In Concert

For ticket information, visit Ravinia.org or call 847-266-5100. The complete 2017 season schedule follows. Note that artists and programs are subject to change, and opening acts for some concerts may be announced at a later date. Artists making their Ravinia debut are marked with a dagger (†). Repertoire being performed at Ravinia for the first time is marked with an asterisk (*). Lawn ticket prices that increase by $5 on the day of the concert are marked with a carat (^).

 

JUNE

 

Saturday, June 3, 11:00 a.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Kids Concert series

Catskill Puppet Theater

Sister Rain and Brother Sun

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 10:00 a.m.

 

Saturday, June 3, 1:00 p.m. — Martin Theatre

Kids Concert series

Magical Strings of Youth of the Betty Haag Academy of Music †

Tickets: reserved $10 / lawn $5 — Park opens at noon

 

Saturday, June 3, 2:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Kids Concert series

Catskill Puppet Theater

Sister Rain and Brother Sun

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at noon

 

Saturday, June 3, 5:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Kids Concert series

Catskill Puppet Theater

Sister Rain and Brother Sun

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 4:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, June 10, 7:30 p.m. — Pavilion

John Legend

Gallant †

Darkness & Light Tour

Tickets: reserved $173 / $153 / lawn $52^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Wednesday, June 14, 2:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Master Class

Linda May Han Oh, String Bass

Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute: Program for Jazz

Tickets: free / no lawn — Park opens at 1:00 p.m.

 

Wednesday, June 14, 7:30 p.m. — Pavilion

Pat Metheny

An Evening with Pat Metheny

Tickets: reserved $55 / $45 / lawn $15^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Thursday, June 15, 8:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Seu Jorge

The Life Aquatic: A Tribute to David Bowie

Tickets: reserved $60 / $50 / lawn $27^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Friday, June 16, 6:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute: Program for Jazz

Jazz Grandstand

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Friday, June 16, 7:30 p.m. — Pavilion

Willie Nelson & Family

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real

Tickets: reserved $125 / $105 / lawn $49^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, June 17, 11:00 a.m. — Martin Theatre

Kids Concert series

Ko-Thi Dance Company

Tickets: reserved $10 / lawn $5 — Park opens at 10:00 a.m.

 

Saturday, June 17, 6:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Fine Arts Quartet

Alexander Bickard, String Bass †

Alon Goldstein, Piano

Mozart Concertos for Piano and String Quintet

Mozart: String Quartet No. 20 (“Hoffmeister”)

(arr. Lachner): Piano Concerto No. 23

(arr. Lachner): Piano Concerto No. 24

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, June 17, 8:30 p.m. — Pavilion

Aretha Franklin

Tickets: reserved $110 / $85 / lawn $38^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Sunday, June 18, 8:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

George Stelluto, Conductor

La La Land in concert

Justin Hurwitz: Score to La La Land *

Complete film shown on Pavilion and lawn video screens

Tickets: reserved $90 / $25 / lawn $25 — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Monday, June 19, 8:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Sammy Hagar & The Circle †

Andrew Hagar †

Tickets: reserved $110 / $95 / lawn $38^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Tuesday, June 20, 7:30 p.m. — Martin Theatre

Juilliard String Quartet

Bartók: String Quartet No. 1

Beethoven: String Quartet No. 13 (with Grosse Fuge)

Tickets: reserved $60 / $40 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Friday, June 23, 8:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Gipsy Kings

Tickets: reserved $90 / $75 / lawn $38^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, June 24, 7:30 p.m. — Pavilion

Common †

Tickets: reserved $110 / $100 / lawn $44^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Tuesday, June 27, 7:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Boz Scaggs

Michael McDonald

Tickets: reserved $90 / $70 / lawn $38^ — Park opens at 4:00 p.m.

 

Wednesday, June 28, 8:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Diana Krall

Tickets: reserved $104 / $94 / lawn $42^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Thursday, June 29, 2:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Master Class

Robert Levin, Piano

Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute: Program for Piano and Strings

Tickets: free / no lawn — Park opens at 1:00 p.m.

 

Thursday, June 29, 7:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Kids Concert series

The Stars of the Peking Acrobats

Tickets: reserved $15 / lawn $5 — Park opens at 4:00 p.m.

 

Friday, June 30, 2:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute: Program for Piano and Strings

Tickets: free / no lawn — Park opens at 1:00 p.m.

 

Friday, June 30, 8:00 p.m. — Pavilion

The Moody Blues

Days of Future Passed 50th Anniversary Tour

Tickets: reserved $120 / $100 / lawn $44^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

JULY

 

Saturday, July 1, 2:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute: Program for Piano and Strings

Tickets: free / no lawn — Park opens at 1:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, July 1, 7:30 p.m. — Pavilion

Lila Downs †

Tickets: reserved $65 / $55 / lawn $27^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Sunday, July 2, 6:00 p.m. — Pavilion

The Beach Boys

The Temptations

Tickets: reserved $80 / $55 / lawn $38^ — Park opens at 3:00 p.m.

 

Monday, July 3, 7:30 p.m. — Martin Theatre

Ryan Speedo Green, Bass-baritone †

Adam Nielsen, Piano †

Program to be selected from works by Franz Schubert, Hugo Wolf, Franz Liszt, Gustav Mahler, Margaret Bonds, Florence B. Price, Thomas H. Kerr Jr., Leslie Adams, and Howard Swanson

Tickets: reserved $60 / $40 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Wednesday, July 5, 7:30 p.m. — Martin Theatre

Miriam Fried, Violin

Mihaela Martin, Violin

Atar Arad, Viola

Paul Biss, Viola

Frans Helmerson, Cello

Anton Nel, Piano

Mozart: Piano Quartet No. 2

Ravel: Sonata for Violin and Cello

Mozart: String Quintet No. 5

Tickets: reserved $60 / $40 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Thursday, July 6, 2:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute: Program for Piano and Strings

Tickets: free / no lawn — Park opens at 1:00 p.m.

 

Thursday, July 6, 7:30 p.m. — Pavilion

Headliner to be announced March 26

Booker T. Jones

Tickets: reserved $90 / $70 / lawn $38^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Friday, July 7, 2:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Master Class

Frans Helmerson, Cello

Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute: Program for Piano and Strings

Tickets: free / no lawn — Park opens at 1:00 p.m.

 

Friday, July 7, 7:30 p.m. — Pavilion

Sheryl Crow

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real

Be Myself Tour

Tickets: reserved $115 / $105 / lawn $49^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, July 8, 2:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute: Program for Piano and Strings

Tickets: free / no lawn — Park opens at 1:00 p.m.

 

Sunday, July 9, 2:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute: Program for Piano and Strings

Tickets: free / no lawn — Park opens at 1:00 p.m.

 

Monday, July 10, 6:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute: Program for Piano and Strings

Music of Dvořák

Program to include Piano Quintet No. 2

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Tuesday, July 11, through Sunday, July 23 — Ravinia Tent, North Lawn

The Virtual Orchestra

Take a seat within London’s Philharmonia Orchestra as it plays the thrilling climax from Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen—a once-in-a-lifetime vantage point in this unique virtual-reality experience.

Tickets: free with park admission, reserved in advance through box office

 

Tuesday, July 11, 8:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Lionel Bringuier, Conductor † (CSO debut)

Yuja Wang, Piano †

Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1

Mussorgsky (orch. Ravel): Pictures at an Exhibition

Tickets: reserved $75 / $25 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Wednesday, July 12, 8:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Andrey Boreyko, Conductor †

Joshua Bell, Violin

Bruch: Scottish Fantasy

Prokofiev: Suite from Romeo and Juliet (compiled by the conductor)

Tickets: reserved $100 / $25 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Thursday, July 13, 2:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Master Class

Miriam Fried, Violin

Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute: Program for Piano and Strings

Tickets: free / no lawn — Park opens at 1:00 p.m.

 

Friday, July 14, 2:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute: Program for Piano and Strings

Tickets: free / no lawn — Park opens at 1:00 p.m.

 

Friday, July 14, 6:30 p.m. — Pavilion

OneRepublic

Fitz & The Tantrums †

James Arthur †

Tickets: reserved $125 / $95 / lawn $49^ — Park opens at 4:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, July 15, 11:00 a.m. — Pavilion

Kids Concert series

Laurie Berkner

Tickets: reserved $15 / lawn $5 — Park opens at 10:00 a.m.

 

Saturday, July 15, 2:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute: Program for Piano and Strings

Tickets: free / no lawn — Park opens at 1:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, July 15, 6:30 p.m. — Pavilion

OneRepublic

Fitz & The Tantrums

James Arthur

Tickets: reserved $125 / $95 / lawn $49^ — Park opens at 4:00 p.m.

 

Sunday, July 16, 5:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Dima Slobodeniouk, Conductor † (CSO debut)

Simon Trpčeski, Piano

All-Tchaikovsky Program

Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture

Piano Concerto No. 1

Francesca da Rimini

1812 Overture (with cannons)

Tickets: reserved $90 / $25 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 3:00 p.m.

 

Monday, July 17, 6:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute: Program for Piano and Strings

Music of Dvořák

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Monday, July 17, 7:30 p.m. — Martin Theatre

Angela Hewitt, Piano

Bach: “Goldberg Variations” Tickets: reserved $60 / $40 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Tuesday, July 18, 8:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Edward Gardner, Conductor † (CSO debut)

Yefim Bronfman, Piano

Elgar: “Enigma” Variations

Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2

Tickets: reserved $75 / $25 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Wednesday, July 19, 6:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute: Program for Piano and Strings

Music of Dvořák

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Thursday, July 20, 8:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Susanna Mälkki, Conductor

Vadim Repin, Violin

Sibelius: Violin Concerto

Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica”)

Tickets: reserved $75 / $25 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Friday, July 21, 2:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute: Program for Piano and Strings

Tickets: free / no lawn — Park opens at 1:00 p.m.

 

Friday, July 21, 8:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Susanna Mälkki, Conductor

Kirill Gerstein, Piano

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3

Sibelius: Symphony No. 2

Tickets: reserved $50 / $25 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, July 22, 2:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute: Program for Piano and Strings

Tickets: free / no lawn — Park opens at 1:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, July 22, 6:30 p.m. — Pavilion

Blondie

Garbage †

John Doe & Exene Cervenka †

The Rage and Rapture Tour

Tickets: reserved $90 / $70 / lawn $38^ — Park opens at 4:00 p.m.

 

Sunday, July 23, 6:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Cristina Gómez Godoy, Oboe †

Program to include:

Bach (attr.): Oboe Sonata in G minor *

Britten: Six Metamorphoses after Ovid for solo oboe *

Bozza: Fantaisie pastorale *

Dutilleux: Oboe Sonata *

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 4:00 p.m.

 

Sunday, July 23, 7:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Andrew Bird †

Tickets: reserved $75 / $65 / lawn $33^ — Park opens at 4:00 p.m.

