Grant Park Music Festival Orchestra, Principal Horn

GRANT PARK ORCHESTRA: VERSATILIS (Latin or French, adj). Embracing a variety of subjects, fields, or skills; also: turning with ease from one thing to another.

As a member of this incredibly versatile orchestra, I love the opportunity to explore the symphonic literature. We perform 20 different programs each summer at our world class facility, the Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Frequently performing in front of 12,000+ audience members, this festival has found a niche with balancing the masterworks of the 18th and 19th centuries with presenting contemporary works. The Grant Park Orchestra gives me the large orchestral experience where finesse is balanced with power. The pace is extremely quick and we are on the edge of our seats for the entire summer, but it is a very spontaneous, fast learning orchestra.

Working under the direction of Carlos Kalmar is an honor-he is a commanding conductor who is as comfortable with the classics as the new repertoire. The chorus, under the direction of Christopher Bell, is fantastic and enables us to widen the repertoire possibilities, including these recordings: (link) As the only remaining municipally funded classical music venue in the United States, the Grant Park Music Festival has a great social message in that it provides free classical music for all to enjoy. A true festival in the sense that musicians come from all around the country to participate, it is a joy to be part of a very high caliber brass section. And, it’s also nice to be outside and see the sunlight after 6 months in a dark pit!

~Jon Boen

Jon Boen, Photo Devon Cass

Jon Boen, Photo Devon Cass

 

I have been working with Jon Boen since the year 2000. He is not only the most committed and efficient Principal Horn I have ever had the pleasure to work with, he also brings an impeccable sense of security and musicality to the stage. The beauty of his sound, his great ability to shape phrases any way he wants, the quick understanding for what he is being asked to do makes him an outstanding player. On top of that he is also a knowledgeable and very pleasant human being. I am proud to be a colleague of Jon Boen.

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