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It was a night for the archetypes of rock at Ravinia this past weekend. The rain finally let up for a cool evening to rock the night away with “Rage and Rapture”, the new Blondie and Garbage tour. The eclectic crowd of Garbage fans and Blondie fans filled the pavilion and spread across the grass in anticipation of these female rock icons.

Opening songs were played by John Doe and Exene Cervenka, mid-west natives, making their Ravinia debut. The long time musical duo, which has been performing since the 70’s (as a group and as solo artists) had the crowd swaying to their music and enjoying their last night on the “Rage and Rapture Tour”. The warm up act was well received with much applause and appreciation.

As the lights phased out and the stage was covered in a flood of red light, Shirley Manson and the band members of Garbage took to the stage. In what can only be called her signature look, Manson and the boys took over. This band first met in Chicago and began putting out music in 1995.Their latest album “Strange Little Birds” was released in 2016. The audience reveled in songs like “Only Happens When It Rains”, “Stupid Girl”, “Push It” and “Cup O’ Coffee”.  Fans were on their feet dancing and singing along. The energy was palpable.  It was a warmly welcomed and exciting first appearance at Ravinia for Garbage.

Then, although a hard act to follow, Blondie took the stage with backdrop images of buzzing bees. Debbie Harry sported a Pollinator mask (also the name of her May released album) and cape with a bold statement about the treatment of the Earth. Following a forty-year history of the powerhouse that is Blondie, original members, 72-year-old Debbie Harry, 61-year-old Clem Burke (drummer), and guitarist Chris Stein (67 years) were joined on stage by the new age members Tommy Kessler, Leigh Fox, and Matt Katz-Bohen, in a testimony of iconic style, creative music and a love for all people. The audience surged to the edge of the pavilion and remained on their feet. Fans sang along to signature songs like “One Way or Another,” “Hanging on the Telephone,” and “Heart of Glass”. The crowd also continued to sing along with Blondie’s new releases, having fun with tracks like “Fun”.

It was a night to rock out at Ravinia with some rocking music and iconic ladies. It was night not to be missed!

For a list of upcoming Ravinia shows, click HERE.

 

Published in In Concert

On a recent Throwback Thursday, a suggested playlist popped up on Spotify that caught my attention, “Oldies but Goodies.” I started the playlist enthusiastically, not having the ability to pre-screen the mix. The first song to play was Sisqo's "Thong Song." At that moment, I wasn't quite sure what offended me more, that a song from my middle school days was considered an oldie by some younger-than-me-millennial, or that Sisqo would be in a category of "Oldies but Goodies." An oldie evokes ideas of classics, songs that withstand the test of time and musical fads. Songs, bands, singers, and songwriters that make "Greatest Songs of All Time" lists by the most reputable industry minds. "Oldies but Goodies" are timeless, and the best example of this happened only one short week ago at Ravinia with The Temptations and The Beach Boys.

No better groups epitomize Golden Oldies than The Temptations and The Beach Boys. Together they represent an incredible era of music from the 50, the 60s, and 70s from the pop-like rhythm and blues of Motown to the surf sound with electric guitars and vocal harmonies. Both musical styles were on full display Sunday night at Ravinia.

The Temptations performed with the gusto of men half their age. Their glee was palpable as they breezed through their dancing arrangements in perfect unison to their major hits like "Ain't to proud to beg," "Papa was a rolling stone" and their anthem "My Girl." Accompanied by a big band and master of ceremony, the group moved seamlessly from song to song not breaking for more than a breath or a drink of water. For 45 minutes straight the five men put on a show that is simply unseen in today's music. They were charismatic and engaging, their vocals and showmanship from another era. Unfortunately, their performance was lost on the audience in the pavilion seats. With tickets running as high $150/seat you'd expect those spending the money to see the group up close would be eager to see them, sing with them, dance with them. On the contrary, the pavilion guests appeared by bored, almost inconvenienced when they were asked to get up and sing and dance along. It seemed like they were there more for nostalgia; not present as fans of the music or the musical legends, but in remembrance of a bygone era and in mourning for youth. The seats were lost on those that tried to buy their time back.

The Beach Boys' set, in contrast to the rhythm of Motown, played with the same ease of an ocean at sunset, each song getting its play and lazily meeting the next. "Good Vibrations" had plenty of time to crash across the lawn seats before the group started "Sloop John B" or "God Only Knows." I rode the sound waves out to the lawn to meet up with friends and stretch my legs from the pavilion seats. Perhaps it was the extra space and freedom of the lawn seats, or perhaps just The Beach Boys themselves, but people were up, dancing and belting out every word. Beach balls by the dozens were hit from fan group to fan group, smiling and laughing even when some were smacked into heads, or in my case, my wine. The evening really captured the surf sound, listening to wavy-like music against a setting summer sun with a cold drink and good friends. This vibe still couldn't penetrate the pavilion seats, and having left my seat I couldn't return until there was a designated break in the music set. Though the group took at least 4-5 minutes to get from song to song there wasn't enough time to get people to their seat. But watching the audience I was reminded of The Beach Boys' earliest days, performing in matching short-sleeved button up shirts, slouchy with their hands in their pockets. Most guests sat the same way, slouchy, hands in their pockets and grimaces on their face. I spent the rest of the show on the lawn hitting beach balls, drinking wine, and crooning along to "Kokomo."

