Review: Grant Park Music Festival opens 2016 season; new three-year musicians contract

Posted on: June 20, 2016

“Seldom has an opening night of the Grant Park Music Festival been fraught with as much nail-biting suspense as the concert that ushered in the 82nd season Wednesday at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park,” writes John von Rhein in Friday’s (6/17) Chicago Tribune. “Reversing an announcement early Tuesday evening that the scheduled opener by the Grant Park Orchestra would be canceled because the parent Grant Park Orchestral Association and the Chicago musicians union had failed to agree on the terms of a new labor contract, the two sides managed to reach a three-year tentative collective bargaining settlement a few hours later…. The contract later was ratified by both sides…. [On Wednesday], balmy pre-summer weather helped pack the pavilion and attract a sizable throng to the Great Lawn—roughly 11,000 people…. The orchestra came through … true to its reputation for being one of the quickest bands in the business when it comes to preparing tough programs.” The concert included the Mussorgsky-Ravel Pictures at an Exhibition; an “urgently dramatic reading” of Barber’s Second Essay for Orchestra; and Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos, with pianists Andrew von Oeyen and Fabio Bidini, which “may be the perfect music for outdoor summer listening.” 

Posted June 20, 2016