 

Monday, July 24, 7:30 p.m. — Martin Theatre

Emerson String Quartet

Calidore String Quartet

Beethoven: String Quartet No. 11 (“Serioso”)

R. Strauss: String Sextet from Capriccio

Shostakovich: Two Pieces for String Octet

Mendelssohn: String Octet

Tickets: reserved $60 / $40 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Tuesday, July 25, 8:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Celebrating John Adams at 70

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Kent Nagano, Conductor †

Nikolai Lugansky, Piano

John Adams: Harmonielehre (The Book of Harmony) *

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 (“Emperor”)

Tickets: reserved $75 / $25 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Wednesday, July 26, 2:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Master Class

Kevin Murphy, Piano

Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute: Program for Singers

Tickets: free / no lawn — Park opens at 1:00 p.m.

 

Wednesday, July 26, 8:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Stephen Stills

Judy Collins

Numa Edema †

Tickets: reserved $80 / $70 / lawn $33^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Thursday, July 27, 7:30 p.m. — Martin Theatre

Apollo’s Fire †

Jeannette Sorrell, Conductor and Harpsichord †

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons: Rediscovered

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

Vivaldi: Concerto for Two Cellos

Dall’Abaco: Concerto in E minor *

Tickets: reserved $60 / $40 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Friday, July 28, 8:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Christoph Eschenbach, Conductor

Ray Chen, Violin (CSO debut)

Marisol Montalvo, Soprano † (CSO debut)

Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto

Barber: Knoxville: Summer of 1915

Mozart: “L’amerò, sarò costante” for soprano and violin

Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 5 (“Reformation”)

Tickets: reserved $50 / $25 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, July 29, 11:00 a.m. — Martin Theatre

Kids Concert series

Joyous String Ensemble

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 10:00 a.m.

 

Saturday, July 29, 7:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Gala Evening Benefiting Reach*Teach*Play

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Christoph Eschenbach, Conductor

Lang Lang, Piano

Dvořák: Carnival Overture

Dvořák: Symphony No. 8

Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 1

Tickets: reserved $150 / $25 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 4:00 p.m.

 

Sunday, July 30, 2:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute: Program for Singers

Tickets: free / no lawn — Park opens at 1:00 p.m.

 

Monday, July 31, 7:00 p.m. — Martin Theatre

Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Piano

Messiaen: Catalogue d’oiseaux *

Tickets: reserved $60 / $40 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 4:00 p.m.

 

AUGUST

 

Tuesday, August 1, 8:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Gianandrea Noseda, Conductor

Denis Matsuev, Piano

Smetana: The Moldau

R. Strauss: Suite from Der Rosenkavalier

Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini

Ravel: La valse

Tickets: reserved $90 / $25 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Wednesday, August 2, 7:30 p.m. — Martin Theatre

Danish String Quartet †

Juho Pohjonen, Piano

Haydn: String Quartet No. 25

Beethoven: String Quartet No. 7

Shostakovich: Piano Quintet

Tickets: reserved $60 / $40 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Thursday, August 3, 6:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute: Program for Singers

Celebrating the Music of Finland and the 100th Anniversary of Finnish Independence

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Thursday, August 3, 8:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Pinchas Zukerman, Conductor and Violin

Elgar: Deux Chansons for violin and orchestra * (CSO premiere)

Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 3

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4

Tickets: reserved $90 / $25 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Friday, August 4, 8:30 p.m. — Pavilion

Tony Bennett

Tickets: reserved $146 / $116 / lawn $39^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, August 5, 7:30 p.m. — Pavilion

Darius Rucker

Radney Foster †

Tickets: reserved $130 / $115 / lawn $49^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Sunday, August 6, 5:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Steven Reineke, Conductor Sir James Galway, Flute

Lady Jeanne Galway, Flute Ashley Brown, Vocalist

Tony DeSare, Vocalist † (CSO debut)

A Tribute to Henry Mancini

Program to include selections from The Pink Panther, Hatari!, Victor/Victoria, The Days of Wine and Roses, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Tickets: reserved $90 / $25 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 3:00 p.m.

 

Monday, August 7, 2:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Master Class

Morris Robinson, Bass

Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute: Program for Singers

Tickets: free / no lawn — Park opens at 1:00 p.m.

 

Monday, August 7, 7:30 p.m. — Martin Theatre

Sir James Galway, Flute

Lady Jeanne Galway, Flute

Phillip Moll, Piano

Tickets: reserved $60 / $40 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Tuesday, August 8, 8:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

James Levine, Conductor

Chicago Symphony Chorus

Nadine Sierra, Soprano † (CSO debut)

Matthew Polenzani, Tenor

John Relyea, Bass

Haydn: The Creation

Tickets: reserved $90 / $25 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Wednesday, August 9, 2:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Master Class

John Relyea, Bass

Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute: Program for Singers

Tickets: free / no lawn — Park opens at 1:00 p.m.

 

Wednesday, August 9, 7:30 p.m. — Martin Theatre

Morris Robinson, Bass

Kevin Murphy, Piano

Program to include European classic song and American song, spirituals, and gospel music Tickets: reserved $60 / $40 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Thursday, August 10, 6:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute: Program for Singers

Schumann and Brahms

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Thursday, August 10, 8:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Krzysztof Urbański, Conductor

Garrick Ohlsson, Piano

Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10

Tickets: reserved $75 / $25 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Friday, August 11, 7:30 p.m. — Pavilion

Santana

Transmogrify Tour

Tickets: reserved $135 / $115 / lawn $49^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, August 12, 11:00 a.m. — Martin Theatre

Kids Concert series

Opera for the Young

Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love

Tickets: reserved $10 / lawn $5 — Park opens at 10:00 a.m.

 

Saturday, August 12, 2:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute: Program for Singers

Tickets: free / no lawn — Park opens at 1:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, August 12, 7:30 p.m. — Pavilion

Santana

Transmogrify Tour

Tickets: reserved $135 / $115 / lawn $49^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Sunday, August 13, 5:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Emil de Cou, Conductor

Kevin Cole, Piano and Host

Sylvia McNair, Vocalist

Ryan VanDenBoom, Vocalist and Dancer

I Love to Rhyme: A Tribute to Ira Gershwin

Program to include songs from Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire films and George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue Tickets: reserved $90 / $25 / lawn $20 — Park opens at 3:00 p.m.

 

Sunday, August 13, 8:30 p.m. — Martin Theatre

Leslie Odom Jr. †

Tickets: reserved $100 / $90 / lawn $20 — Park opens at 3:00 p.m.

 

Monday, August 14, 6:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute: Program for Singers

American Music Theater

Program to include songs by Adams, Bernstein, and Bolcom

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Monday, August 14, 8:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Punch Brothers

I’m With Her †

Julian Lage †

American Acoustic

Tickets: reserved $80 / $70 / lawn $27^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Tuesday, August 15, 6:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Jonathan Biss, Piano

Complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas, Part 4 [Second year of three-year cycle]

Piano Sonata No. 15 (“Pastoral”) Piano Sonata No. 20

Piano Sonata No. 3

Piano Sonata No. 27

Piano Sonata No. 28 Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Wednesday, August 16, 6:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Celebrating John Adams at 70

Lincoln Trio

Beethoven: Piano Trio No. 3 [Start of complete cycle]

John Adams: Shaker Loops for string septet *

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Wednesday, August 16, 7:30 p.m. — Martin Theatre

Vladimir Feltsman, Piano

Schubert: Piano Sonata, D. 960

Brahms: Six Piano Pieces, op. 118

Brahms: Four Piano Pieces, op. 119

Tickets: reserved $60 / $40 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Thursday, August 17, 6:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Jonathan Biss, Piano

Complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas, Part 5 [Second year of three-year cycle]

Piano Sonata No. 19

Piano Sonata No. 16

Piano Sonata No. 7

Piano Sonata No. 2

Piano Sonata No. 31 Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Thursday, August 17, 7:30 p.m. — Martin Theatre

Celebrating John Adams at 70

The Knights

Eric Jacobsen, Conductor

Susan Graham, Mezzo-soprano

Purcell: Fantasy upon One Note *

John Adams: Common Tones in Simple Time *

Canteloube: Selections from Chants d’Auvergne

John Adams: Chamber Symphony *

Mozart: Symphony No. 40

Tickets: reserved $60 / $40 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Friday, August 18, 6:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Harriet Krijgh, Cello †

Magda Amara, Piano †

Schumann: Three Romances, op. 94

Chopin: Cello Sonata

Rachmaninoff: Elegy, op. 3, no. 1 *

Myaskovsky: Cello Sonata No. 2 *

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 4:00 p.m.

 

Friday, August 18, 7:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Ludwig Wicki, Conductor

Chicago Children’s Choir

Chicago Chorale

The Lakeside Singers

Howard Shore: Score to The Fellowship of the Ring

Complete film shown on Pavilion and lawn video screens

Tickets: reserved $90 / $25 / lawn $25 — Park opens at 4:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, August 19, 7:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Ludwig Wicki, Conductor

Chicago Children’s Choir

Chicago Chorale

The Lakeside Singers

Howard Shore: Score to The Two Towers

Complete film shown on Pavilion and lawn video screens

Tickets: reserved $90 / $25 / lawn $25 — Park opens at 4:00 p.m.

 

Sunday, August 20, 1:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

St. Charles Singers

Program to include:

Dominick Argento: Walden Pond *

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at noon

 

Sunday, August 20, 7:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Ludwig Wicki, Conductor

Chicago Children’s Choir

Chicago Chorale

The Lakeside Singers

Howard Shore: Score to The Return of the King

Complete film shown on Pavilion and lawn video screens

Tickets: reserved $90 / $25 / lawn $25 — Park opens at 4:00 p.m.

 

Monday, August 21, 7:30 p.m. — Martin Theatre

Behzod Abduraimov, Piano

Bach (arr. Busoni): Toccata and Fugue, BWV 565

Liszt: Piano Sonata

Schubert: Moment musical no. 2

Liszt: Soirée de Vienne (Valse-caprice after Schubert) no. 6 *

Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No. 6

Tickets: reserved $60 / $40 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Martina Filjak, Piano † Haydn:

Haydn:

Bach (arr. Liszt): Liszt:

Liszt:

Liszt:

 

Tuesday, August 22, 6:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Andante and Variations in F minor Keyboard Sonata No. 18 *

Prelude and Fugue, BWV 543

Deux légendes

Lucia di Lammermoor Fantasy *

Grande paraphrase de la marche de Giuseppe Donizetti composée pour Sa Majesté le sultan Abdul Medjid-Khan *

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Tuesday, August 22, 8:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Lucerne Symphony Orchestra †

James Gaffigan, Conductor †

InMo Yang, Violin

Rossini: Overture to William Tell

Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1

Brahms: Symphony No. 1

Tickets: reserved $50 / $25 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Wednesday, August 23, 8:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Lucerne Symphony Orchestra

James Gaffigan, Conductor

Behzod Abduraimov, Piano

Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2

Wagner: Siegfried Idyll

Beethoven: Symphony No. 4

Tickets: reserved $50 / $25 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Thursday, August 24, 6:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Celebrating John Adams at 70

Christina Naughton, Piano †

Michelle Naughton, Piano †

John Adams: Roll Over Beethoven for two pianos * (Chicago premiere)

Mendelssohn: Andante and Variations for four-hands piano *

Chopin: Rondo for two pianos

Mozart: Andante and Variations for four-hands piano

Debussy: En blanc et noir for two pianos

John Adams: Hallelujah Junction for two pianos *

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Friday, August 25, 6:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Spider Saloff

The Cool Heat of Peggy Lee

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Friday, August 25, 8:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Alanis Morissette †

Tickets: reserved $115 / $100 / lawn $38^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, August 26, 7:30 p.m. — Pavilion

John Mellencamp †

Tickets: reserved $150 / $130 / lawn $44^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Sunday, August 27, 7:30 p.m. — Pavilion

John Mellencamp

Tickets: reserved $150 / $130 / lawn $44^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Monday, August 28, 7:30 p.m. — Pavilion

Pentatonix †

Tickets: reserved $90 / $75 / lawn $38^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Tuesday, August 29, 6:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Adrienne Haan †

Tehorah

Tehorah (“pure” in Hebrew) is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of German–Israeli diplomatic relations, combining music of 1920s Weimar Berlin, Yiddish klezmer, and contemporary Hebrew songs.