You can classify Sisqo as an oldie to appeal to older millennials and get clicks on trendy music apps, but true oldies (songs and bands) live across generations, draw thousands of fans to a suburban music venue, and can be enjoyed by kids young and old. Those are the only songs that can be considered Oldies But Goodies, even if the goodies can't be enjoyed by the people who are now "oldies." Ravinia has shows that extend through September, see what they have to offer at www.ravinia.org.



Published in In Concert

Graeme Edge, Justin Hayward, and John Lodge brought a show to the Ravinia stage that knocked out everyone who was in attendance. Two full sets of music packed with hits from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s were the band’s musical offerings for the evening. Without a doubt, it was a musical setting that was great to see, hear, and feel.


There is nothing like going into a concert venue to see a favorite band. The crowds of people dress in their best going out attire and get all polished up like a pretty penny. They make their way to the seats to see some good music and moments later lights finally fade and the music starts. Excitement runs through the crowd as the first notes begin.

  
It’s just a magical time during the summer concert season at Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois. The Moody Blues only add to that magic. The legendary band came triumphantly took the stage and played a no nonsense show, having lost nothing in their fifty plus years as musicians. Their music was absolutely flawless from start to finish.


The first set contained hits from their vast catalog. They opened the show with “I’m Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)” and grabbed the attention of the audience right away. Hayward and Lodge both have amazing voices and hit every note with perfection. There wasn’t the slightest crack or imperfection in any of the performer’s voice.


Songs from the video age of the 1980’s were a big hit among the fans. “The Voice” and “Your Wildest Dreams” were definitely crowd pleasers. They kept reminding us of their amazing writing capability as their set list unfolded.


“The Story in Your Eyes” was a highlight from the first set that grabbed a few inexperienced Moody Blues fans by surprise. “Oh my God! They’re playing this song too?” If you listen to classic rock, it’s hard to not know The Moody Blues music. It’s still everywhere on the FM dial.

“Steppin’ in A Slide Zone” began with the melodic dynamic build and thrilled the more dedicated fans of this amazing band. The keyboards and guitars were blending so well in what was a great piece of ear candy. For the few that didn’t know the song, I’m guessing it had to impress them as well.


Set two was reserved for the fiftieth anniversary of Days of Future Passed. They played the album in its entirety and this is the reason a lot of people came out to see the famous band. A few people in attendance even gave up their Grateful Dead tickets to witness this once in a lifetime performance.


The monologues were prerecorded by Jeremy Irons and he nailed it. He sounded just like the original recordings. “Tuesday Afternoon” and “Nights in White Satin” were the bigger hits from the album. Getting the chance to see this composition from start to finish was a real treat. It was a musical journey that everyone will remember from the orchestral interludes to the psychedelic writings of 1967. Originally released just after the summer of love, the album is a timeless recording that will always stand out as one of the best of all time.  


Graeme Edge was awesome on the drums and kept hitting them with finesse while not missing a beat. Billy Ashbaugh was an additional drummer brought on the tour to help keep the time within the show. Justin Hayward did such an amazing job on the guitar and vocals, the show wouldn’t have been the same without him while John Lodge provided the bottom end with his bass guitar and brought along some sweet vocals as well. Rounding out The Moody Blues sound, Alan Hewitt performed some amazing keyboards and vocals. Everything he did was just like the original recordings. Norda Mullen is a multi-instrumentalist who fills in so many gaps for The Moody Blues, but really stands out with her flute. The tour also included Julie Ragins, another multi-instrumentalist who just seemed to play everything. She quickly proved she wasn’t there to take up space. Together these people are the current lineup for The Moody Blues and they shouldn’t change a thing. These professional musicians stand out within their instruments of choice. They famously blend so well with one another.

The Moody Blues is just an amazing band in a live setting. Age does not seem to affect this band in a negative way, the musicians defying Father Time. Their musicianship seems to keep getting better as the years pass. It’s always a pleasure to see people refine their talents and put them on display for everyone to see. Ravinia was just a perfect setting for this nostalgic display. It was a delight for everyone who was there.

 

Published in In Concert

Saturday night was a night of firsts for Ravinia, hosting its first Hip Hop show that included a lineup of first-time performers on the stage, and featuring the one and only Common. One does not typically think of Hip-Hop when thinking of the outdoor picnic grounds and pavilion of Ravinia, but tonight even with the chance of rain (rain ponchos provided) fans from Chicago and its surrounding suburbs showed up in high numbers to groove and dance the night away.

With sponsorship from United and 107.5 WGCI, DJ Anthony took to the decks, making his Ravinia debut to open the night at this all ages concert. Fans know him from his radio spots on GCI and his current work as a producer on Cody Chestnut’s and the new Gorrilaz album.

