ArtPrize is an epic event in Grand Rapids, and such an event needs epic music to match.
Naturally, there’s only one place in Grand Rapids to turn for music at its grandest.
The Grand Rapids Symphony will participate in the opening of ArtPrize 2017, performing music including Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man and John Williams’ Hymn to the Fallen from Saving Private Ryan.
ArtPrize Nine opens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, and the Grand Rapids Symphony will be part of opening ceremonies held in Rosa Parks Circle downtown.
Grand Rapids Symphony musicians will perform music including the Heroic Fanfare by Paul Murtha, written to honor the first responders on 9/11, from 7:30 to 8 p.m.
Associate Conductor John Varineau leads musicians of the Grand Rapids Symphony in music from the TV series Game of Thrones, and from the Harry Potter movies. Later in September, Grand Rapids Symphony will present the full-length film, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, in three performances featuring live music on Sept. 29-30 in DeVos Performance Hall. Next February, the orchestra will screen the entire film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on Feb. 9-10 with the film shown on a 40-foot HD screen, accompanied by the Grand Rapids Symphony playing John Williams' memorable musical score.
ArtPrize, which debuted in September 2009 as the world’s largest art prize, is an annual art exhibition that turns downtown Grand Rapids into a city-wide, indoor-outdoor art gallery.
Opening Wednesday, September 20, more than 1,500 works of art will be on display at some 175 museums, parks, pubs, stores, churches, offices through October 8.
ArtPrize also is a competition offering more than $500,000 in prize money, including a $200,000 prize awarded entirely by a public vote and another $200,000 prize determined by a jury of art experts.
Grand Rapids Symphony has participated many times in ArtPrize. Last year, groups of Grand Rapids Symphony musicians performed outdoors for the Blue Bridge Festival on the bridge spanning the Grand River downtown. The Grand Rapids Symphony gave free performances of new and cutting-edge music at Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts during ArtPrize Eight.
In 2015, Grand Rapids symphony presented Mathias Alten Triptych, a three-movement work by three composers, including GRS musicians Jeremy Crosmer and Alexander Miller, each inspired by three different paintings by Impressionist painter Mathias Alten, who flourished in the early decades of the 1900s in Grand Rapids. The piece was an official competition entry in ArtPrize Seven.