIS and has performed and recorded with the Sao Paulo and Singapore symphony orchestras, the Bergen Philharmonic, and Tapiola Sinfonietta in Finland. He is currently completing his recording project with the Minnesota Orchestra, under Osmo Vänskä, performing all of the Beethoven piano concerti. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Sudbin displayed exceptional musical talent from an early age and in 1987 entered the Specialist Music School of the St. Petersburg Conservatory. In 1990 he continued his studies in Berlin and in 1997 he moved to London. There he studied with Christopher Elton at the Royal Academy of Music. He now lives in London with his wife and two young children. The Pulvermacher Foundation, Alexis Gregory Foundation and Wall Trust have played important roles in Sudbin’s career.

Throughout the summer, Kalmar and Chorus Director Christopher Bell will lead the award-winning Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus in a ten-week season that runs through August 22. Most concerts are Wednesdays and Fridays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. The complete June schedule and artist bios are below.

For the first year, the Grant Park Music Festival offers single night passes for reserved seats to any Festival concert. One-night passes, starting at $25, are on sale now. Patrons can call 312-742-7647 or go online at and select their own seats.

Memberships to the Grant Park Music Festival 2015 season are still available, and include reserved seats for every Festival concert, along with exclusive benefits like access to concert receptions and discounts on parking and restaurants. For the first year, the Festival is selling packages of nine or 13 concerts that include reserved seats with complimentary exchange privileges. Memberships begin at $163, and are available by calling 312-742-7647 or visiting

In addition, every Grant Park Music Festival concert has seats that are free and open to the public. Seats in the Seating Bowl and on the Great Lawn are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Open lunchtime rehearsals of the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus return June 16-August 21 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.

Ten of this summer’s concerts, including Opening Night, will be broadcast on 98.7WFMT, Chicago’s classical and fine arts radio station, and also online at

For more information about the Grant Park Music Festival including membership, one-night passes and group seating, visit or call 312-742-7647.  For additional information, visit the Grant Park Music Festival Facebook page or follow the Festival on Twitter @gpmf.

Grant Park Music Festival

Acclaimed by critics and beloved by audiences, the Grant Park Music Festival is the nation’s only free, summer-long outdoor classical music series of its kind. The Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, located between Michigan and Columbus Avenues at Washington Street, is the official home of the Grant Park Music Festival.

The Grant Park Music Festival is led by Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar, along with Grant Park Chorus Director Christopher Bell, Grant Park Orchestral Association President and CEO Paul Winberg, and Board Chair Chuck Kierscht.

The Grant Park Music Festival gratefully acknowledges the generous support from its 2015 sponsors: BMO Harris Bank, Season Sponsor; Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park, Official Hotel; Macy’s, Official Picnic Sponsor; and ComEd, Concert Sponsor. The Grant Park Music Festival is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

The Grant Park Music Festival participates in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Night Out in the Parks series. Night Out in the Parks is an initiative featuring more than 1,000 cultural activities in Chicago Park District locations citywide, in support of the City of Chicago’s Cultural Plan.

Carlos Kalmar

Carlos Kalmar has been Principal Conductor of the Grant Park Music Festival since 2000, and in 2011 was named Artistic Director and Principal Conductor.  Under Kalmar’s leadership, the Festival has become one of the world’s preeminent classical music festivals, and he has played a central role in shaping its artistic vision.

In addition to his role at the Grant Park Music Festival, Carlos Kalmar is the Music Director of the Oregon Symphony, a position he has held since 2003 and Principal Conductor of the Orquestra Sinfónica de Radio Televisión Española in Madrid. He has served in artistic leadership roles for the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra, the Opera House and Philharmonic Orchestra in Dessau, Germany and the Tonkünstler Orchestra in Vienna, while also traveling the world as a guest conductor appearing with some of the world’s most important orchestras. Kalmar has made six recordings with the Grant Park Orchestra.

Christopher Bell

Christopher Bell has served as Chorus Director of the Grant Park Chorus since 2001, and led the Chorus through its 50th anniversary in 2012 with a series of special events, including the release of its first ever a cappella recording entitled Songs of Smaller Creatures and other American Choral Works, available on Cedille Records. He works extensively with the Grant Park Apprentice Chorale, comprised of students from the Roosevelt University Chicago College of Performing Arts and DePaul University School of Music that have been hand-picked by Bell and conducts the Festival’s annual Independence Day Salute.

In addition to working with the Grant Park Music Festival, Bell is the Chorus Master of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Junior Chorus, and the Belfast Philharmonic Choir. Largely responsible for the formation of the National Youth Choir of Scotland (NYCoS) in 1996, he has been its Artistic Director ever since. In 2012, Bell was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow for his contributions to music in Scotland. He is the recipient of the 2013 Michael Korn Founders Award given by Chorus America, established in 1978 to honor an individual with a lifetime of significant contributions to the professional choral art.




Friday, June 19, 6:30 PM

Saturday, June 20, 7:30 PM

Performers: Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus; Carlos Kalmar, conductor; Christopher Bell, chorus director


Wednesday, June 24, 6:30 PM

Performers:  Grant Park Orchestra; Carlos Kalmar, conductor; Roberto Díaz, viola


Friday, June 26, 6:30 PM

Saturday, June 27, 7:30 PM

Performers: Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus; Carlos Kalmar, conductor; Christopher Bell, chorus director; David James, counter tenor; Steven Harrold, tenor; Mark Dobell, tenor; Eamonn Dougan, bass; Anima Young Singers, Emily Ellsworth, artistic directorv