Next up, was Tay (Taylor Bennett), another Chicago native from 79th Street and brother of Chance the Rapper, also making his Ravinia debut. With samples of tracks from his album Restoration of an American Idol and Broad Shoulders, the audience got a good feel for this up and coming rapper and his style of music. He was invited by Common as a late addition to the night’s musical lineup.

After twenty-five years in the music business, the Golden Globe and Grammy winner, and Oscar nominated musician for the theme song from Selma (“Glory”), once again took the stage in his hometown Chicago (well, Highland Park, anyway – close enough). This appearance marked Common’s first ever performance at Ravinia. I have seen quite a few shows at Ravinia, there are often a handful of dancers sprinkled throughout the crowd, scattered among the seated in the pavilion and across the grass, many standing on their feet for portions of a show. But the crowd response for Common was the most avid I have personally seen at the festival. The moment, Common stepped onto the stage, the entire pavilion arose from their seats, most remaining on their feet dancing and cheering for the entire show. Those with lawn tickets pressed themselves against the barricades while others danced atop the grass. Common pulled the crowd in, never letting go, playing his award-winning hit "Glory" along with songs that spanned throughout his twenty-five-year career known and loved by his fans. His was a high energy performance, and with meaning, as Common reinforced the purpose behind his Black America Again album. His message is simple in that supporting a community of people working together, enjoying music and life together, we are building a safer and more connected Chicago and world.

There is much more to see and be seen of Common in the future. With Common’s newfound success at the festival, perhaps more Hip-Hop acts will be scheduled for Ravinia. “I wondered if they liked Hip-Hop at Ravinia”, the artist jested to cheers across the venue. Yes, we do. With so much energy and love in the air, it was an unbelievable night of Ravinia firsts. www.Ravinia.org

Set List:
The Corner
The People
The Food
U, Black Maybe
Get ‘Em High (Kanye West)
Come Close
Testify/Darling Nikki (Prince)
I Used to Love H.E.R.
Take It EZ
Go!
Love Is…
The Light
Forever Begins
Be (Intro)
Glory

Published in 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

In 2003, a little show called One Tree Hill hit the WB and its theme some “I Don't Want to Be” was quickly burned onto mix CDs by denim mini skirt, tie-belt, fedora wearing teen in the country. That theme song was sung by Gavin Degraw who stirred up a bit of early 2000 nostalgia as he performed at Ravinia with The Fray on June 25th.

 

Ravinia was packed to the brim to see the piano playing artists. Every seat in the Pavilion was taken, with swarms of people crowding over the railing to try and catch a view of the stage. I wouldn't have thought the headliners would have drawn such a large crowd with lawn seats running at $40 apiece and the heat climbing to just over 90 degrees at sunset. But with every grassy nook taken by late twenty, early thirty-somethings casually sipping drinks while they weren’t legally allowed to drink when the artists first debuted, I found myself pleasantly surprised. 

 

Gavin Degraw opened the evening, playing some of my own favorites from his many albums including “Chariot,” “I’m in Love with a Girl,” “Not Over You,” and his most notable “I Don't Want to Be.” His set played for nearly an hour and a half and he could have played until the gates closed without argument from the audience. The Fray didn't play as long. In fact, their set had more covers than originals. “How to Save a Life,” the band’s second single and the song that propelled them to worldwide fame in 2005, was the only song that seemed to resonate with the crowd. The only other song that the audience seemed to know of theirs was “Over My Head,” and without many other top 40 Billboard topping songs to note, The Fray paled in comparison to Degraw’s soulful set. But the pairing between the singer-songwriter and American rock band went together like red wine and cheese. Both of the artist’s songs were tailor-made for dramatic TV moments. The next time the duo come to Ravinia their sets should be accompanied by a large movie screen with TV clips from early 2000 shows. Think The Fray providing theme music to dramatic scenes on Scrubs and Grey's Anatomy, Gavin Degraw playing over sappy moments on One Tree Hill, The OC, Gilmore Girls. It would probably draw double the audience and it would certainly double the Y2K nostalgia.

 

Ravinia is just getting their summer season going and has an incredible line-up with shows through September that span dozens of interests, musical eras, and genres. Visit www.ravinia.org for schedule and tickets.

 

Published in In Concert

It was a triple bill of Mary Chapin Carpenter, Indigo Girls and Shawn Mullins a cool Friday night in June, the perfect atmosphere for some hot music. And though the showed started early at, 6:30 PM, there was already a surprisingly good-sized crowd on hand well before the activities were to begin. For those of you who have not experienced Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, the park contains a massive picnic area that surrounds the pavilion where the stage is held. Some stay in the lawn area until the headliner hits the stage, others remain in the picnic area and just enjoy the ambience while listening to the concert to the speakers set up throughout. This show was no different. 

