Cantigny Park hosts evening symphony concerts outdoors

Maestro Peter Lipari leads the West Suburban Symphony. (Photo courtesy of Cantigny Park)

Two symphony concerts under the stars, are coming to Cantigny Park in Wheaton. Admission to both concerts is free with paid parking.

West Suburban Symphony

Saturday, July 31, 7:30 p.m.

The symphony presents “Together Again,” an intermission-free performance featuring some of classical music’s most popular, and most emotional, masterpieces.

Selections range from the somber, remembering the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, to the celebratory and triumphant. Highlights include Barber’s reflective “Adagio for Strings”; the soulful “Adagietto” from Mahler’s fifth symphony; Copland’s gentle “Saturday Night Waltz”; and Hayman’s joyful “Pops Hoe Down.”

The orchestra will also perform Berlioz’s spirited “Roman Carnival Overture”, Rimsky-Korsakov’s resolute “Procession of the Nobles”, the majestic final movement of Beethoven’s Symphony 5, and the booming finale of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture.”

Founded in 1947 and based in Hinsdale, the West Suburban Symphony is conducted by Maestro Peter Lipari.

DuPage Symphony Orchestra

Saturday, Aug. 28, 7 p.m.

The symphony presents “Our Folk Song Heritage,” a spirited and tuneful program featuring an array of folk songs from the British Isles and the American homeland.

The concert opens with a suite from John Williams’ film score for “Far and Away”, with echoes of Ireland and the 1890’s American West. Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “English Folk Song Suite” and Leroy Anderson’s “Irish Suite” follow, showcasing traditional melodies. Arthur Harris’ Americana and Clare Grundman’s “American Folk Rhapsody” bring the focus back to our own shores with rich settings of “Shenandoah,” “Deep River” and more.

A medley of well-known American spirituals, a poignant musical essay by William Grant Still, and a lively compendium of regional favorites stretching “From Sea to Shining Sea” round out the performance. Founded in 1954 and based in Naperville, the DuPage Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Music Director Barbara Schubert.

No tickets are needed for these “Ravinia style” concerts, performed outside the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park. Seating is on the lawn, so blankets or chairs are recommended. Picnics are welcome, with food and drink concessions available. Parking is $10 per vehicle. More information is online at