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Tuesday, August 29, 7:30 p.m. — Pavilion

Lifehouse

Switchfoot

Tickets: reserved $80 / $65 / lawn $38^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Wednesday, August 30, 6:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Celebrating John Adams at 70

Chad Hoopes, Violin †

David Fung, Piano

Mozart: Violin Sonata No. 20

Dvořák: Romantic Pieces

John Adams: Road Movies *

Beethoven: Violin Sonata No. 7

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Wednesday, August 30, 7:30 p.m. — Pavilion

John Butler Trio †

The Waifs †

Tickets: reserved $65 / $55 / lawn $27^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Thursday, August 31, 6:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Daniel Schlosberg, Piano †

Inna Faliks, Piano †

Mahler (arr. Zemlinsky): Symphony No. 6 (for four-hands piano)

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

SEPTEMBER

 

Friday, September 1, 6:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Pacifica Quartet

Complete Beethoven String Quartets, Part 1

String Quartet No. 3

String Quartet No. 11 (“Serioso”)

String Quartet No. 6

String Quartet No. 16

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Friday, September 1, 7:30 p.m. — Pavilion

Michael Bolton †

Gladys Knight

Tickets: reserved $100 / $80 / lawn $44^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, September 2, 1:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Pacifica Quartet

Complete Beethoven String Quartets, Part 2

String Quartet No. 12

String Quartet No. 1

String Quartet No. 9

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at noon

 

Saturday, September 2, 6:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Pacifica Quartet

Complete Beethoven String Quartets, Part 3

String Quartet No. 5

String Quartet No. 8

String Quartet No. 13 (with Grosse Fuge)

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Sunday, September 3, 1:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Pacifica Quartet

Complete Beethoven String Quartets, Part 4

String Quartet No. 2

String Quartet No. 7

String Quartet No. 14

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at noon

 

Sunday, September 3, 6:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Pacifica Quartet

Complete Beethoven String Quartets, Part 5

String Quartet No. 4

String Quartet No. 10 (“Harp”)

String Quartet No. 15

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Monday, September 4, 6:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Simón Bolívar String Quartet †

Haydn: String Quartet No. 29 (“How do you do?”)

Ginastera: String Quartet No. 1

Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 9

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Tuesday, September 5, 6:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Bryan Wallick, Piano

Bach: Italian Concerto

Brahms: Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel

Albéniz: Selections from Iberia

Evocación

El puerto

Liszt: Fantasy and Fugue on the Theme B–A–C–H *

Liszt: Norma Fantasy

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Thursday, September 7, 7:30 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Ruth Page Festival of Dance

Concert Dance Inc.

The Chicago Project

Program to include the premiere of a work exploring the human kinesthetic and emotional relationship to the form, texture, materials, and design of architecture, especially Chicago architecture, including accompanying images created by Frank Vodvarka

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 6:30 p.m.

 

Friday, September 8, 7:30 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Ruth Page Festival of Dance

Concert Dance Inc.

The Chicago Project

Program to include the premiere of a work exploring the human kinesthetic and emotional relationship to the form, texture, materials, and design of architecture, especially Chicago architecture, including accompanying images created by Frank Vodvarka

Tickets: reserved $10 / no lawn — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Friday, September 8, 8:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

Tickets: reserved $100 / $90 / lawn $38^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, September 9, 7:30 p.m. — Pavilion

Stevie Nicks †

Tickets: reserved $200 / $190 / lawn $70^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Sunday, September 10, 7:30 p.m. — Pavilion

Stevie Nicks

Tickets: reserved $200 / $190 / lawn $70^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Thursday, September 14, 8:00 p.m. — Pavilion

National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela †

Gustavo Dudamel, Conductor †

Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5

Evencio Castellanos: Santa Cruz de Pacairigua *

Julián Orbón: Xilofono from Tres versiones sinfónicas *

Camargo Guarnieri: Dansa brasileira *

Silvestre Revueltas: Sensemayá

Bernstein: Waltz from Divertimento for Orchestra

Oscar Lorenzo Fernandez: Batuque from Reisado do pastoreio

Ginastera: Danza final (Malambo) from Estancia

Tickets: reserved $90 / $25 / lawn $10 — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Friday, September 15, 8:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Smokey Robinson

Tickets: reserved $80 / $70 / lawn $33^ — Park opens at 5:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, September 16, 11:00 a.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Kids Concert series

The Performer’s School

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Tickets: reserved $15 / no lawn — Park opens at 10:00 a.m.

 

Saturday, September 16, 2:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Kids Concert series

The Performer’s School

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Tickets: reserved $15 / no lawn — Park opens at 1:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, September 16, 5:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Kids Concert series

The Performer’s School

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Tickets: reserved $15 / no lawn — Park opens at 4:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, September 16, 7:00 p.m. — Pavilion

TLC †

Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath

Biz Markie †

All-4-One †

O-Town †

Snap! †

I Love the ’90s: The Party Continues Tour

Tickets: reserved $102 / $82 / lawn $46^ — Park opens at 4:00 p.m.

 

Sunday, September 17, 11:00 a.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Kids Concert series

The Performer’s School

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Tickets: reserved $15 / no lawn — Park opens at 10:00 a.m.

 

Sunday, September 17, 2:00 p.m. — Bennett Gordon Hall

Kids Concert series

The Performer’s School

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Tickets: reserved $15 / no lawn — Park opens at 1:00 p.m.

 

Sunday, September 17, 2:00 p.m. — Full Park

Fiesta Ravinia

Daylong celebration of Mexican culture, including Latin cuisine throughout the park, Mariachi bands, children’s performances, family activities, dance lessons, and a Mexican-American art show

Tickets: free with park admission for evening concert

 

Sunday, September 17, 6:00 p.m. — Pavilion

Los Tigres del Norte

Natalia Jiménez †

Tickets: reserved $85 / $65 / lawn $33^ — Park opens at 2:00 p.m.

 

Ravinia welcomes all festival fans to follow, connect, and interact online at facebook.com/raviniafestival, twitter.com/raviniafestival, and instagram.com/raviniafestival. Ravinia is a not-for-profit organization. For more information visit Ravinia.org.

 

Published in In Concert
Monday, 10 April 2017 12:08

Ravinia Announces 2017 Summer Season 

James Levine, Christoph Eschenbach, Gustavo Dudamel, Susanna Mälkki, Kent Nagano, a “virtual” Esa-Pekka Salonen, and three conductors making Chicago Symphony Orchestra debuts take the podium. 

CSO soloists include Lang Lang, headlining the gala fundraiser; Joshua Bell; Sir James Galway; Pinchas Zukerman; Denis Matsuev; Garrick Ohlsson; and pianist Yuja Wang, one of 30 classical artists making Ravinia debuts. 

Guest ensembles include the Lucerne Symphony; National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela; and Apollo’s Fire, the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra, all in their Ravinia debuts; along with the returns of The Knights and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. 

CSO performs the award-winning scores to all three Lord of the Rings films as the movies are shown on consecutive nights; Oscar darling La La Land Live with Orchestra receives Midwest premiere. 

Tributes set for three great Americans: Henry Mancini, Ira Gershwin, and a multi-concert celebration of the 70th birthday of John Adams. 

Chamber/recital series features Pacifica Quartet with the complete Beethoven quartets; Jonathan Biss, continuing his multiyear Beethoven cycle; bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green, subject of bestseller Sing for Your Life; and the Simón Bolívar String Quartet. 

Stevie Nicks, John Mellencamp, Common, Pentatonix, Lila Downs, TLC, Alanis Morissette, John Butler Trio, Andrew Bird, Sammy Hagar, and the Tony-winning Leslie Odom Jr., Burr from Broadway’s Hamilton, among 59 artists making Ravinia debuts. 

Double bills pair John Legend/Gallant, OneRepublic/Fitz & the Tantrums, Michael Bolton/Gladys Knight, Garbage/Blondie, Lifehouse/Switchfoot, The Beach Boys/The Temptations, and Judy Collins/Stephen Stills. 

Returning favorites include Willie Nelson, Aretha Franklin, Diana Krall, Santana, Tony Bennett, Darius Rucker, Sheryl Crow, Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, Smokey Robinson, The Gipsy Kings, and The Moody Blues, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Days of Future Passed.

Los Tigres del Norte and Natalia Jiménez headline second annual daylong Fiesta Ravinia, celebrating Mexican Independence Day. 

Ravinia renews Chicago Symphony Orchestra summer residency with unprecedented eight-year extension. 

Ravinia President and CEO Welz Kauffman today announced the not-forprofit festival’s complete 2017 summer lineup—more than 140 events from June 3 through Sept. 17— including the 82nd annual residency of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as well as visits by the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela with conductor Gustavo Dudamel in his Ravinia debut. In addition to Dudamel, 58 artists make their Ravinia debuts, including Stevie Nicks, John Mellencamp, Pentatonix, Common, Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr., and Ryan Speedo Green. Tickets are available to donors beginning March 22 and go on sale to the general public on May 9, exclusively at Ravinia.org. “I’m frequently asked what defines a successful season. Because there are so many ways to enjoy Ravinia, that answer is different for everyone, and their defining moments might be a big light-and-sound spectacular with a legendary hit machine or a quiet evening on the lawn with a chamber concert flowing from the Martin Theatre, one of our popular film projects or one of our magnificent classical masterpieces, performed as only the Chicago Symphony Orchestra can,” Kauffman said. “It’s an all-of-the-above summer at Ravinia in 2017.” 

$25/$10/FREE CLASSICAL PRICING Ravinia’s popular pricing returns this summer, with most Pavilion seats for all CSO concerts selling for just $25 apiece. Most lawn tickets will be priced at $10 each, and lawn admission for all classical concerts—CSO, special events, recitals, and chamber music—is free for children and students through college. A 10-punch lawn pass will also be sold, granting lawn admission for as little as $7 per concert. On film nights, the $25 price for a reserved seat in the Pavilion is the same for a lawn ticket, so patrons can choose the experience they prefer—a seat under the roof with a view of the orchestra or a picnic on the lawn before the giant movie screen—without cost being an issue. The $10 BGH Classics series offers up close-and-personal musical experiences in Ravinia’s most intimate concert space, the 450-seat Bennett Gordon Hall, for only $10 for a reserved seat, less than the cost of a movie ticket. 

CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA RESIDENCY Ravinia has hosted the CSO in its summer residency since 1936, and the two institutions recently agreed to an eight-year extension of their current contract—which would have expired in 2018— extending the unique relationship through 2026. “I’m so proud that one of my first opportunities in becoming chairman of the Ravinia Festival Association was to work with my predecessor John Anderson and Welz Kauffman in negotiating this unprecedented agreement with our CSO counterparts, Helen Zell and Jeff Alexander,” said Jennifer Steans. “I literally grew up attending CSO concerts at Ravinia and find particular satisfaction in seeing today’s youngsters discovering the ensemble that stands as one of Chicago’s eternal assets.” Modeled on the successful 2016 CSO residency, which averaged more than 6,000 listeners per concert, the 18 concerts of 2017 intertwine staples of the symphonic repertoire; a variety on the podium, from the returns of James Levine, Christoph Eschenbach, and Susanna Mälkki to three conductors making their CSO debuts; popular movie nights, with all three Lord of the Rings films; and attractively priced tickets. 

• LEVINE’S CREATION: One of the most important figures in Ravinia’s history is also one of the most important musicians in the world. James Levine so enjoyed his long-awaited return to the festival podium last year after a two-decade absence that he agreed to return this summer to lead the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in one of his favorite “party” pieces, Haydn’s The Creation, an oratorio based on the Old Testament story, on Aug. 8. The evening features the stars of Levine’s current Metropolitan Opera production of Mozart’s Idomeneo, soprano Nadine Sierra in her CSO debut and tenor Matthew Polenzani, along with bass John Relyea.  

• ESCHENBACH/LANG LANG/GALA: In a rare return to the festival, Christoph Eschenbach teams up with his most celebrated discovery, superstar pianist Lang Lang, for the Women’s Board’s July 29 Gala Benefit Evening to raise funds for Ravinia and its Reach*Teach*Play education programs. Lang Lang will perform Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1 on a program that also includes Dvořák’s Carnival Overture and Symphony No. 8. On a separate program, Eschenbach also showcases one of his newest protégés, Ray Chen, playing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in his CSO debut on a July 28 program with the composer’s “Reformation” Symphony, and the CSO debut of soprano Marisol Montalvo with Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915. The soloists share the spotlight in Mozart’s “L’amerò, sarò costante” for soprano and violin from Il rè pastore. 

• RACHMANINOFF’S MASTERWORKS: In addition to Lang Lang’s gala performance of the composer’s First Piano Concerto, Garrick Ohlsson returns for Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 (often featured as a harrowing high-wire act in films such as Shine, the biopic on resurgent touring concert pianist David Helfgott). The Aug. 10 concert, conducted by Krzysztof Urbański, also features Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10. Denis Matsuev plays Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini under conductor Gianandrea Noseda on Aug. 1. (The visiting Lucerne Symphony Orchestra will perform Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto, as noted below.) 

• PIANIST YUJA WANG: Yuja Wang makes her Ravinia debut with the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1. Recently featured in the New Yorker for being fashion-forward in terms of musicality and couture, Wang has become an international sensation, with the New York Times reporting, “She seems to have everything: speed, flexibility, pianistic thunder, and interpretive nuance.” One of the hottest conductors in the world at age 26, Wang’s recording partner Lionel Bringuier makes his concurrent Ravinia and CSO debuts on the July 11 program, which also includes Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. 

• JOSHUA BELL’S SCOTTISH FANTASY: Superstar violinist Joshua Bell returns—after last season’s soaring success sharing the Ravinia stage with longtime friend Chris Botti—to perform Bruch’s homage to the highlands, the Scottish Fantasy. Music director of the National Orchestra of Belgium, Andrey Boreyko makes his Ravinia debut with the July 12 program, which also features selections from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. 

• BACK-TO-BACK MÄLKKI: One of the few women conductors of international repute, the charismatic Susanna Mälkki, who recently won rave reviews for her Metropolitan Opera debut with L’amour de Loin, pairs Beethoven with her Finnish compatriot Sibelius on two programs. She conducts the Sibelius Violin Concerto with Vadim Repin and Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony on July 20, and then returns to conduct Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with Kirill Gerstein and the Sibelius Symphony No. 2 on July 21. 

• LORD OF THE RINGS CYCLE: Over three different summers—to increasing buzz and demand— Ravinia presented each of the Lord of the Rings films with their scores digitally removed so that the CSO could perform Howard Shore’s award-winning music live as the movies were shown in their entirety on screens in the Pavilion and on the lawn. Ravinia will bring back all three films, The Fellowship of the Ring (Aug. 18), The Two Towers (Aug. 19), and The Return of the King (Aug. 20), over three consecutive evenings, with Ludwig Wicki reprising his conducting role. The Chicago Children’s Choir, Chicago Chorale, and The Lakeside Singers will combine to perform the score’s extensive choral parts. 

• GALWAY TRIBUTE TO MANCINI: Sir James Galway pays tribute to one of the most prolific and awarded (20 Grammys and four Oscars) composers of all time, Henry Mancini, on an Aug. 6 program that includes music from The Pink Panther, Breakfast at Tiffany’s (“Moon River”), Victor/Victoria, The Days of Wine and Roses, and much more. The tuneful concert features flutist Lady Jeanne Galway and vocalists Ashley Brown and Tony DeSare under the baton of film expert Steven Reineke. Reineke was a protégé of “Prince of Pops” Erich Kunzel, who enjoyed a close collaborative relationship with Mancini and the Galways, and he will conduct from Kunzel’s personally notated scores. 

• TRIBUTE TO IRA GERSHWIN: Chicago pianist Kevin Cole, who built a career on his acclaimed interpretations of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, reprises that masterwork and also turns his attention to the composer’s famous partner and brother, lyricist Ira Gershwin—the wordsmith who actually gave Rhapsody in Blue its title. Cole has presided over wildly popular tributes to Marvin Hamlisch and Cole Porter at Ravinia, and has developed this program in that style, applying his loving attention and musical know-how to one of America’s all-time greatest songwriters in I Love to Rhyme: A Tribute to Ira Gershwin on Aug. 13. Dancer/singer Ryan VanDenBoom and vocalist Sylvia McNair, who also headlined the Hamlisch and Porter tributes, return with conductor Emil de Cou. 

• ZUKERMAN PLAYS AND CONDUCTS: Legendary violinist Pinchas Zukerman returns on Aug. 3 as soloist and conductor with the CSO premiere of Elgar’s Deux Chansons for violin and orchestra, Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4.

• TCHAIKOVSKY SPECTACULAR: Tchaikovsky gets his turn at telling the tale of the immortal star-crossed lovers when his Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture kicks off Ravinia’s annual “Tchaikovsky Spectacular” on July 16. Making his simultaneous CSO and Ravinia debuts, Moscowborn Dima Slobodeniouk, artistic director of the Sibelius Festival, conducts the popular concert that features the “1812” Overture with live cannon fire. Simon Trpčeski joins the all-Tchaikovsky evening for the First Piano Concerto. 

• BRONFMAN’S BRAHMS: In his simultaneous CSO and Ravinia debuts on July 18, Edward Gardner, who recently led Der Rosenkavalier to raves at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, conducts Elgar’s “Enigma” Variations and the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 with one of the world’s most admired pianists, Yefim Bronfman.  

• LUGANSKY’S EMPEROR: Pianist Nikolai Lugansky performs Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto on a July 25 program that also features Harmonielehre (The Book of Harmony) by John Adams, under the baton of Kent Nagano in his Ravinia debut. 

VISITING ORCHESTRAS/ENSEMBLES In addition to the CSO residency, Ravinia will host several ensembles throughout the summer. 

 • LUCERNE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: Visiting Ravinia for the first time, the orchestra of the Swiss town where Rachmaninoff and Wagner lived will be led by its music director, James Gaffigan, in two Pavilion concerts populated with music associated with the namesake lake. On Aug. 22 they will play the William Tell Overture, which Rossini set on Shepherd’s Day on Lake Lucerne; Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with RSMI alumnus InMo Yang as soloist; and the Symphony No. 1 by Brahms, for whom a visit to Lucerne figured into his rumored love triangle with Clara and Robert Schumann. On Aug. 23 they’ll perform Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll; Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with soloist Behzod Abduraimov (“His sound has an appealing warmth even in the most testosterone-fueled outbursts,” says the New York Times); and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4. 

• NATIONAL YOUTH ORCHESTRA OF VENEZUELA: One of the most influential conductors on the planet and chief proponent of the El Sistema model of student orchestras, used by Ravinia in its Reach*Teach*Play programs, Gustavo Dudamel comes to Ravinia for the first time with his youth orchestra, comprising young Sistema musicians handpicked by the conductor. The Sept. 14 concert features Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 in addition to works by Hispanic composers Evencio Castellanos, Julián Orbón, Camargo Guarnieri, Silvestre Revueltas, and Oscar Lorenzo Fernandez, as well as Ginastera’s Danza final from Estancia. Dudamel and his young musicians will also work with students from Cook and Lake Counties who participate in Ravinia’s education programs—headed by Ravinia’s Director of Reach*Teach*Play, who was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of El Sistema USA—which serve 75,000 people annually. Using the El Sistema model, which avoids classroom music theory and instead gets students playing their instruments from day one, Ravinia establishes orchestras, providing instruments and instructors to schools that do not have music programs of their own. 

• LA LA LAND LIVE: The 2017 winner of six Oscars, including Best Director and Best Actress, writer-director Damien Chazelle’s charming movie about a wannabe movie star (Emma Stone) who falls for a jazz-obsessed pianist (Oscar nominee Ryan Gosling) will be shown on screens on the lawn and in the Pavilion while the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra plays the Oscar-winning score (including Best Song “City of Stars”) live on June 18. John Legend, who makes his third Ravinia appearance this summer, also has a supporting role in the film that he also co-produced. 

• APOLLO’S FIRE: Performing Vivaldi’s seminal The Four Seasons, the acclaimed periodinstrument ensemble Apollo’s Fire, The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra, makes its Ravinia debut with its music director, Jeannette Sorrell, conducting from the harpsichord on July 27. 

• THE KNIGHTS: In its 10th concert at Ravinia, one of the classical world’s most cutting-edge and elastic ensembles will perform Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, Purcell’s Fantasy upon One Note, and selections from Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne, joined by mezzo-soprano Susan Graham. The Aug. 17 Martin Theatre concert also features two works by John Adams (see Adams section below).

