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Video: William Bolcom and Grant Park

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer William Bolcom

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer William Bolcom

It’s fitting that the Grant Park Music Festival should commission a piece by William Bolcom to celebrate its 80th anniversary. The Festival and the composer have had a long relationship. In fact, it was a 1986 Grant Park Orchestra performance of Bolcom’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience that cemented his relationship to the windy city, when then Lyric Opera General Director Ardis Krainik decided on the spot to hitch Lyric’s wagon to the American composer. That turned into a twenty-year relationship during which Bolcom wrote three operas for Lyric.

Now, nearly 30 years later, the 76-year-old composer offers Carlos Kalmar and the Grant Park Orchestra Millennium, a concerto for orchestra to commemorate the 80th anniversary season.

WFMT’s live broadcast of the Friday concert begins at 6:30 pm.

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