Classical Music for $0-$20: Midwest Edition

Happy belated Fourth of July!

Happy belated Fourth of July! (By caruba on Flickr).

I have to admit it. I had no idea there were so many classical concerts to be heard in the Midwest, beyond Interlochen and Ravinia. The good news is, I was wrong. There are dozens of them – and you can get into plenty for under 20 bucks.

-Lily Kaiser

Interlochen Center for the Arts (All summer long): $0-$9
Interlochen, MI
Interlochen boasts an impressive concert lineup this summer, including performances by the innovative Maia Quartet and the Enso String Quartet, as well as some stars outside of classical music. (Think Kenny Loggins and the Steve Miller Band). Although guest artists sometimes push tickets over $20, other performances are over 50% off to anyone under 18, ensuring that kids will never pay over $9. (The cheapest way, of course, is to get your parents to pay for you).

Grant Park Music Festival (now til August 15): $0
Chicago, IL
According to its website, the Grant Park Music Festival was a Depression-era brainchild of Mayor A. J. Cermak, meant to lift the spirits of Chicago and simultaneously employ unionized musicians. The free concerts have only improved with age. Go early to grab one of the 4,000 seats, or bring a picnic blanket to enjoy the show from farther back.

Detroit Symphony Orchestra (all year long): $11
Detroit, MI
Young adults the world over have a new birthday to fear: their 38th. That’s when they’ll get kicked out of the DSO’s 37/11 club. Here’s the deal: anyone between the ages of 15 and 37 gets their tickets for $11. The orchestra has a smattering of concerts this summer, but if you can’t make them, don’t worry – the discount is year-round.

Summerfest Concerts (July): $0-$10
Kansas City, KS
This popular outdoor chamber music series has a theme this summer: flowers. The concerts, which have names like “Wildflowers” and “Chrysanthemums,” feature a number of lesser-known pieces. In this article from the Kansas City Star, two artistic advisers to Summerfest gush over works like the recently discovered “Gloria” by Handel and a woodwind quintet by Endre Szervanszky, a Hungarian composer. Kids 18 and under are free, and college students pay $10.

Events at Oberlin (all summer long): $0-$20
Oberlin, OH
The events calendar at Oberlin Conservatory of Music has plenty of great, cheap events to choose from, many as a result of the 11 music camps it hosts during the summer. For instance, check out the Credo Chamber Music Camp‘s numerous performances on campus, for $0-$15. Camps also bring guest artists in to perform, such as alum Edward Parks and percussionist Bonnie Whiting Smith.

Minnesota Orchestra Sommerfest (all summer long): $10-$15
Minneapolis, MN
The Minnesota Orchestra is an easy sell – especially considering they offer tons of discounts! High school and college kids get in for $10, and student rush tickets are $15, not to mention all the special packages and free family concerts they offer. What’s more, the orchestra is playing thousands of concerts this summer as part of their annual Sommerfest! Okay, maybe not thousands, but lots. And don’t miss From the Top alum Chad Hoopes make his debut with the orchestra on July 25.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune (all year long): $0-$20
Minneapolis, MN
If you’re looking for more things to do in Minnesota, might I recommend the Star Tribune’s entertainment finder? Just click on “Entertainment” and then “Music,” scroll down, and look for the finder on the right-hand side. Among the things they list are free concerts by the Summer Singers, an a cappella group that accepts voluntary donations, and Brooklyn Rider, a string quartet with the coolest website ever. (Seriously. Go look at it).

Art After 5 (July): $0
St Louis, MO
Every Friday at 7, the St. Louis Art Museum (SLAM) hosts a free concert. Not all of the concerts are classical, but the ones that are worth your while, like German pianist Andreas Boyde on Friday. If you want to spice things up, there are jazz and folk artists, too. (It’s worthy of note that the Art After 5 program exists in other cities too, so if you don’t live in Missouri, don’t despair!)

Gateway Festival Orchestra (July): $0
St. Louis, MO
The Gateway Festival Orchestra is putting on three free concerts this summer: “All American,” “Classical Masters,” and “Old World – New World,” all on Sunday evenings in July. The first concert features songs from nine different musicals, Sarasate’s “Zigeunerweisen,” a salute to the Armed Forces, and “Stars and Stripes Forever.” The orchestra also does ten performances a summer at inner city youth centers to expose young people in Missouri to classical music.

Check back every few weeks for classical music deals in another area of the country! Next time: West.