Millennium Park - Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Chicago
One of the fun things to do in Millennium Park is to take in a free concert. All throughout the summer months and periodically during the spring and autumn you will be able to enjoy a free concert. Sitting in the many seats or on the expanse of the Great Lawn you are sure to enjoy a nice evening under the stars.
Several years ago Sue and I were there for a really nice Polish event which included music and dance and a special tribute to Poland and an appearance by Lech Walesa, former President of Poland. Chicago has a huge Polish population (some of my ancestors are from Poland also) so it was only fitting that this event took place on a very nice spring night.
We enjoyed our 2nd free concert of classical music during June, 2011 during our first event of the VT Chicago Weekend. About 20 or so members enjoyed sitting on the Great Lawn listening to music, visiting new VT friends and munching away on Garrett's Popcorn brought in DABS and homemade cookies brought by Goodfish.
although this is the suposed main attraction here in Millenium Park, it is overshadowed and surpassed in popularity the the "bean" (cloud gate) and the Crown Plaza. The Jay Pritzker pavilion is the showpiece of the Millenium Park, where assorted outdoor performing arts venues and live bands and rock concerts and even political rallies are held periodically but unfortunately, none was held when I was here, boo hoo. The Pritzker Pavilion is built partially atop the Harris Theater for Music and Dance.
Pritzker Pavilion, built by world-reknowned architect Frank Gehry, is one of the most innovative, sophisticated, and technologically advanced outdoor concert venues in the world. It stands 120 ft. tall and has 4,000 permanent seats. The Great Lawn, with seating for over 7,000, is covered with crisscrossing stainless steel pipes. The pipes double as an acoustical canopy.
For a schedule of events at the Pritzker Pavilion, check the website below.
Local architecture critics are simply gushing over the Frank Gehry designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion (named after another wealthy Chicago family that was successfully lobbied to sponsor an attraction in MP), the new outdoor venue for the Grant Park Orchestra.
Aesthetically, I'm afraid you can't count me among it's admirers, it looks a bit like Skylab has landed. But the sound system, even out on the lawn is crystal clear, and it's a lovely venue to bring a picnic to and spread out for an evening of music. For most performances, alcohol is permitted so you can bring a bottle of wine etc. to enjoy with your picnic. Check the website below for a calendar of events at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, concerts and events held there are always free on the lawn or in the seating area.
Take a walk through this lovely park to view monuments like the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Designed by legendary architect Frank Gehry, this outdoor performance venue hosts many performances each year, including operas and music concerts.
"How do you make everyone - not just the people in the seats, but the people sitting 400 feet away on the lawn - feel good about coming to this place to listen to music? The answer is, you bring them into it. You make the proscenium larger; you build a trellis with a distributed sound system. You make people feel part of the experience."
Click here for more specific information about:
- the Jay Pritzker Pavilion - November 5, 2007 (www.arcspace.com):
- the architect - Gehry Partners, LLP
- the Pritzker Architecture Prize
As Millenium Park is free to the public to enjoy, there are several notable structures worthy of praise like the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the roof of which is remarkably modern and the most sophisticated outdoor concert venue of its kind in the United States, designed by Frank Gehry, one of the world’s greatest living architects.
The Pritzker Pavilion consists of curving planes of stainless steel resembling the graceful blooming of a flower or the unfurling sails of a massive ship.
It is also the home of Grant Park Music Festival, the the nation's only remaining free, municipally-supported, outdoor, classical music series.
Frank Gehry's architecture is very interesting and I like it but I feel like his more modern structures are all starting to run together - the use of brushed stainless steel at wild angles and swooping arcs. Nonethless, I love the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. It looks like someone has hastily peeled back pieces of a container to reveal this jewel that is whatever event is happening on stage. And the trellis over the lawn feels like a shelter yet you can see the magnificent skyline only a block away.
Millenium Park is home to the new Jay Pritzker Pavilion, a controversial new outdoor concert venue. It evoked strong emotions while being built, for its dramatic modern design. However, it was built this way to optimize acoustics for the concerts it will host, so I have no objection if it's for the sake of beautiful music. :)