VIRTUAL REALITY ORCHESTRA London’s Philharmonia Orchestra will also come to Ravinia—“virtually.” Ravinia ticketholders are invited to virtually take a seat within the orchestra, playing the thrilling climax of Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen, for a once-in-a-lifetime vantage point through this unique virtual reality experience from July 11 through 23 at the Ravinia Tent on the North Lawn. Admission is free for those attending concerts on those nights. Free tickets can be arranged in advance at Ravinia.org or in person on concert nights, pending availability. “The Philharmonia’s digital projects have taken place all over the world and I am delighted that we are now bringing our latest virtual reality experience, The Virtual Orchestra, to Ravinia,” said Salonen. “The incredible power of virtual reality is that it is disappointing to leave it, to come back to reality. There is no doubt that for classical music, virtual reality will be a very powerful, useful medium, and I am very excited to be taking part in this project.” 

 

NONCLASSICAL LINEUP Superstars abound on Ravinia’s 2017 roster, including long-awaited debuts and the returns of audience favorites. Playing the festival for the first time are Sammy Hagar & the Circle with Michael Anthony, Jason Bonham, and Vic Johnson on June 19; Chicago’s own Common on June 24; multiple Grammy winner Lila Downs on July 1; Andrew Bird on July 23; Tony-winning Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. on Aug. 13; Alanis Morissette on Aug. 25; John Mellencamp on Aug. 26 and 27; Pentatonix on Aug. 28; Australian roots-rockers the John Butler Trio with special guest The Waifs on Aug. 30; and Stevie Nicks on Sept. 9 and 10. Returning favorites include Pat Metheny with Antonio Sanchez, Linda May Han Oh, and Gwilym Simcock on June 14; Seu Jorge Presents The Life Aquatic: A Tribute to David Bowie on June 15; 2017 Grammy winner Willie Nelson on June 16; Aretha Franklin on June 17; the Gipsy Kings on June 23; jazz pianist/singer Diana Krall June 28; The Moody Blues with their Days of Future Passed 50th Anniversary Tour on June 30; Sheryl Crow on July 7; Tony Bennett on Aug. 4; Darius Rucker on Aug. 5; Santana in his Transmogrify Tour on Aug. 11 and 12; Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons on Sept. 8; and Motown legend Smokey Robinson on Sept. 15. Ravinia will also present bigger-than-life pairings such as John Legend in his Darkness & Light Tour with special guest Gallant on June 10; Boz Scaggs and Michael McDonald on June 27; the all-American The Beach Boys and The Temptations on July 2; OneRepublic with Fitz & the Tantrums in their Ravinia debut and James Arthur on July 14 and 15; Blondie and Garbage in its Ravinia debut on July 22; Judy Collins and Stephen Stills (he wrote “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” about her) on July 26; Chris Thile’s Punch Brothers and I’m With Her (Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan) on Aug. 14; Lifehouse and Switchfoot on Aug. 29; Michael Bolton, in his Ravinia debut, and Gladys Knight on Sept. 1; and Los Tigres del Norte and Natalia Jiménez on Sept. 17. The festival also brings together six hit-making bands in “I Love the ’90s: The Party Continues,” starring TLC, Biz Markie, All4-One, O-Town, and Snap!, all in their Ravinia debuts, along with Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath on Sept. 16. 

 

CELEBRATION: JOHN ADAMS AT 70 

After presenting the Chicago premieres of the composer’s El Niño and The Gospel According to the Other Mary, Ravinia will celebrate the 70th birthday of Pulitzer Prize winner John Adams with concerts this season. 

• NAGANO DEBUT: One of the world’s most sought-after conductors of John Adams, the acclaimed Kent Nagano makes his long-awaited Ravinia debut on July 25, leading the CSO in Harmonielehre (The Book of Harmony). The program also features pianist Nikolai Lugansky performing Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto. 

• SHAKER LOOPS: Ravinia favorites and 2017 Grammy nominees the Lincoln Trio will be the core players for Shaker Loops for string septet. The title reflects two concepts that Adams envisioned, concentric circles of water and the repetitive dance movements of the Shakers, both represented by oscillations on the strings in this 1978 piece. The program also includes the first installment in a multiyear cycle of Beethoven’s piano trios. (Part of the $10 BGH Classics series) 

• CHAMBER SYMPHONY/COMMON TONES IN SIMPLE TIME: Inspired by an odd mix of Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony score and frenetic cartoon energy, Adams’s 1992 Chamber Symphony will be performed by The Knights on Aug. 17 in the Martin Theatre. They will also perform the composer’s Common Tones in Simple Time, which toys with the listener’s perception of time and space. 

• ADAMS FOR TWO PIANOS: Twin sisters Christina and Michelle Naughton perform two pieces Adams composed for two pianos, Roll Over Beethoven (in its Midwest premiere) and Hallelujah Junction. The Aug. 24 program also features sets of variations for four-hands piano by Mendelssohn and Mozart, as well as further two-piano works in a rondo by Chopin and Debussy’s En blanc et noir. (Part of the $10 BGH Classics series) 

• ROAD MOVIES: Adams had motion in mind when he composed this melodic piece with a “swing” component, which will be performed by violinist Chad Hoopes and pianist David Fung on Aug. 30. The program also includes Mozart’s Violin Sonata No. 20, Dvorak’s Romantic Pieces, and Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 7. (Part of the $10 BGH Classics series)

CHAMBER MUSIC/RECITALS Although celebrated for providing one of the finest outdoor music experiences, Ravinia also presents one of the world’s most expansive chamber music series, hosting more than 50 indoor concerts and recitals in its two halls, the exquisite 850-seat Martin Theatre and the state-of-the-art 450-seat Bennett Gordon Hall, home to the $10 BGH Classics series. Martin Theatre concerts are broadcast to the lawn; Bennett Gordon Hall concerts are not. Highlights include:

• RYAN SPEEDO GREEN: After getting off to a rough start in an abusive home and a stint in juvenile detention—as cinematically depicted in the New York Times bestseller Sing for Your Life: A Story of Race, Music and Family—the bass-baritone turned his life around and is building an international career launched by the Metropolitan Opera National Council competition. He makes his Ravinia debut in a Martin Theatre recital on July 3. 

• QUARTET DUET: The Emerson String Quartet and the young Calidore String Quartet (which Gramophone magazine praises as “the epitome of confidence and finesse”) team up for a July 24 Martin Theatre concert built around Two Pieces for String Octet by Shostakovich. The program also features Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 11 (“Serioso”), the String Sextet from Capriccio by Richard Strauss, and Mendelssohn’s String Octet. 

• CATALOGUE OF THE BIRDS: Pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, a close, personal friend of Olivier Messiaen, performs the composer’s complete Catalogue of the Birds, which re-creates the songs of nature’s winged music makers, on July 31 in the Martin Theatre. 

• WALDEN POND: The St. Charles Singers celebrate the bicentennial of Henry David Thoreau with the musical adaptation of his existential masterpiece Walden by Dominick Argento on Aug. 20. (Part of the $10 BGH Classics series) 

• DANISH STRING QUARTET: Amusingly casting themselves as “modern Vikings” whose weapon of choice is music, the acclaimed Scandinavian foursome make their Ravinia debut on Aug. 2 in the Martin Theatre with Haydn’s String Quartet No. 25, Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 7, and Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet, featuring pianist Juho Pohjonen. 

• A ‘KNIGHT’ WITH SIR JAMES AND LADY JEANNE GALWAY: In addition to their CSO concert, the flutists will put together an intimate recital in the Martin Theatre on Aug. 7. 

• MORRIS ROBINSON: The award-winning bass sings works by Schubert, Bernstein, Verdi, and Jerome Kern along with American spirituals on Aug. 9 in the Martin Theatre, accompanied by Kevin Murphy, director of the RSMI Program for Singers. 

• JONATHAN BISS BEETHOVEN CYCLE: After launching his multiyear complete cycle of Beethoven’s piano sonatas last year, one of the foremost authorities on the composer returns with two more installments. On Aug. 15, Biss will perform Piano Sonatas Nos. 15 (the “Pastoral”), 20, 3, 27, and 28. On Aug. 17, he will perform Piano Sonatas Nos. 19, 16, 7, 2, and 31. (Both concerts are part of the $10 BGH Classics series.) 

• SPIDER SALOFF TRIBUTE TO PEGGY LEE: One of the most popular cabaret singers Chicago has ever produced pays loving tribute to the sexy jazz singer in the one-woman show The Cool Heat of Peggy Lee on Aug. 25. (Part of the $10 BGH Classics series) 

• MAHLER FOR FOUR HANDS: Pianists Daniel Schlosberg and Inna Faliks perform a four-hand transcription of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony on Aug. 31. (Part of the $10 BGH Classics series) 

• COMPLETE BEETHOVEN STRING QUARTETS: Postponed from last season, the Pacifica Quartet performs all 16 of Beethoven’s string quartets over five different programs between Sept. 1 and 3. (All part of the $10 BGH Classics series) 

• SIMÓN BOLÍVAR STRING QUARTET: Principal musicians from Venezuela’s acclaimed orchestra perform Haydn’s String Quartet No. 29, Ginastera’s String Quartet No. 1, and Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 9 on Sept. 4 (Part of the $10 BGH Classics series) 

• CONCERT DANCE INC.’S CHICAGO PROJECT: The performing arm of the Ruth Page Foundation does the impossible, literally dancing about architecture in The Chicago Project, which explores the kinesthetic and emotional bonds between the human body and the city’s world-famous architecture on Sept. 7 and 8. (Part of the $10 BGH Classics series) 

 

RAVINIA’S STEANS MUSIC INSTITUTE The best young musicians from around the world compete for about 60 coveted fellowships each year to Ravinia’s highly immersive and highly regarded summer conservatory to work individually and in ensembles with the superb faculty.  

• $10 BGH CLASSICS: Current RSMI participants will perform seven concerts on the $10 BGH Classics series. The mostly Chicago-based jazz musicians will showcase their ensemble, writing, and improvisational skills in the “Jazz Grandstand” on June 16; participants in the Program for Piano and Strings will perform works by Dvořák along with a selection of other composers on July 10, 17, and 19; and participants in the Program for Singers celebrate the music of Finland on Aug. 3, Schumann and Brahms on Aug. 10, and American music theater—including songs by John Adams, Leonard Bernstein, and William Bolcom—on Aug. 14. 

• MASTER CLASSES: Among the most intriguing events Ravinia offers is the series of free master classes at which the young professionals of RSMI expose themselves to critique and instruction in front of the festival’s discerning audiences. This summer the master classes will be led by bass player Linda May Han Oh—herself an RSMI alumna, who performs with Pat Metheny on the same evening’s Pavilion concert—on June 14; pianist Robert Levin on June 29; cellist Frans Helmerson on July 7; violinist Miriam Fried, director of the Program for Piano and Strings, on July 13; pianist Kevin Murphy, director of the program for Singers, on July 26; bass Morris Robinson on Aug. 7; and bass John Relyea on Aug. 9. 

• MATINEE CONCERTS: Participants in the institute give free matinee concerts all summer long at 2 p.m. in Bennett Gordon Hall. Piano and Strings concerts are set for June 30 and July 1, 6, 8, 9, 14, 15, 21, and 22, and participants in the Program for Singers will perform on July 30 and Aug. 12. 

