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WFMT Chime In

Question of the Day: What’s your favorite summer music memory?

What’s your favorite summer music memory? Summer begins (officially) this week, and Grant Park Music Festival, Ravinia, and summer street festivals are in full swing. Chime in and tell us your favorite story. We’ll be sharing listener stories all day today, Tuesday, June 18 on air.

  • Dmccann

    Summer, Knoxville 1917(?) by Samuel Barber.

  • Nina Raskin

    In i955 my newly – wed husband and I attended a recital at Tanglewood, in which Benny Goodman played clarinet in Mozart’s clarinet quintet. It was a magical evening. We stood with a big umbrella over us and the warmth of the summer rain and the golden notes of the music bathed us in a memory that has lasted a life-time.

  • Jonathan Rosner

    Favorite summer music memory: My first opera was Die Walküre, at Red Rocks Theater in Golden,
    Colorado, in the summer of 1958. The Valkyries rode real horses across the stage, and Brunhilde
    sang from a rock promontory high above the stage. Truly spectacular!

  • Rebecca Gray Smith

    Hearing MaryAnne McPartland at the Petrillo Band Shell in Grant Park (I believe it was 1999 or 2000)–a sudden thunderstorm stopped the concert from starting because of the danger from bad lightening. Those of us who huddled under protection waiting for the storm to subside were wonderfully rewarded–out of a couple of thousand people, only about 100 remained. When the lightening stopped, MaryAnne invited the 100 die-hard fans up on stage (so they could be dry if the rain started again, and started the concert. I was only about 15 feet from MaryAnne, it was like hearing a private concert in her living room, incredible. And then towards the end of the concert, magically coinciding with her wonderful jazz chords the fire works at Navy Pier went off, during the final piece, with the full moon peeking out from the dispersing clouds. It was a night I will never forget, especially MaryAnne’s fabulous artistry and generosity.

  • A. Reis

    Meadowbrook, summer of 1967, Oakland University Campus, Rochester, Michigan. “The War Requiem” is to be performed that year, conducted by Robert Shaw. I’d heard “The War Requiem” earlier on WKAR-FM in the original recording on London, and had fallen in love with it. Already had the disks, so I bought the sheet music book, sneaked into the rehearsals and sang with the chorus for several weeks. I was never ‘discovered’. Being directed by Shaw in any situation is an awesome experience; he was a tough and sometimes irascible taskmaster, but he taught me the art of getting out a choir exactly what he wanted, a lesson which put me in good stead in later life as a church choir director. I later heard the performance live as part of the Meadowbrook Festival, and it was breathtaking. I still regard that as the supreme lesson in my musical life.

  • Kenneth Chrzastek

    Hi Lisa-
    WOW! The new Bartoli “NORMA” sound stupendous!!! Can’t wait to hear the rest of the cast……..must put it on my Amazon wish list!! Thanks much, always love your Sunday New Releases..
    Ken Chrzastek

  • Kenneth Chrzastek

    One of my most memorable summer music memories was a Ravinia complete performance of “Les Troyens” (performed in 2 parts, on consecutive evenings). CSO, James Levine, chorus under Margaret Hillis and an astounding cast. Due to a last-minute cancellation, Shirley Verrett graciously sang the parts of BOTH Dido and Casssandre, without a score! An amazing evening complete with a real thunderstorm in the park during the destruction of Troy! Talk about a coup de theatre!! WOW it still gives me chills thinking back over thirty years later……..

  • Richard Valentino

    My Favorite Summer Music Memory Is:

    The day Adolph Herseth played his first concert with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The day was
    June 18, 1948*. The time of the concert? I don’t remember! What I do remember is: I went to Ravinia with Walter Cichowicz, (Whose older brother, Vincent, became second trumpet, and sat next to Herseth for 22 years, from about 1952 to 1974.) At this time, Vincent was 22; Walter was19, and also played trumpet, really well; I was a year younger than Walter, and played trombone.