 

 

The first thing I noticed when I first heard the Indigo Girls over twenty years ago was their vocal harmonies, an interesting blend. Amy Ray has a very deep voice for a female singer and Emily Saliers has the higher and much more versatile voice. This makes for an interesting vocal blend. My only issue with this is the repetition of this formula on every song though I am not that familiar with their catalog of work in its entirety. I found that even though their sound is quite unique, after a couple songs their sound could get a bit predictable. Having said that, the crowd certainly approved of what they heard, many of them singing along and dancing in place.

 

 

The Indigo Girls were backed up by three other performers, a multi instrumentalist, a violinist/vocalist and a singer/guitarist. Even with the augmentation of the line up, I still found a lot of their songs have few variables to the band’s overall sound. The tempo and harmonies were just extremely similar from song to song.

 

 

Shawn Mullins opened up the night with an acoustic guitar, his own voice and an accordion player. This exceptional baritone singer had a really folky vibe that was a great warm up for the crowd. The pavilion had a lot of empty seats still at that point as concert goers milled about the grounds, but the people that were watching his act really appeared to enjoy his music. Mullins’ sense of humor was also very refreshing.

 

 

The act of the night in my opinion was the one in the middle, Mary Chapin Carpenter. She had a typical five-piece band line up, drums, bass, keys and guitar. Backing vocals were provided by the bass and keys players. Now, I don’t know why, but Carpenter is a performer I can honestly say slipped under my radar. A real veteran, her performance was amazing, as Carpenter played a great variety of material - and played it to perfection. If I were to label her music I would say folk….no, country….no, Rock and Roll….all of the above. I hate categories because of their limiting definitions anyway.  I like variety and her portion of the show was a great example of that. I really thought Mary should have been the headliner after watching her, but the Girls have a very strong following. It’s not right to say a certain performer is better than another, so I won’t go there. Rather, I simply found Carpenter the performer of the night.

 

The Indigo Girls is still an act worth seeing. I think maybe branching out a bit may be in their best interest. Their fans would probably disagree, that’s okay. Their following is very loyal, and this could be partly due to their social position…just a couple girls doing it on their own for the most part. I should probably listen a little more clearly to the lyrics, that is probably where the variety of their material lies. I’m sure it is also somewhat difficult to provide a lot of different tempos and rhythmic variations when you play without a live drummer. Heading into the show, I wasn’t sure what their lineup was going to be since I have mostly seen Amy and Emily play as a duet.

 

 

The Indigo Girls closed the show with “Closer to Fine”, the song that really put them on the map. The crowd was probably louder than the Girls were at times during that song. That’s what it’s all about really anyway, communication. If you can get an audience to respond like that, mission accomplished. So, to sum it up my criticism of the lack of variety was clearly only in my eyes. Their audience didn’t view it like that. I guess for me Bob Dylan is the same way. To the average listener, many of his songs sound the same. Am I comparing The Indigo Girls to Bob Dylan? I guess in a way, their appeal is in the same vein. Just simple songs played with their own particular flavor. Folk music is what it says it is, music of the people. The people responded, that’s all that really matters, not the opinion of one critic. 

 

Published in In Concert

Ravinia has announced that the most honored female country performer of all time, Dolly Parton, will bring her first major U.S. and Canadian tour in 25 years to the festival at 7:30 p.m. on August 7. “We’re so excited to get out there and see the fans again,” the legend says. “I’m really looking forward to singing songs the fans have not heard in a while, as well as the hits, while premiering a few new ones off Pure & Simple.”

 

An internationally renowned superstar, Parton penned such enduring, classic songs as “Jolene,” “Coat of Many Colors,” and the mega-hit “I Will Always Love You.” Over her career, she has created 25 RIAA-certified gold, platinum, or multiplatinum records and 41 top-10 country albums; earned 7 Grammy Awards, 10 Country Music Association Awards, 5 Academy of Country Music Awards, and 3 American Music Awards; and she is one of only five female artists to win the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year award.

 

Donors to the not-for-profit Ravinia Festival at the Friend level and above can make early ticket requests for this concert from now through Friday, April 1. Tickets for this concert and the rest of Ravinia’s 2016 lineup go on sale to the public at 5 a.m. on April 26, exclusively at Ravinia.org.

 

ABOUT RAVINIA

Ravinia, located right outside Chicago, is North America’s oldest and most diverse music festival, presenting over 140 different events every summer, including the annual residency of the nation’s finest orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. As a nonprofit organization, Ravinia provides arts programs for over 75,000 people in underserved communities in Cook and Lake Counties through its REACH*TEACH*PLAY education programs. Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute is a summer music conservatory that awards 60–70 fully paid fellowships each year to the most talented young professional musicians from around the world to work with an esteemed faculty and the headliners who frequent the festival. For information, visit Ravinia.org.

