Preview: Classical Music Hits the Streets in the First Thirsty Ears Festival

Thirsty Ears Street Festival
Thirsty Ears Street Festival

The latest manifestation of Chicago’s well-documented cultural phenomenon of partying in the streets is the Thirsty Ears Street Festival, Chicago’s first and only street fair devoted to classical music. Hosted by Access Contemporary Music and 98.7 WFMT, the first installment of Thirsty Ears will take place this Saturday, August 13, 1pm to 8pm, on West Wilson, between Hermitage and Damen.

Opening with Chicago’s Ravenswood Trio, the main stage will feature a variety of chamber music ensembles, including the brass Odyssey Quintet, Peter Ferry Percussion, Black Oak Ensemble, clarinetist Cory Tiffin, and the Calumet Chamber Musicians. Rounding out the schedule is Palomar, the resident ensemble of Access Contemporary Music and, at 7pm, the local ensemble Picosa.

Apart from the main stage, from 1 to 4pm there will be kid friendly, musical activities, and, at 4:30pm, New Moon Opera will perform an abridged production of Hansel and Gretel by Humperdinck at the All-Saints Church on the corner of Wilson and Hermitage.

The fair will include food trucks and other vendors, and, since no street fair in Chicago would be complete without booze, Artisanal Imports, La Trappe and St. Feuillien will be serving various beers and ales designed to match the musical offerings.

There is a suggested donation of $5, the proceeds from which will support the ACM School of Music. For more information, check out www.acmusic.org/thirsty-ears-classical-music-street-festival/.

Louis Harris
Louis Harris

A lover of music his whole life, Louis Harris has written extensively from the early days of punk and alternative rock. More recently he has focused on classical music, especially chamber ensembles. He has reviewed concerts, festivals, and recordings and has interviewed composers and performers. He has paid special attention to Chicago’s rich and robust contemporary art music scene. He occasionally writes poetry and has a published novel to his credit, 32 Variations on a Theme by Basil II in the Key of Washington, DC. He now lives on the north side of Chicago, which he considers to be the greatest city in the country, if not the world.

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