When you think of classical music, you might think of dead composers, expensive concert tickets and stuffy music halls. In Chicago, though, you can leave the pretensions behind and experience classical music in a church, a garden or even in a public civic center, and admission is usually free or fairly inexpensive. You also don’t need to be a lifelong classical music fan to experience and appreciate it. Simply find a good spot to take it all in, and you’re good to go. To find a classical music performance in your area, check out the following list.
The Grant Park Music Festival
Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park
201 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601
What’s summer without experiencing an outdoor concert during The Grant Park Music Festival? The festival is a series of free concerts that includes classical music that runs all summer long. This summer’s lineup includes works by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Berlioz and Beethoven, and compositions that span the centuries. The next performance is June 26, 2013, and includes works from the early 20th century. To grab a good seat, plan to arrive about 90 minutes before the performance time. You can also make it a fun evening out with your friends, as concert-goers are encouraged to bring their own picnics. You can also grab a bite nearby before or after the concert.
200 Ravinia Park Road
Highland Park, IL 60035
Ravinia Festival has a number of concerts and events planned this summer that will appeal to both long-time classical music fans and those just getting into the genre. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) will perform on select days throughout the summer, but isn’t limited to your standard concert. On August 16, 2013, the CSO will perform the complete score of “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” live while the film is screened; for tickets, check out Ravinia’s website. Other classical music performances include Ravinia’s BGH series, which takes place indoors at Bennett Gordon Hall and features a number of performers all summer. Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute also performs throughout the summer; for a list of upcoming events, check out Ravinia’s website.
Musicians Club Of Women Award Winners
Preston Bradley Hall
Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602
Break up the workday and head out to the Chicago Cultural Center for a classical music concert by the Musicians Club of Women award winners. The upcoming free concerts are part of the Center’s Classical Monday Concerts and include a performance by the Hurricane Saxophone Quartet on July 22, 2013; the group performs songs by Bach, The Beatles and Gershwin. Clarinetist Erin Miesner will also perform on August 26, 2013. The concerts kick off at 12:15 p.m. at the Center’s Preston Bradley Hall and run about 45 minutes, giving you a pleasant way to spend your lunch break.
Rush Hour Concerts
St. James Cathedral
65 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
If you work in or around Chicago’s Near North Side, consider changing up your routine a bit and catching a performance of classical music through the Rush Hour Concerts series at St. James Cathedral. All performances are free and start at 5:15 p.m. with a 30-minute reception, where you can meet the performers. The concerts are also about 30 minutes long, and the series includes compositions from Beethoven and Rossini. The next concert is June 25, 2013, and will feature Trio Voce performing Brahms.
Church Of Beethoven
Open Door Theatre
902 S. Ridgeland
Oak Park, IL 60304
Why not add some classical music to your weekend routine? The Church of Beethoven holds concerts on the third Sunday of every month, and the next concert is scheduled for July 21, 2013, when Grant Street Duo will perform. For ticket information, check out the website. The concerts are designed to be family-friendly and have a relaxed atmosphere, and you can definitely leave your opera glasses at home. Previous performances have included poetry readings, and all concerts include two minutes of silence for reflection.
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Megan Horst-Hatch is a mother, runner, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She loves nothing more than a great cupcake, and writes at I’m a Trader Joe’s Fan. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.