Who Doesn’t Like Timelines And Big Audiences?

I always enjoy it when an orchestra website includes some worthwhile info about their history at their website. Case in point, the New York Philharmonic recently released a fascinating searchable database of their performances going all the back to 1842 (BTW, they performed Beethoven’s fifth but it was only 35 years old at that time). Another recent entry is the Grant Park Music Festival’s (GPMF) interactive timeline that coincides with the release of the 75th Anniversary book…

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Don’t Wait, Buy Your Copy Now!

According to the Grant Park Music Festival’s (GPMF) website, describes itself as “The nation’s only free, municipally funded, summer-long, classical music series, the Grant Park Music Festival has been a key part of the lakefront’s vibrant history.” That means it is a government sponsored, autonomous orchestra; yes, an organization thought to only exist mostly in Europe has been around right under our US noses for the past 75 years. To celebrate their 75th anniversary, the GPMF commissioned a publication that I was lucky enough to get my hands on a few days before it is officially released…

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A Useful Look At Access and Affordability

The 2/2/2009 edition of the New Yorker published an intriguing article by Alex Ross who took it upon himself to find out how much live classical music he could consume in New York City on a budget of $100. As it turns out, it was quite a bit thanks in part to some fantastic free offerings throughout the city. On the other hand, the majority of Americans don’t live in a metropolitan area that offers as much variety as NYC, but Ross’ article serves as an enormously useful launching point for this discussion…

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Grant Park Take A Friend Concert Review

The second of the Grant Park Music Festival’s Take a Friend to the Orchestra concerts went over wonderfully. The weather simply couldn’t have been better and just like Wednesday evening’s concert, the park was filled to capacity (12,000) with a few thousand more spilling over to the walkways and adjacent grassy areas. This performance featured a pre-concert CoffeeTalk discussion that had close to 200 in attendance who listened to festival’s Artistic and General Director James Palermo (2007 TAFTO contributor), music director Carlos Kalamar (2008 TAFTO contributor), and me discuss the concert, the ideals behind the “Take a Friend” concept, and answer patron’s questions.

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Take A Friend To The Grant Park Orchestra Act 2

Tonight is the second of two Take a Friend to the Orchestra (TAFTO) concerts at Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival. Today’s event features a pre-concert CoffeeTalk discussion starting at 6:15PM CT (concert begins at 7:30PM) and located at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion Choral Hall on the east side of the Pavilion. The pre-concert event (not to mention the concert) is free and open to all so join Artistic and General Director James Palermo (2007 TAFTO contributor), music director Carlos Kalamar (2008 TAFTO contributor), and me for free coffee and interesting conversation in an inclusive, friendly environment.

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