 

Published in In Concert
Wednesday, 02 March 2016 13:17

RAVINIA ANNOUNCES 2016 SEASON

Nation’s most diverse music festival presents more than 140 events from June 2 through September 11, featuring the 80th-anniversary summer residency of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

 

Longtime, former music director James Levine returns for the first time in over two decades to conduct Mahler’s Second Symphony, as he did at his Ravinia debut 45 years ago

 

Eight conductors make their Ravinia debuts, and four of those make their CSO debuts, including Kirill Karabits, Gustavo Gimeno, George Hanson, and Ben Gernon

 

Legends Paul Simon, Diana Ross, and Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons among 74 Ravinia debuts; Bob Dylan returns for the first time since 1964

 

Ten premieres include the first violin concerto by Wynton Marsalis, co-commissioned by Ravinia, and Tan Dun’s Water Passion

 

Stravinsky’s The Firebird named “One Score, One Chicago” selection as Ravinia co-commissions dramatic new staging from the puppeteers behind Broadway’s War Horse

 

Orchestras perform scores live as Ravinia shows the complete films Titanic, The Planets: An HD Odyssey, The Wizard of Oz, and Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II

 

A series of vocal programs, including Rachmaninoff’s “Vespers,” celebrates the centennial of master choral director Robert Shaw

 

Tributes to David Bowie, Oscar Brown Jr., Nat “King” Cole, Jerry Garcia, and Stephen Sondheim are featured

 

Fourteen chamber programs explore “complete” works by Haydn, Bach, and Bartók and launch a three-year cycle of Beethoven’s piano sonatas by Jonathan Biss

 

Ravinia welcomes guests at its grand entrance with a new aquatic sculpture by the designers of the Bellagio’s dancing fountains and a wave of water-themed concerts

 

Classical artists include Jean-Yves Thibaudet; Matthias Goerne; Gil Shaham; Joshua Bell and Chris Botti; Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma; Itzhak Perlman; Alisa Weilerstein; Lynn Harrell; Daniil Trifonov; Jeffrey Kahane; Zukerman Trio; Danielle de Niese; Midori; Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra; the Juilliard, Emerson, and Takács String Quartets; and RSMI alumni in the Chiara, Avalon, and Ariel String Quartets

 

Non-classical artists include Seal; Train and Andy Grammer; Bonnie Raitt; Hollywood Vampires with Alice Cooper, Joe Perry, and Johnny Depp; Billy Bob Thornton & The Boxmasters and Marty Stuart; Don Henley; Bryan Ferry; Barenaked Ladies; Seth MacFarlane; Duran Duran; Buddy Guy and Jeff Beck; Tony Bennett; Patti LaBelle; Phillip Phillips and Matt Nathanson; and Chris Cornell

 

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill.—Ravinia President and CEO Welz Kauffman today announced the 2016 summer season comprising more than 140 events, featuring the 80th-anniversary summer residency of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In this special anniversary year, maestro James Levine will return for the first time in more than two decades to lead the CSO in Mahler’s Second Symphony—the piece he conducted as a last-minute replacement when he made his Ravinia debut in 1971. Eight conductors will make their Ravinia debuts—four of whom concurrently are making their CSO debuts—during the 17-concert residency. The 15-week season, which is nearly 65 percent classical, features 74 artist debuts—including legends Paul Simon and Diana Ross—and 50 classical works never before performed at the festival. New works include the Ravinia co-commissions of a reimagined staging of Stravinsky’s The Firebird, created by the company behind War Horse on Broadway and the West End, and the first violin concerto fromWynton Marsalis, performed by Nicola Benedetti, for whom it was written. Four films, including Titanic and The Wizard of Oz, will receive live orchestral accompaniment. Several concerts pay tribute to musical giants, from Robert Shaw to David Bowie. Fourteen concerts offer “complete” works, including the launch of a three-year Beethoven project by pianist Jonathan Biss. Tickets go on sale March 9 to donors to the not-for-profit festival and April 26 to the general public.

“Nothing compares to the enviable relationship between Ravinia and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, so it’s a real pleasure to announce the 80th-anniversary summer residency, featuring something for just about every taste in orchestral music,” said Kauffman, who programs the festival, also noting that typically festivals and orchestras are a single entity, such as Tanglewood and the Boston Symphony. “Ravinia, with its welcoming outdoor environment, low prices, and inviting summer programming is well poised to help build the audience for this important art form. If venue loyalty can get just 5 percent of the audience that comes to see Train or Paul Simon to return for a CSO concert, that would be a sea change. We’re especially excited to respond to audience demand by introducing six conductors standing before the CSO at Ravinia this summer, four of whom are also making their CSO debuts.”

For the second year in a row, Allstate has signed on to be Ravinia’s Lead Classical Sponsor. “We are pleased to once again partner with Ravinia on their efforts to bring classical music to the Chicago area,” said Don Civgin, President of Emerging Business at Allstate and a Ravinia Trustee. “We applaud Ravinia’s commitment to education, public outreach, and making world-class performances accessible to all. Allstate and Ravinia recognize the importance of serving the community—together we are a force for good.”

 

$25/$10/FREE

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.

 

JAMES LEVINE RETURNS / GALA

James Levine will celebrate the 45th anniversary of his Ravinia debut by returning to the festival for the first time since completing his music directorship in 1993. On July 23, Levine will conduct the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in Mahler’s Second Symphony. This was the first piece he conducted at Ravinia on June 24, 1971, when he was brought in as a last-minute replacement for the Ravinia Women’s Board Gala. Levine’s return headlines the 50th gala, the only performance fundraiser to support the festival and its REACH*TEACH*PLAY education programs.

