One of the great things about Chicago in the summer are the abundance of free events that take place throughout the city. Millenium Park is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and, as usual, there are many free musical events that take place certain days of the week at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Yesterday evening, I grabbed my portable lawn chair and strolled on over to catch the Grammy Award-nominated Grant Park Orchestra, led by Conductor Carlos Kalmar perform several beautiful pieces. The final musical piece served as the score for The Legend of The Northern Lights movie which was projected on the amazing screen at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.
It was a beautiful night with temps around 70 degrees and a not quite full moon rising slowly above us as the orchestra got underway. I have never seen the great lawn at Millenium Park this packed! There was barely a blade of grass left for the taking by the start of the performance. As usual, people came with their lawn chairs, blankets, picnic tables adorned with wine, food and flowers, as well as their good cheer.
No one loves a big, beautiful full moon more than I do. Really. Since I was a kid, I have had a tumultuous relationship with the moon. It has always mesmerized me and stopped me dead in my tracks. But, truth be told, the moon also is one crazy bitch which can put me in a fun and sexy mood or wreak complete havoc on my sleep and dreams. THIS particular approaching full moon has been kicking my ass all week, robbing me of a few decent nights of sleep, causing me a couple of outrageous nightmares and messing with my overall mood! So, I figured I would inhale a couple of solo hours of fresh night air and try to lose myself in the soothing music of the Grant Park Orchestra. It worked! I felt much more relaxed, as I took in the calming sights and and sounds of the night. I found my “full moon fever” coincided appropriately with the evening’s astronomical theme of the Northern Lights movie. Coincidence? I think not!
The Grant Park Orchestra has 3 more shows remaining this summer at Millenium Park. You can catch them again on Wednesday, August 13th at 6:30pm when Conductor Carlos Kalmar and artists from Lyric Opera perform the music of Bolcom and Mozart. Or, you can stop by on Friday, August 15 (6:30pm) and Saturday, August 16th (7:3opm) to hear Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe + Bolcom’s Concerto for Orchestra (World Premiere).
For more information about The Grant Park Orchestra and music festival and the other free events happening at Chicago’s Millenium Park, visit www.milleniumpark.org.
ROAM. REVEL. REPEAT.