• FACULTY PERFORMANCES: Violinists Miriam Fried and Mihaela Martin, violists Paul Biss and Atar Arad, cellist Frans Helmerson, and pianist Anton Nel, all RSMI faculty members, join forces for a recital of Mozart and Ravel on July 5 in the Martin Theatre; pianist Kevin Murphy and bass Morris Robinson unite in a recital of classical composers and American spirituals on Aug. 9 in the Martin Theatre; and pianist Jonathan Biss continues his multiyear traversal of the complete Beethoven sonatas on Aug. 15 and 17. 

• ALUMNI PERFORMANCES: World-class artists who have honed their craft at RSMI perform with the most accomplished ensembles—including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and The Knights—in the most illustrious halls around the world, and Ravinia is always thrilled to welcome them back. This summer 19 alumni return on a variety of concerts, including bass player Linda May Han Oh with Pat Metheny on June 14; pianist Alon Goldstein and the Fine Arts Quartet with Mozart’s Piano Concertos Nos. 23 and 24 on June 17; violinist Joseph Lin as first violinist of the Juilliard String Quartet on June 20; Yuja Wang, who has become one of the most important pianists of her generation, making her Ravinia debut on July 11; cellist Paul Dwyer as a member of Apollo’s Fire, which makes its Ravinia debut in the Martin Theatre with Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons on July 27; soprano Nadine Sierra performing solo parts in Haydn’s Creation with the CSO under the baton of James Levine on Aug. 8; and violinist InMo Yang joins the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra in its Ravinia debut on Aug. 22.

FIESTA RAVINIA The world’s most celebrated Norteño band, Los Tigres del Norte, and Spanish singer and Telemundo star Natalia Jiménez headline Ravinia’s second annual celebration of Mexican independence in a daylong festival on Sept. 17 that will include Latin cuisine throughout the park, Mariachi bands, children’s performances, family activities, dance lessons, and a Mexican-American art show. The park opens for the special festivities at 2 p.m. and the main-stage show begins at 6 p.m. 

KIDS CONCERT SERIES In addition to admitting all children and students through college for free to the lawn for every classical performance, Ravinia also presents a popular series of concerts intended specifically for young listeners. Tickets are specially priced at $10 to $15 for reserved seats or $5 on the lawn (where applicable). 

• CATSKILL PUPPET THEATER: The ensemble gives three performances of Sister Rain and Brother Sun, a nature-themed show featuring colorful set and costumes, plenty of audience interaction, and original songs, at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 5 p.m. on June 3 in Bennett Gordon Hall. 

• STARS OF THE PEKING ACROBATS: These international entertainers pack their shows with everything but gravity as they defy the senses with a dazzling array of colorful costumes, exotic music, and out-of-this-world stunts at the special family time of 7 p.m. on June 29. 

• OPERA FOR THE YOUNG: The company that reimagines classic opera for kids presents its adaptation of Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love on Aug. 12. 

• JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT: The Performer’s School, which made its Ravinia debut last summer with a hit adaptation of Winnie the Pooh, returns with a new production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice classic in six performances: 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 5 p.m. Sept. 16 and 17 in Bennett Gordon Hall. 

• The Kids Concerts series will also feature the Magical Strings of Youth of the Betty Haag Academy of Music on June 3; the Ko-Thi Dance Company on June 17; Laurie Berkner on July 15; and the Joyous String Ensemble on July 29.

MISSION STATEMENT Ravinia is an internationally renowned, not-for-profit music festival that presents outstanding performances by the world’s greatest artists. Ravinia’s principal objectives are: 

• to present performances of a full range of classical music in its open-air Pavilion and enclosed recital halls, by the world’s greatest composers and musicians, along with a variety of other kinds of light classical, jazz, and popular music; 

• to maintain a beautiful park that is welcoming to all and attractive to families in which the music experience is enhanced by a beautiful environment and excellent dining opportunities;

• to enable gifted young performers to study under great teachers and perform in concert settings; and

 • to develop broader and more diverse audiences for classical music through education and outreach programs and by maintaining affordable ticket prices.

 

2017 SPONSORS

Ravinia is a not-for-profit that earns about half its annual operating revenue to achieve its mission through ticket sales. The rest comes from support of private donors, foundations, and corporate sponsors. Everyone involved at Ravinia would like to thank the following sponsors for their support: 

• Lead Reach*Teach*Play Sponsor: Allstate Insurance Company “As a longtime Ravinia supporter, Allstate is pleased to partner with the organization in its mission to enrich young lives through the Reach*Teach*Play programs,” said Don Civgin, President, Emerging Businesses. “Because Allstate recognizes that Good Starts YoungSM, we applaud Ravinia’s commitment to education and public outreach with their focus on Chicago’s children.” 

• Featured Sponsors: Audrey L. Weaver, in Loving Memory of Michael D. Vogan; BMO Harris Bank; The Dancing Skies Foundation; Discover, Official Card; Exelon; Hyundai, Official Vehicle Sponsor; In Memory of Howard A. Stotler; In Memory of Keene H. Addington II; McCormick Foundation; Midtown Athletic Club, Official Club; Negaunee Foundation; Terlato Wines, Official Wine Sponsor; United Airlines, Official Airline; Wintrust, Chair Rental Sponsor 

• Season Sponsors: The Avrum Gray Family, in Memory of Joyce Gray; Beam Suntory; Conagra Brands; Ernst & Young LLP; Fortune Brands Home & Security; Harriet Bernbaum, in Memory of Keren-Or Bernbaum and Harry H. Bernbaum; Holly and John Madigan; Illinois Tool Works; In Honor of Sandra K. Crown; Kirkland & Ellis; Marcus Lemonis LLC; PICNICLIGHTS; PNC Bank; RBC Wealth Management; Steinway Piano Gallery of Northbrook, Official Piano Sponsor; Xfinity, WiFi Sponsor 

• Program Sponsors: AbbVie; ABN AMRO Clearing; Aon; Baxter International Inc.; Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation; Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; Consilio; Deloitte LLP; The Fremont Foundation; Greenberg Traurig, LLP; Jenner & Block; Joan and Bob Feitler; J.P. Morgan Chase; Kerrygold; KPMG LLP; Latham and Watkins LLP; Lifeway Foods; Lori Ann Komisar and Morris Silverman; Mayer Brown LLP; Megan P. and John L. Anderson; Mesirow Financial; Michael A. Sachs and Family; Perkins Coie LLP; Reed Smith LLP; Sidley Austin LLP; Stella Artois and Goose Island Beer Company, Official Craft and Import Beer Sponsor; Testa Produce 

• Sponsors: Barbara and Jim Herst; The Creation Consortium; Diana and Bruce Rauner; The Family of James and Roslyn Marks; Jo and Newt Minow; Leslie Berger and Paul Williams; The Mancini Consortium; Nancy Zadek; Ravinia Associates Board; Ravinia Women’s Board; Sue and Tom Pick; The Tchaikovsky Consortium; Winnie and Bob Crawford

 

GENERAL INFORMATION 

• Location: Ravinia is located at Lake Cook and Green Bay Roads in Highland Park, about 20 minutes north of Chicago. The Metra Union Pacific North line stops right at Ravinia’s main entrance. On-site parking is limited, so Ravinia runs a free, handicap-accessible bus service to and from remote lots, mostly along the railroad line. Parking on residential streets is prohibited by City ordinance, and violators will be ticketed by local police. 

• Drop-offs: Personal cars, driver services (such as Uber), and taxis may not drop guests off on residential streets. The general drop-off points are the Braeside Metra Station and the main (west) gate. Local police will ticket violators. 

• Secondary Market: Ticket buyers should be certain to obtain tickets through Ravinia.org. Ravinia is not affiliated with any secondary-market ticket sellers and cannot be held responsible for fraudulent tickets. Tickets for some shows will sell out to donors prior to public sales. The best way to obtain tickets to the summer’s hottest shows is to become a financial supporter of the not-for-profit festival. 

• No Smoking: Smoking of any type, including “vaping” and use of electronic cigarettes, is prohibited on Ravinia’s grounds and on Highland Park streets. There are designated smoking areas in Ravinia parking lots. 

• Security: Guns, explosives, and other weapons are strictly prohibited at Ravinia. Guests will be subject to bag search and a “wanding” of their person upon entrance and reentrance both to the park and to the Pavilion. Those refusing cooperation will not be allowed to enter. 

• Weather: Ravinia concerts go on rain or shine. Should a concert be canceled due to severe weather in the area, Ravinia will make every effort to contact ticket buyers. Guests can monitor local Highland Park weather through the National Weather Service (ZIP code is 60035). 

• Box Office: Tickets for these events and the rest of the summer 2017 lineup may be requested by Ravinia donors at the Affiliate level and above beginning March 22, and the Friend level on April 27. Bravo- and Encore-level donors can begin requesting lawn tickets on May 2. General public ticket sales begin at 5 a.m. on May 9, at Ravinia.org. The Ravinia Box Office phone lines will open for orders on May 10 at 847-266-5100. For more information, please visit Ravinia.org

• ALL ARTISTS, PRICES, AND PROGRAMS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Refunds are not given unless a concert is canceled in its entirety.

 

Published in In Concert

Alas, another band we as music fans must bid farewell to in 2016, The Go Go’s have called it quits after a run that has spanned five decades since their inception in 1978. Currently saying their goodbyes on their Going, Going Gone Farewell Tour, The Go Go’s now join a slew of other 2016 retirees such as Black Sabbath, Kenny Rogers, Motley Crue, Sandi Patty and The Who. Slated as possibly the most successful all-female band of our time, Chicago area fans got to see the new-wave-pop driven California band one last time when The Go Go’s performed at Ravinia Festival over the weekend. With most band members now in their mid to late fifties, their youthful spirit and magnetic charm were still ever apparent, their musicianship polished and their set as exciting as it was in the 1980’s. 

 

Opening acts Kaya Stewart then Best Coast set the tone nicely for the evening, Stewart more eclectic and the latter more Rock N’ Roll, though it couldn’t be soon enough for The Go Go’s to take the stage. And once they did, the band wasted little time before diving into their opening number “Vacation”, one of their most successful hits (you remember that crazy water skiing video). In a set that not only included the band’s top forty singles “We Got the Beat” and “Our Lips Our Sealed” (which I embarrassingly used to sing as “Honest Lucille”), The Go Go’s lit it up with a handful of cover tunes including The Sparks’ “Cool Places” and The Capitols “Cool Jerk”. The band also performed a couple songs from the very early days that had never made it onto their records and played a beautiful version of Belinda Carlisle’s solo hit “Mad About You”. 

 

And the band looked and sounded great. Did I mention that?

 

Singer Belinda Carlisle swayed beautifully to the music, throwing in some of her well-known, carefree go-go-esque moves and sounded, well…amazing. Carlisle was radiant, exuding the same fun nature that captured Go Go fans when they really broke out in the early 1980's.  At the same time, spunky rhythm guitarist Jane Wiedlin was a ball of energy, still exhibiting the major band presence Go Go’s fan have become acquainted with over the years. Whether spinning in circles, jetting across the stage, interacting with the crowd or playing on her back, Wiedlin had no shortage of oomph, assuring fans that her Vitamin B intake is quite plentiful. Gina Schock was rock steady on the drums and Charlotte Caffey impressed with guitar leads and her prowess on the keyboards, rounding out the band's sound.  