“Little did I know when I first came to Ravinia how important my time there would turn out to be, and the significant development it would stimulate in my artistic growth,” Levine said. “With the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, I felt as though we were an ideal match, each provoking the other to strive for the best.”

 

RAVINIA DEBUTS

Legendary artists Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons (June 12), Paul Simon (June 18), and Diana Ross (July 27) make their Ravinia debuts this summer. Bob Dylan (June 24) returns for the first time since 1964, when he was billed as “Robert Dylan,” with Chicago’s own Mavis Staples.

“There remain a handful of artists whose style and careers seem so custom-built for Ravinia’s environment that some people are amazed to discover they are making their festival debuts. This was certainly the case when I first booked Crosby, Stills & Nash in 2010, and I predict it will be that way this summer for legends like Paul Simon and Frankie Valli,” Kauffman said. “You can just picture them on our stage. They belong here.”

Also among the nonclassical artists making their Ravinia debuts this summer are Duran Duran and CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers (July 8/9); as seen on the recent Grammy Awards, the Hollywood Vampires, comprising Alice Cooper,Joe Perry, and Johnny Depp (July 17); Billy Bob Thornton & The Boxmasters and Marty Stuart (Sept. 2);Barenaked Ladies and OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) with Howard Jones in his second visit (June 9);The Commodores (June 23); Shawn Mullins (July 1); Neil Finn of Crowded House with Guster, similarly making its second appearance (July 7); Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, Audioslave, and Temple of the Dog (July 3); guitarist Jeff Beck on a double bill with festival favorite Buddy Guy (July 31); Bryan Ferry (Aug. 6); Mariachi Flor de Toloache(Sept. 5); and Katharine McPhee, star of TV’s Smash and Scorpion, opening for the return of Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane with the Ravinia Festival Orchestra (June 22).

Ravinia is proud to welcome the following classical artists making their debuts at the festival. Ensembles: Ariel Quartet (Aug. 30), Avalon String Quartet (Aug. 31), Chiara String Quartet (Sept. 7/8), Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (Sept. 11); Conductors: Mei-Ann Chen (June 16), Cristian Măcelaru (July 12/13), Vasily Petrenko(July 20), Ben Gernon (July 26), Gustavo Gimeno (Aug. 2), Kirill Karabits (Aug. 5), George Hanson (Aug. 12), and George Daugherty (Sept. 11); Vocalists: Klea Blackhurst (Aug. 17) and Ryan VanDenBoom (Aug. 17);Sopranos: Delaram Kamareh (June 10), Ying Fang (July 23), and Danielle de Niese (Aug. 4); Mezzo-soprano:Karen Cargill (July 23); Bass-baritone: Stephen Bryant (June 10); Violinists: Shalini Vijayan (June 10) andAlejandro Loguercio (Aug. 19); Cellists: Cecilia Tsan (June 10), Christoph Richter (July 6), Adolfo Gutiérrez Arenas (Aug. 16), and the Juilliard String Quartet’s incoming member, Astrid Schween (June 27); Double bassist:Roberto Koch (Aug. 19); Pianists: Shani Diluka (June 10), Julia Hsu (July 22), George Li (July 24), Paul Lewis(Aug. 5), Christopher Park (Aug. 16), Michael Abramovich (Aug. 19), Lucas Debargue (Aug. 25), Lindsay Garritson (Aug. 30), Ran Dank (Sept. 1), Joseph Moog (Sept. 3), Dmitri Levkovich (Sept. 4), and Simon Savoy(Sept. 6); Guitarists: Reentko Dirks (Aug. 19) and Jason Vieaux (Sept. 2); Harpist: Yolanda Kondonassis (Sept. 2);Accordionist: Ksenija Sidorova (Aug. 19); Percussionists: Theresa Dimond (June 10), John Wakefield (June 10), and Itamar Doari(Aug. 19); Sound engineer: Yuanlin Chen (June 10); and Actor: Jack Gilpin (Aug. 30).

 

NONCLASSICAL CONCERTS

The final live national broadcast from Ravinia of A Prairie Home Companion with host Garrison Keillor is set for June 11, featuring special guests pianist Jeremy Denk, a former fellow and faculty member of Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, and Chris Thile, the new host of the internationally beloved program who has previously appeared at Ravinia variously as a member of Nickel Creek and The Punch Brothers, as well as with Yo-Yo Ma in The Goat Rodeo Sessions.

 

Ravinia looks forward to welcoming back Train and Andy Grammer (Aug. 26/27); Seal (Aug. 28); Bonnie Raitt(Sept. 3); Los Tigres del Norte (Sept. 5); Tony Bennett (Aug. 15); Patti LaBelle (June 23); O.A.R. (Sept. 4); Don Henley (Aug. 14/15);Indigo Girls (July 1); Steve Miller Band (July 2); Chick Corea, with his trio and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and Lisa Fischer (July 4); Phillip Phillips and Matt Nathanson (July 10); Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Sweet Honey in the Rock (July 11); Lyle Lovett & his Large Band and Emmylou Harris (July 18); and War and Los Lonely Boys (Aug. 11).

