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Grant Park Music Festival: Free Culture By the Bean

By Justin Sondak in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 24, 2006 8:33PM

pritzkerpav.jpgNot to be outdone by Ravinia, the Grant Park Music Festival has released their 2006 summer schedule. Bringing a nice mix of classical standards, contemporary orchestral favorites, and pop goodness to Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion, the festival offers thrills comparable to their Highland Park cousins at much lower cost. The lawn and most pavilion seats are free. Make a reasonable donation to ensure that we cheapskates can continue to freeload, and the best seats are yours.

The Grammy-nominated (that award actually means something in the Classical world) Orchestra and Chorus have once again assembled a fantastic entertainment value. Opening the season is The Joffrey Ballet prancing to the beat. The fest will spend lots of time in the Americas (late June and early August) and with Mozart. We like our music big and bombastic, so we’re looking forward to the “10 Great Symphonies,” a geographically and historically diverse collection. And speaking of bombastic, ten pianists from the Northwestern School of Music throw down the piano thunder (June 25). For more popular tastes, the musically gifted men and women will share the stage with Sondheim-belting Broadway stars (July 14-15) and The Battleship Potemkin (the movie, not the boat, on July 7-8).

The orchestra holds public rehearsals to piss off rock music fans for the delight of aficionados and first-class lunchtime entertainment at the Pritzker Pavilion most summer weekdays. That schedule’s posted here.

Image via The New No. 2.