 

But their music wasn’t the only excitement that night. Schock did her best to get the crowd going when she took the microphone and asked those in seats further from the stage to come forward and grab the scattered empties towards the front causing a bit of a stir for a brief moment or two. As security tried to maintain order, Schock chanted “Let them sit! Let them sit!” But Ravinia’s staff handled it well and a few lucky fans got an instant ticket upgrade. Despite the momentary chaos, the band clicked and the fans ate it up. 

 

Taking their first bow after a fulfilling fifteen songs worth of material, The Go Go’s quickly returned wrapping the night up with Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” before ending on what many consider to be their best song of all, “Head Over Heels.”

 

The Go Go's really made their mark in music history and when you think of all the female fueled bands since to which The Go Go's paved the way it's not just an extraordinary achievement, it's an enrichment to one of the truest art forms that exists. But all good things come to an end sometime. After seeing them perform, it's easy to see that they could still have plenty of productive years ahead as a band. However, when it's time to go, it's time to Go Go.  

 

This final Go Go’s tour seemed to be made for Ravinia and for the band’s fans who missed this show, well…you really missed out on a special farewell. Thumbs up, Go Go’s!

 

Published in In Concert

Expectations for what you might see in a concert are not always what turn out to be the reality of the situation. On my way to Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, I knew I was going to see two legendary guitar players in their respective fields. Let’s just say any preconceived notions I may have had regarding a strong showing by Buddy Guy and Jeff Beck were dismissed several times throughout this fine Sunday evening.

 

First, I assumed Buddy Guy would be opening for Jeff Beck. However, Beck took the stage first, opening with a track from his latest release Loud Hail. The song starts, vocals are heard, but no one on stage is singing. Then a woman dressed in what could be described as some kind of military uniform singing through a megaphone appears as she strolls down the aisle. She eventually gets on stage and joins the band. Now, this really wasn’t that strange for a Jeff Beck show. He has been dabbling in different genres most of his career.

 

Beck alternated between new album cuts and some of his classics like Freeway Jam. Somewhere around the fifth or sixth song a different vocalist appears and to the crowd’s approval, it was veteran Jimmy Hall who has worked with Jeff many times. Their performance of “Morning Dew” was highly inspiring and raised some goose bumps on Beck’s avid fans in attendance. “Morning Dew” was written during the turbulent 1960’s with a post apocalyptic theme. There seemed to be a bit of a theme during the show. I have always considered Jeff Beck to be a man of peace, and he conveyed this subtle message in his selections.

 

As for Beck’s guitar playing? Well, a musician in his league never disappoints in that department. Some people have claimed JB to be the best guitar player out there. Even though that I find that an impossible title to hold, he is certainly high on the list. Now here is a guy known for flashy guitar playing yet he doesn’t waste a note. We have had so many technically gifted guitar players come and go through the years, so what makes a guy like him so appealing? One word, melody. If someone claimed Jeff was the most melodic guitar player, I just might have to agree. Some say brilliant instrumentalists are often frustrated singers and when Beck plays, it is akin to a human voice. He doesn’t even use a pick anymore. This man’s music is what happens when you give someone an amazing ear uniquely interpreting each melody on a Stratocaster. Beck’s encore was his take on The Beatles’ “A Day In The Life” to which he played the vocal lines on the guitar just like a singer. His voice is the guitar.

 

After Beck’s stirring set, I was sitting there thinking, “How is Buddy Guy gonna top that?” Buddy is Buddy, that’s what he is. He has been quoted as saying that’s all he can do is be himself. That’s just fine in my book. A true artist’s personality comes out in their art, no matter what the area. Guy is often manic but just so down to earth that you end up falling in love with the man before the show is over. He celebrated his 80th birthday just the day before. That’s correct, 80 years old! But Guy didn’t show his age and displayed the energy of a much younger man.

 

Guy’s attitude on stage is incredible. I have never met Buddy myself but have heard that off the stage he is a pretty shy guy. He’s just one of those artists whose true self only comes out when performing. Look out and be prepared as Guy’s shows are basically unscripted for the most part. He admitted he had no set list though his band was obviously prepared for what he was doing. His performance is almost like Buddy thinking out loud. He jumps from one thing to another.   

   

I consider Buddy to be one of the last real showmen of the Blues. His roots go back to Muddy Waters. Those old Blues cats always know how to entertain. Buddy used to do a trick back in the old club days where he would use a super long guitar cord and go out into the audience while playing. Now a wireless system makes things so much easier. Guy walked off the stage and kept going though a good portion of the pavilion at Ravinia, twice passing my way.

 

Guy was joined by Beck on one song and another featured two of his kids, one on vocals the other on guitar. The last portion of his show was Buddy teasing the audience playing just bits of a bunch of old Blues songs that weighed heavily as his musical influences. A true entertainer leaves the audience satisfied but wanting more. This was definitely the case.

 

Did Buddy Guy top Jeff Beck? Well, maybe not by his guitar playing alone. The performance actually made you forget the opening act while he was on stage. Like the title of his opening number, Buddy was “Born to Play the Guitar”. Jeff Beck was too, but Buddy was also born to entertain. At 80-years-old, won’t be performing forever, my advice being to see him while you still can. He is really one of the only living links to the old Blues cats left. After him, it’s mostly the English Blues players like Clapton. And who is Eric Clapton’s favorite guitar player? Buddy Guy. On July 31, 2016, Buddy Guy was mine was too.

Published in In Concert

On a night that threatened heavy rains, the weather ultimately cooperated instead delivering a dreamy summer night for Kenny Rogers to the Ravinia Festival one last time as the seventy-seven-old legendary singer is calling it quits after a musical career that has lasted well over half a century. The pavilion was filled and picnickers were spread out all along the Ravinia grounds.

The tour, appropriately titled “The Gambler’s Last Deal”, is a timeline through Rogers celebrated run that starts off with his music from the 1960’s with The First Edition (later named Kenny Rogers and the First Edition as his popularity grew). Throughout the show Rogers takes on the role of a storyteller providing details about each decade’s musical transitions, adding little known tidbits of fun facts and plenty of humor. Throughout each story and song, jumbo screens project performance videos from each era (including an Ed Sullivan appearance) along with a slew of personal footage of his life. 

Country star Linda Davis assists Rogers on this farewell tour, taking on a couple songs on her own and filling in on duet parts by such as Dottie West. Davis was able to add a bit of mobility to the show as Rogers was mostly confined to sitting on a stool due to recent knee surgery. “Sorry folks. I need to apologize. I just had a knee replacement and I think they replaced the wrong knee,” Rogers joked as he slowly walked onto the stage.

As for the hits, Rogers played most including “Something’s Burning”, “Love Lifted Me”, “Lady”, “Heroes” and the one that he explained really propelled his career, “Lucille”. Rogers even threw in a couple verses of “We Are the World” of which he participated in the 1980’s along with such stars as Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, Rick Springfield and so many others.  

A portion of the show went into Rogers’ days as an actor. Besides several television appearances as a guest host, including spots on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and The Muppets, Rogers starred in more than a handful of films, probably most notably The Gambler of which the title song was one of the show’s highlights. 

“Not long ago a fan approached me after a show and said ‘I didn’t know you were an actor’. I told him, ‘I’ve got fourteen films that prove I wasn’t an actor’”, Rogers laughed. 

“The Gamblers Last Deal” is a fantastic look into the history of Kenny Rogers music and leaves little doubt the effect he has had on the country music scene. Expectedly so, Rogers’ voice wasn’t as strong as it was in his earlier days, but his unique sound was. And for the Kenny Rogers fans in attendance, that was more than enough, several standing ovations throughout to prove it.

Kenny Rogers followed opening act The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, who also delivered an inspired set to the packed venue, providing the perfect musical complement to the famous singer. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band effectively set the mood for a night of fun music dishing out their own favorites, including “Mr. Bojangles” then Rogers put the exclamation point on the evening’s entertainment with an entertaining show of his own. After a well-rounded set of music and storytelling, Linda Davis and Kenny Rogers finally ended the show with an energy packed version of “Blaze of Glory”, leaving the legend’s followers with a night to remember.

 

         

 

Published in In Concert

It is rare indeed when one goes to see a concert featuring a total of fifteen musicians, yet only one instrument is played all night.  This is what you would’ve been in for if you caught the mutualistic pairing of Sweet Honey In The Rock with Ladysmith Black Mambazo this past Monday at Ravinia.  Both a cappella groups have been around for over 40 years and show no signs of slowing down, though they have rearranged their membership occasionally.  Together on this balmy night in Highland Park, they put on a moving and impressive show...their blending voices as refreshing as the evening breeze.

 

Experiencing Sweet Honey In The Rock is like having four female Bobby McFerrins on stage at the same time.  Whether scatting drum beats, mimicking horn blasts, or singing soaring leads, each member contributed equally in creating a big sound full of dense gospel harmonies.  Their fifth member is longtime sign language interpreter, Shirley Childress, who signed and gyrated with gusto, even trading licks with the only instrumentalist of the night, bassist Romeir Mendez. Their original songs featured poignant tales about civil rights and injustice, honing in on recent killings in the news, then they would follow up with uplifting call-and-response chants of peace and love.  At times, it got a little awkward due to the lack of the audience’s willingness to sing out on the touchy topics, but things relaxed when they treated us to a stirring cover of jazz standard and Nina Simone hit, “Feeling Good.”  While the heavy repertoire and bass solos may have been too much for some, these “Honeys” are still a force to be reckoned with.

 

Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s sound is immediately recognizable and one-of-a-kind.  This nine-piece, all-male vocal group has been around since the late 60’s, making their biggest splash backing Paul Simon on his seminal Graceland album in 1986.  Featuring traditional South African Zulu lyrics, rhythms and harmonies, the depth and power of their music can make your hair stand on end, as mine did often that night.  Quaking low drones blended seamlessly with pitch-perfect falsettos, at times accented by intricate bird calls and the tell-tale clicks of the Zulu language.  Like Sweet Honey, their songs switched from serious issues such as apartheid to more joyous stories of young love and discovery.  In addition to the incredible music, I was equally impressed by their synchronized and athletic dance routines.  All the members, including one who joined back in 1969, were doing repeated head-high leg kicks that would make the Rockettes proud, singing all the while.  This was all rounded out by their charming stories and cheeky banter in between songs.  It was obvious that these men were truly enjoying themselves onstage and their enthusiasm was infectious.  As I circled the grounds numerous times trying to stroll my three-year-old to sleep, I saw nothing but smiles all around.  For those, like me, who were not familiar with their music outside of Graceland, this had no bearing once each song began.  Despite the language barrier, a short synopsis in English before each song from alternating members was enough to let your imagination fill in the blanks.  The biggest treat of the night was probably when we got to hear “Homeless” from Graceland, penned by Paul Simon and LBM’s founder, Joseph Shabalala. They ended their set with a counting of their blessings as a group and a heartfelt thank you to the audience and their supporters.  It was a fitting end to a wonderful concert.  Ladysmith Black Mambazo is a class act and international treasure that is a must for any musical bucket list.