 

PREMIERES

Ravinia will present 50 classical and orchestral works never before performed at the festival, including 10 regional or world premieres. 

· Tan Dun’s Water Passion(June 10):Ravinia presents the Chicago premiere of Tan Dun’s Water Passion after Saint Matthew, featuring the Los Angeles Master Chorale conducted by Grant Gershon. It’s one of four Passions (based on each of the Gospels) commissioned for the 250th anniversary of Bach’s death, a set that also included Golijov’s Passion According to Saint Mark, which received its Chicago premiere to great acclaim at Ravinia in 2002. East meets West in this quasi-theatrical telling (that the LA Times called “unexpectedly alien and visceral”) of the powerful Passion narrative, building on Bach’s majestic chorale tradition with Tan’s layering of a variety of vocal styles from his own heritage, ranging from Mongolian overtone singing to what he calls the “calligraphic” writing of Peking opera. Tan also draws upon the vast instrumental wealth of the Silk Road, ingeniously using the familiar violin and cello to evoke the sounds of the East. Water has long played an important role in traditional Chinese festivals, and Tan was drawn to its symbolism of renewal and rebirth, focusing on those joyous, cyclical aspects inherent to the Passion. Soloists include soprano Delaram Kamareh, bass-baritone Stephen Bryant, violinist Shalini Vijayan, cellist Cecilia Tsan, and percussionists David Cossin,Teresa Dimond, and John Wakefield.

· Richard Wernick’s Quartet No. 9 (June 27): Hailed as the “quintessential American string quartet,” the legendary Juilliard String Quartet celebrates its 70th season with an evening of introductions, including the Chicago premiere of Richard Wernick’s String Quartet No. 9 and a performance of Schubert’s String Quintet with new-member cellist Astrid Schween, who will succeed Joel Krosnick in the fall of 2016.

· Wynton Marsalis’s first violin concerto (July 12): The 2016 CSO residency opens with the American premiere of the first violin concerto by jazz legend Wynton Marsalis, co-commissioned by Ravinia Festival for violinistNicola Benedetti, who will mark her third Ravinia appearance. “Working with Wynton Marsalis on his violin concerto has been life-changing,” said Benedetti.“I am so excited to play the piece again at Ravinia with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.” Cristian Măcelaru, winner of the 2014 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award and conductor-in-residence at the Philadelphia Orchestra, makes his Ravinia debut on the podium. He made his CSO debut in 2013 as a replacement for the then ailing Pierre Boulez and has been a frequent guest conductor since then, even leading the orchestra’s outdoor performances at the Morton Arboretum.

· The Planets: An HD Odyssey (July 13): An out-of-this-world program of space-themed music features the Midwest premiere of a new film with jaw-dropping new images from NASA’s most recent missions, set to Holst’s The Planets. Măcelaru returns to conduct. The film will be shown on high-definition video screens in the Pavilion and on the lawn.

· Stravinsky’s The Firebird / One Score, One Chicago (July 26): Ravinia presents the Chicago premiere of Stravinsky’s The Firebird in a production created by Janni Younge of Handspring Puppet Company, widely praised for its London and Broadway spectacular War Horse. Ravinia co-commissioned this new interpretation ofThe Firebird and has made the piece its 2016 One Score, One Chicago selection. Ben Gernon makes his CSO and Ravinia debuts conducting the program, which also includes Debussy’s La mer and Britten’s Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes.

· James Cameron’s Titanic with live orchestra (July 29/30): The large screens return on July 29 and 30 for one of the most successful films in history, James Cameron’s towering Titanic. The international sensation tied Ben-Hur for winning the most Oscars ever (11), including awards for Best Song (“My Heart Will Go On”) and Best Original Score for composer James Horner, who died tragically last summer. Titanic remains the number-one selling orchestral soundtrack of all time. For this Midwest-premiere presentation, the music has been digitally removed from the film so the CSO, conducted by Ludwig Wicki, can perform the score live as the film is shown. A chorus and soprano, who’ll sing the Irish-tinged vocalizations throughout the film as well as the celebrated theme song made famous by Celine Dion, will join the orchestra onstage.

· David Ludwig songs (Aug. 15): Ravinia presents the world premiere of its third commission from David Ludwig for participants of Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute Program for Singers.

· Wally Gunn’s The Ascendant (Aug. 21): The Grammy Award–winning a cappella octet Roomful of Teethexplores the depth of its vocal range with the Chicago premiere of New York–based composer Wally Gunn’s The Ascendant. Named after a collection of poetry and setting the corresponding text by contemporary Australian poet Maria Zajkowski, the group of songs coupling Roomful of Teeth’s haunting vocals and percussion with Zajkowski’s word painting creates a sudden sense of free-fall for the audience.

