The community leaders of Grand Rapids Michigan decided to establish an orchestra to strengthen the city of Grand Rapids and the region. The Grand Rapids Symphony, established in 1930, is the result of visionary leaders who understood the importance and benefit of having a cultural resource.
The Grand Rapids Symphony quickly rose to prominence as an important source for educational and accessible programs. The symphony has an impact on children, students, adults, and seniors every year with its presentation of more than 400 annual performances.
Also, the orchestra touches the lives of more than 400,000 people — including those with disabilities and their family members — through educational events and activities.
About the Grand Rapids Symphony
The Grand Rapids Symphony has a vision to “be a more integral and indispensable part of the West Michigan community.”
The symphony already brings musical excellence and diverse programming to the community and to all who visit Grand Rapids Michigan to see one of its performances. Since the performances are always different, attendees need to place reservations for ones that appeal to them and their families.
Performances for Kids
The renowned Grand Rapids Symphony includes the young and young at heart in its schedule of performances. One example is the special symphony nights that entertain and excite younger children. Kids get to experience lights, music, and characters from their favorite movies.
Parents, grandparents, and other loved ones have the opportunity to let children develop an appreciation for music that is sure to last a lifetime.
Do you prefer a more relaxed symphony experience? Enjoy the opportunity to sit back, relax, and enjoy the entertainment of the award-winning Grand Rapids Symphony. The renowned symphony was nominated for Best Classical Crossover Album at the 2006 Grammy Awards.
Some other awards presented to the Grand Rapids Symphony include The League of American Orchestras naming a Grand Rapids Symphony Musician as one of only four recipients of the Ford Musician Award for Excellence in Community Service in 2017.
The Grand Rapids Symphony announced in a 2022 press release that a Yale University graduate and soloist was the winner of the Linn Maxwell Keller Distinguished Bach Musician Award.
Grand Rapids Symphony Programs
In addition to concerts, the Grand Rapids Symphony offers a variety of programs. Here are a few that are quite interesting for all ages.
Gateway to Music
Gateway to Music is a part of 17 music education and access programs that expand across more than a dozen counties in Michigan. The symphony reaches nearly 90,000 children, students, adults, and seniors from diverse backgrounds. People who have disabilities also benefit from Gateway to Music.
Music for Health
Music for Health reaches people who have a variety of illnesses in an effort to offer the healing power of music through music therapy sessions. People who benefit from Music for Health often include those who have brain injuries, cancer, or dementia.
Student Performance Opportunities
Students who have an interest in music have several opportunities with the Grand Rapids Symphony. The Grand Rapids Youth Chorus features students who perform in one of several groups based on the grade they’re in and their skill levels. Students as young as elementary school can participate in the chorus.
The Grand Rapids Youth Symphony & Classical Orchestra are audition-based opportunities for young people to perform throughout the year. Participants perform “in fine concert halls” in the Grand Rapids area.
FAQs About the Grand Rapids Symphony
Where does the Grand Rapids Symphony perform?
Most of the Grand Rapids Symphony performances are at the DeVos Performance Hall, but some performances take place at St Cecilia Music Center or Forest Hills Fine Arts Center.
How do I purchase tickets for the Grand Rapids Symphony?
You can purchase Grand Rapids Symphony tickets for specific concerts on the orchestra’s website. Look at the calendar to choose the date when you wish to attend a concert.
Are group tickets available for the Grand Rapids Symphony?
Yes, group tickets are available for 10 or more people to attend a Grand Rapids Symphony concert. Choose your group event — from Beethoven to pop music, the Motown classic, or the Polar Express.
What is the Neighborhood Concert Series by the Grand Rapids Symphony?
The Neighborhood Concert Series brings the symphony to neighborhoods within the community. The series expands access to live music by the orchestra and engages local communities.
This series was new in 2022 and replaced the popular Grand Rapids Picnic Pops at Cannonsburg summer concerts.
How often can I attend a concert by the Grand Rapids Symphony?
You are welcome to attend as many Grand Rapids Symphony concerts and performances as you want throughout the year. Check the performance calendar and reserve your tickets — subscription packages are available too.
Dining Near the Grand Rapids Symphony
Grand Rapids Michigan has many places for you to dine, whether you want breakfast, a quick bite, or a fine dining experience. These are some of the top options to check out when you’re in the area for a Grand Rapids Symphony concert.
The Chop House
The Chop House touts itself as “the ultimate prime dining experience.” Enjoy the perfect combination of tenderness and flavor with your menu choice.
Consider ordering a classic prime steak or specialty steak for your meal. Many people are likely to discover that seafood is an ideal option when they dine at The Chop House as well.
Enjoy accompaniments such as a delectable baked three-cheese macaroni with roasted poblano peppers or grilled asparagus with salsa verde and beurre-blanc. Keep in mind that some items may change with the season.
And, do not leave without dessert. The bananas foster bread pudding and the New York cheesecake are sure to delight your palate.
Forty Pearl serves lunch and dinner and has a wonderful wine bar. Enjoy the “pure Michigan experience” and order delectable menu items, such as the Faroe Island salmon or the yellow-belly lake perch.
Or, consider ordering something unique, such as the venison burger or the cherry chicken. Stay long enough to enjoy a mouth-watering dessert too.
If you’re looking for excellent food in a comfortable atmosphere, head to Rockwell Republic. This gastropub serves fresh dishes of all kinds — including sushi rolls, world tacos, rice bowls, and traditional American entrees with a twist.
And with three bars, you know that you’ll get some of the best craft cocktails, bourbons, and beers in Grand Rapids. If the weather is nice, you can enjoy your meal on the deck or in the beer garden.
More Things to Do Near the Grand Rapids Symphony
There are many options for enjoying other activities during your visit to Grand Rapids Michigan for a Grand Rapids Symphony performance. Here are a few top-notch attractions for couples and families.
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
The Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park promotes the understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of the arts, gardens, and sculptures. It has attracted more than 13 million guests since 1995 and is operated by more than 200 staff members.
The gardens and park rank in the top 45 most-visited art museums worldwide. Plus, this Grand Rapids attraction features more than 200 sculptures and 158 acres of gardens.
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum
Visit the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum to enjoy learning about the 38th U.S. president. Learn about his rise to the presidency and fun facts about him and his family. The former president and former first lady, Betty Ford, are buried at the site of the museum as well.
Grand Rapids Escape Room
The Grand Rapids Escape Room is a live escape room for all ages and skill levels. Crack codes and solve puzzles before your time runs out!
Guests are welcome to try their luck with up to five friends or family members. Book a room, and arrive 10 minutes before your scheduled time. You have 60 minutes to complete the challenge. Are you ready?
Find Out What the Grand Rapids Symphony Is All About
The Grand Rapids Symphony is an award-winning orchestra with more than 90 years of experience providing entertainment and cultural resources to hundreds of thousands of people.
The symphony offers many opportunities for the youth in the area to learn to appreciate music and to experience the beauty and magnificence of the symphony.
The mission to share great music that moves the human soul provides opportunities for people of all ages and life experiences to enjoy the Grand Rapids Symphony.
When you start planning your concert visit, consider booking a room at a Grand Rapids hotel to make the most out of the trip and explore more of what the city has to offer.