 

Published in In Concert
Wednesday, 06 July 2016 11:57

Jazz Holiday with the Great Chick Corea

I have been a fan of Chick Corea ever since I picked up a Return to Forever album sometime around 1983. Twenty-three years or so later, I was finally able to see him perform – the venue being Ravinia Festival. Corea has been involved in the Jazz scene for fifty years or more and at seventy-five-years-young, he can keep up with someone half his age. 

 

Starting off the triple bill on the evening of July Fourth was Ms. Lisa Fischer and Grand Baton. Theirs was a Jazz on the mellower side though some interesting cover material was chosen to perform. I have never heard Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” played in such a manner before. They also covered two different Rolling Stones songs, “Jumping Jack Flash” and “Gimme Shelter”. Arrangements on these particular songs were quite different than the originals as you might imagine. I must say Fischer’s voice was quite good. Her intonation was amazing. She and her band seemed to drop the word love in every song, very refreshing. After watching her performance, I can only conclude that Ms. Fischer appears to be a peaceful spirit in human form. 

 

The second set was the headlining act, the Chick Corea Trio. Always surrounding himself with talented musicians, Christian McBride was on bass and Brian Blade on drums. Both complimented Chick’s piano playing very well. McBride was a very fluent soloist on upright bass and was somewhat reminiscent of Stanley Clarke in terms of chops, while maintaining his own identity. Brain Blade was equally astounding to say the least. Chick seems to have a knack for finding some of the best players around. I’m sure his reputation attracts the attention of some fine players who line up at the chance to share the stage with such a musical legend. Throughout the entire set Corea played a grand piano. Corea’s chops were so fluid, it’s hard to believe a man of that age still has the hands to pull that off. Fans were in awe during the whole set.

 

Then it was big band time. It was interesting to see Corea in the two different settings. Bass, drums and twelve horns accompanied Chick on the final set of the holiday evening. Corea called out the names of every song and gave credit to the person who did each particular arrangement. If you love horns, it was Heaven. He even touched on a Return to Forever song, making it sound like a fresh new song. Each of the horn players had at least one featured solo, as well. Trumpets, trombones, saxophones and even flute solos were of the highest caliber. Corea didn’t hold back on the last set either. I felt he got better as the night went along, almost as though he may have just been warming up.

 

Jazz is almost a lost art form. I have said that before. It is so nice to see music still being performed by real musicians. The only issue I sometimes have with Jazz audiences is that they applaud after every solo. I guess this is a tradition but I would prefer they would wait until the end of the song. Still, they are usually deserving of the recognition it’s just that sometimes you miss the start of the next solo because of the applause. 

 

Take the opportunity to go see some live Jazz before all the great ones are gone. Ravinia is still to host some amazing Jazz acts this season. The tradition continues, but the real guys are all getting up there in age. At seventy-five, Chick Corea is at the younger end of the age spectrum.

 

Published in In Concert

Amazing times can be had at a live production. Summer concerts can be especially nice; the sun is setting, the crowd is excited, and the opening act is about to take the stage. This particular musical presentation couldn’t have gone much better. 

Opening the show was blues legend, Charlie Musselwhite. The talented musician came out blowing the harp and he gave it all he had. His entire performance was just fantastic, warming up the crowd on a chilly summer night. The audience was certainly amped and ready for the “Space Cowboy”, as the seats and picnic area were already well occupied for this amazing guitar man. 

The Steve Miller Band then took over and hit the crowd right between the eyes with “Jungle Love”, “Take the Money and Run”, and “Abracadabra”, and that was just for starters. If Miller’s performance wasn’t thrilling enough, the place really exploded with excitement when Charlie Musselwhite was invited out to join in on a few bluesy songs. They did a few old cover songs from Little Walter and Freddie King. It was a very memorable time for everyone. 

Longtime fan, Ron Marten says, “I became a fan in 1976 when I was six-years-old. My mom had just bought an 8-track player and joined Columbia house. She was stiffed with this 8-track that was the selection of the month, Fly Like an Eagle. At that time, I was really into the "Space Intro". She couldn’t send it back now. It was part of my nursery rhymes.  We ended up playing the hell out of it.”

Miller’s set continued on with more hits; hit after hit after hit! The night couldn’t be better for any true fan of Steve Miller. He performed very well and his sound is always top notch.  Highland Park was truly fortunate to get an act like this playing in their backyard. 

One fan, however, seemed disappointed during an intro the song "Wintertime". “That was the Window!” he shouted. He turned about to his friends and joined in singing, “In the wintertime ……….”. His mood couldn’t be ruined. 

Steve Miller brought out all of his classics that he could including “Serenade”, “The Joker”, “Fly Like an Eagle”, and closed his triumphant set out with another favorite “Jet Airliner”. Not a single fan in the crowd could be disappointed with the set list. Seeing this man live is like flipping on a radio. Instantly the ear candy is something you know and it hits you hard. 

Ravinia Festival in Highland Park is the place to be to see a live act and who could possibly be better than Steve Miller?                    

 

Published in In Concert

Frank Sinatra Jr. opened his wonderful tribute show at Ravinia Festival in Highland Park by explaining what he hoped to convey, as he had been writing and collecting the photographs and videos for the last two years.

 

"In order to know a man’s life there is one word that must supersede everything,” Sinatra says. “And that word is truth. You are going to see the glittering lights. You are going to see the soaring mountain peaks. But you are also going to see the depths. You’re going to see the chasms.”

 

“There was a time in his career many years ago when his entire world – his work, his movies, his television, his records, his marriage, his personal life – everything fell apart completely,” Sinatra says. “And that is going to be shown in our show.”

 

First of all I was unaware that Sinatra had a son capable of singing as well as Sinatra Jr. does. Many times I closed my eyes and imagined with no difficulty that I was hearing the original recordings of all these magnificent songs as recorded by Sinatra himself.  All of the multimedia pieces were chosen with great care and presented a very moving, well-paced  and well-rounded story of Sinatra's life and indeed the life of all New Yorkers' and even all Americans who lived during Sinatra's career ups and downs.  The show reminded me of another great father son tribute, the play “Jack Lemmon Returns” by Jack Lemmon's son, Chris Lemmon.

 

There was an unnecessarily melancholy and almost apologetic air to Sinatra Jr.'s performance and also the fact that he never referred to Frank during the show as his father or "dad" struck me as very sad and the following quote explains why that is.

 

In interviews Frank Jr. repeatedly speaks of how his own life ‘is immaterial’, adding: “I’ve never been a success. I have never had a hit movie, a hit television program, a hit record. It would have been good for my personal integrity, my personal dignity to have had something like that. I have never made a success in terms of my own right. I have been very good at re-creation. But that is something that pleases me because my father’s music is so magnificent."

 

But I wholeheartedly disagree with Sinatra Jr.'s summation of his career. Although he may not have received any awards yet, this engrossing and educational tribute to his father stands on its own as a wonderful and well-crafted, musical production. 

 

Sinatra Jr. didn't have much time with his father as a child due to early divorce yet he devoted seven years of his life, working 24/7 to managing his ailing and genius father during Sinatra's last decade on earth. His efforts gave us an additional seven years of Sinatra live performances which is a huge contribution to the history of music and his fans worldwide. 

 

Sinatra Jr. doesn't just imitate his father, or impersonate him, his voice has a rich timbre and phrasing all his own that bleeds through the performance in just the right amounts.

 

Imagine if Elvis Presley had had a son who resembled him physically to a degree and more importantly was a college music major capable of playing and singing the music Elvis made famous for decades after his death. Wouldn't we consider that a great achievement in its own right? 

 

I heard many people during the intermission say just how much they were enjoying the show and that Sinatra Jr.'s storytelling and choice of photos and video, etc., really surpassed their expectations for the concert - and I felt the same way. We saw an impressive timeline that included the Rat Pack, Nancy Sinatra, various films and private family photos. Sinatra Jr. also flawlessly performed one favorite after another and really hit the mark on his beautiful rendition of "My Way".

 

Sinatra Jr.'s Centennial Celebration is a wonderful work of art and the amazing choice of talented musicians in his outstanding orchestra made this theatrical experience more than just a trip down memory lane. 

 

Sinatra Jr. has achieved something more in this production than mere imitation or tribute. He has created a highly entertaining and moving audience experience, partly because he is talented in his own right and partly because he has something no Sinatra impersonator will ever have. "The blood of my blood" Sinatra Jr. has  the blood of his genius and powerful father - the evergreen Frank Sinatra - running though his veins which makes the whole audience aware they are in Frank Sinatra's presence as he is surely watching his son proudly from the wings at every performance. 

 

I highly recommend seeing this production and hope that Sinatra Jr. will continue to perform it long after this 100th year birthday celebration hype has settled down again, because Sinatra's story deserves to be told to new generations as well as old and Sinatra Jr. is the only one who can tell it the right way with “the real truth" ringing out between every note. 

 

 

 

Published in In Concert

Santana’s Corazón Tour blew through Chicago as quickly as a summer storm. But for two all-too-brief nights, Santana lit up the Pavilion stage at Ravinia to a sold out crowd of dancing, drinking, smoking, nostalgic concert-goers.

 

For many in the audience, Ravinia was the perfect venue, paying homage to their first time seeing Santana play Woodstock in 1969. Baby boomers swayed and rhumbaed in any space they could find amidst the sold out crowd, unashamed to don twinkling cowboy hats, smoke a joint, and down a glass of cheap merlot. They sang every lyric, grabbed any passerby to salsa with, and threw peace signs to the friendly Ravinia security guards. On the other end of the audience spectrum were young millennials who were introduced to Santana during his resurgence to popularity in the late 1990s, most likely with Santana’s 1999 album Supernatural that included such #TBT favorites as Smooth: https://youtu.be/6Whgn_iE5uc and one of my personal favorite songs, Maria Maria: https://youtu.be/nPLV7lGbmT4. There was not a single person seated in the Pavilion or on the lawn when Maria Maria played. People of every age, race, and gender danced together to the sounds of the guitar, played by the living legend, Carlos Santana.

 

In the unlikely event you have lived under a rock for the past few decades, Santana first became famous in the late 1960s and early 1970s with his band, Santana. The Mexican-American musician pioneered the unique blend of rock and Latin American music that continues to rocks heads, and hips, to this day. He has won 3 Latin Grammy Awards and 10 Grammy Awards, eight alone at the 42nd annual Grammys in 2000. In 2003 Rolling Stone magazine listed Santana as one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of all time, keeping company with other greats such as Keith Richards, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, and Jimi Hendrix. Santana’s latest album, Corazón, proves that he can still throw down with the best of them in the biz and was born to play the guitar. Ravinia audiences were also treated to a special family event when Santana’s son, Salvador Santana, took the stage to play a brief set, proving that talent and dedication to craft runs in the family.

 

 

Ravinia and Santana to together like salt and margaritas. The cool summer night perfectly complimented the cool blend of guitar, timbales and congas. The next time Santana blows through Chicago don’t miss your chance to see him live, and be sure to give the man your heart, make it real or else forget about it.

Published in In Concert
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