    The CSO concert with Herseth playing trumpet with the CSO for the first time:

    The weather was perfect; a beautiful almost cloudless, sunny day. About eighty degrees; not humid;
    the wind was mostly calm. Walter and I had a very good view of the new trumpet player, who was about fifty to 75 feet from us, in his place with the orchestra. As for how the orchestra was dressed: All I remember is a lot of white. Whether it was white shirts, or white jackets, I don’t remember. Herseth’s hair was full, neatly combed and clearly orange/blond, but orange enough to possibly be called red.
    His face was quite fair, but may have had a touch of red in it, from the sun, which was sneaking into
    the area through the trees,

    The program included two Symphonies, both titled number 2, as follows.
    Brahms Symphony #2
    Sibelius Symphony #2

    The concert went well. For Herseth, even in his first CSO concert, Brahms would not have been a problem; and it wasn’t .The Sibelius has a lot of challenging, attractive solo passages for first trumpet.
    Only Mr. Herseth knew for sure, but from what I heard, everything went extremely well.

    All In All: I do think Herseth’s playing was a little more cautious in his first CSO concert than it was after that. But that was to be expected. Intelligent caution, and wisdom should be included in the make-up of


    *The correctness of the date, June 18, 1948: June is correct. 18 is approximate, based on memory plus feeling. But I am sure the concert was on Thursday of the third week of June, i948.

  • Ken Kimata

    CSO Ravinia Mahler’s 3rd with Jame Levine 1989!!! I don’t go Ravinia anymore hahaha!!!

  • Mike J.

    It was 1985, Ravinia, and Leontyne Price sang Wagner’s Liebestod.

    We were sitting in the park under a tall oak, and it was particularly warm that day. Everyone around was sitting, eating, drinking and enjoying the performance. Then began that tender opening: How softly and gently he smiles… Prince, Levine and the CSO seemed to transcend the very moment they began the love death. I was mesmerized. The sound of chatter and clinking glass dissolved and I began to sense the soft breeze swirl around me and feel the gentle warm rain trickle down, as if Isolde’s piercing realization of Tristan’s ‘melody, so wondrously and gently sounding from within him, in bliss lamenting’ had somehow made it rain. The moment was truly poignant and sublime…a purification of some sort.

    Prince, at 58, was unforgettable…truly my most memorable summer music experience.

  • Lynn

    Beethoven’s 9th Symphony was the final piece at the Grant Park Ochestra last night for many years.
    The wonderal choral ending always keep me enthralled!!! The first time I heard them play it was at the bandshell that faced the Field Museum, but returned year after year until, alas, the symphony was replaced by other music.

  • Karen

    It was a perfect summer day for just ambling around the Lincoln Park Zoo and we ended up at the water lily pond at the north end of the zoo. We sat down by the water’s edge to watch the swans (they kept swans there in those days) and noticed people were starting to gather and a group of musicians were setting up on the east side of the pond. Then they started playing Handl’s Water Music and everthing else went away, even the noise from the cars on the outerdrive. There was just the music and a more perfect ending to the day I can not imagine.

  • Vonnie Lorber

    Susan Graham singing “Nuits d’Ete” at Ravinia however many years ago that was. Also, while I was camping at Devil’s Lake, WI close to three decades ago, I called in to the local classical station and requested the Berceuse from Sibelius’ suite for “The Tempest,” and the “Valse Triste.” (George Stone always signed off Through the Night with that music; it was conducted by Stokowski and was my favorite interpretation. I have not found it to buy but have one on a CD where Leif Segerstam is the conductor; but it is on the same track as some very loud music so setting the player in repeat mode is not very relaxing!) It was wonderful music to hear albeit on the car radio during that wonderful idyll. Summer magic. That may have been the summer The Players’ Theater at Spring Green was producing “The Tempest.” Ariel ran up the amphitheater aisle and climbed a small tree at the top at one point.

  • John

    Studying at Northwestern with Elizabeth Wysor one Summer and going to Grant Park to hear Rusalka in the early 70’s