CHAUTAUQUA - Week eight at Chautauqua offers an array of entertaining performances for all ages.
The week begins with free admission to the grounds today, with the Chautauqua School of Dance Student Gala on the Amphitheater Stage at 2:30 p.m. Access to the grounds is always free on Sundays, and parking is free until 1:30 p.m.
Timothy Muffitt leads the Music School Festival Orchestra on Monday evening at 8:15 p.m. in the Amphitheater.
Family Entertainment Series presents the Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Lenna Hall. Artistic director Monika Alch guides her young dancers for an evening of classical and contemporary dance.
The first Community Appreciation night of the week features the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra Pops Concert, "A Night on the Red Carpet," celebrating Oscar-nominated and Oscar-winning music at 8:15 p.m. in the Amphitheater. Richard Kaufman, principal pops conductor of Orange County's Pacific Symphony, will lead the CSO.
The second Community Appreciation Night of the week presents An Evening of Turkish Music and Dance at 8:15 p.m. in the Amphitheater. The performance will feature music from Ahmet Erdogdular, who is Turkey's foremost vocalist noted for his role in preserving the classical singing style of the Ottoman Turkish musical tradition.
On Thursday, Marcelo Lehninger, who is recognized as one the most gifted conductors of his generation, will lead the CSO. Pianist Robert Plano will join Lehninger and the CSO for the 8:15 p.m. Amphitheater performance.
Friday's Amphitheater performance features Conversations with Musician Paul Simon and former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins. The two renowned artists sit together with microphones and a guitar to discuss the art of writing from the vantage point of their life's work. This unique evening with two unparalleled artists brings their insights and personal stories to the Amp stage on Aug. 16 at 8:15 p.m.
Week Eight ends with a Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra performance, joined by guest conductor Markand Thakar and violinist Brian Reagin. The performance will be on Saturday, Aug. 17 at 8:15 p.m. in the Amphitheater.
Tickets for Amphitheater performances are $40. On Community Appreciation Nights, ticket prices are reduced to $20 and Tuesday evening Family Entertainment Series performances are always free.
For additional ticketing information, visit chqtickets.com or call 357-6250.
Chautauqua Institution is a summer community located in southwestern New York State on Chautauqua Lake. It offers a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship, educational programs, and recreational activities. Each summer the Institution hosts over 2,200 events and 100,000 guests. For more information please visit, www.ciweb.org.