· An Unlikely Muse (Aug. 30): Following a July world premiere at Chamber Music Northwest, the stirring music theater work An Unlikely Muse: Richard Mühlfeld, the Last Inspiration of Johannes Brahms will premiere to Chicago audiences in the Martin Theatre this August. Stirred out of retirement by the talent of 19th-century German clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld, composer Johannes Brahms created four clarinet-centric chamber works, whose genesis will be brought to life by actor Jack Gilpin, performing as Mühlfeld, pianist André Watts, clarinetist David Shifrin, and the Ariel Quartet.

 

FILM WITH ORCHESTRA

Building on the success of screening great films with their scores digitally removed so that orchestras can play them live, Ravinia will present five film nights in 2016, with video screens in the Pavilion and on the lawn. 

· The Planets: An HD Odyssey (July 13): Winner of the 2014 Solti Conducting Award, Cristian Măcelaru will lead the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a presentation of Holst’s The Planets accompanied by a new film of startling and vivid images of the solar system collected over NASA’s many space explorations. The program also features Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra—known in pop culture as the theme from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. “Discovering the mysteries of our universe continues to be one of our greatest achievements. Gustav Holst, in his Planets, brings to life perfect descriptions of these wonderful worlds and depicts their astrological characters,” says Măcelaru.

· Titanic (July 29/30): Ravinia embarks on a first-class film experience by presenting the Midwest premiere of one of the most successful movies in history, James Cameron’s Titanic, with Ludwig Wicki conducting and the CSO performing its score. The international sensation tied Ben-Hur for winning the most Oscars ever (11), including awards for Best Song (“My Heart Will Go On”) and Best Score for the late composer James Horner. Titanicremains the one of the top grossing films of all time, and its soundtrack is still the number-one selling orchestral soundtrack of all time. The Chicago Children’s Choir, directed byJosephine Lee, and vocalist Clara Sanabraswill sing the Irish-tinged vocalizations throughout the film as well as the celebrated theme song made famous by Celine Dion.

· The Wizard of Oz (Sept. 10): Ravinia presents of one of the most beloved films of all time, The Wizard of Oz, with Emil de Cou leading the Chicago Philharmonic in its unmistakable music. This marvel of the late 1930s has been stunningly remastered frame by frame and is accompanied by entirely new transcriptions of Harold Arlen’s brilliant lost score. Hearing Judy Garland’s original 1939 studio recordings, backed by lush, live orchestration, will transport children and adults alike. With this version of The Wizard of Oz on the big screen, moviegoers will be treated to the Oscar-winning film as it has never been seen before.

· Warner Bros. Presents Bugs Bunny At The Symphony II (Sept. 11): Perhaps the most fondly remembered integration of pop culture and classical music from the likes of Mendelssohn, Rossini and Wagner (whose “Ride of the Valkyries” takes on new life as “Kill the Wabbit”) projected on the big screen while their extraordinary original scores are played live by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, in its Ravinia debut. Conducted and created by George Daugherty, this collection of classic (directed by the masters Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng) and recent shorts starring the world’s most beloved Looney Tunes characters—Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety, Sylvester, and more—has delighted concertgoers around the world, and spotlights such classics as “What’s Opera, Doc?”and “The Rabbit of Seville” alongside Warner Bros. theatrical shorts “Rabid Rider” and “Coyote Falls.”

 

ROBERT SHAW CENTENNIAL

In recognition of what would be the 100th birthday of conductor Robert Shaw (1916–99), who not only shifted but set new paradigms in choral music, Ravinia is celebrating that lasting legacy with several concerts that showcase the wide variety of works, ensembles, and other leaders that grew out of his influence.

“Too frequently musical genius is forgotten too soon, and it would be an injustice indeed if the dean of choral music went unsung,” said Kauffman. “So we honor Robert Shaw this summer with the vocal vigor he deserves in his anniversary year the same way Ravinia will honor Bernstein at his centennial in 2018 with his protégée Marin Alsop as guest curator.”

 

· Los Angeles Master Chorale (June 10): Founded by Shaw’s friend and classmate Roger Wagner, the Los Angeles Master Chorale already scored raves with the splashy premiere of The Gospel According to the Other Mary at Ravinia, and now returns for the Chicago premiere of Tan Dun’s dramatic Water Passion, conducted byGrant Gershon. The piece relies on many vocal styles from Mongolian overtone singing to the “calligraphic” music of Peking opera.

· Man of Many Voices—Documentary film (June 15): A new documentary about Shaw that traces the journey of a small-town California boy who planned to be a minister like his father, but instead became the greatest conductor of choral music the world has ever known, will be shown in the Martin Theatre.

· The Singers (June 15): The Singers, which emerged from the Dale Warland Singers—Warland being another revered choral colleague—return to Ravinia to perform one of the most captivating choral works of all time, Rachmaninoff’s “Vespers,” conducted by Matthew Culloton, A special dinner package will be available combining admission to the documentary (listed above) and this concert.

· Ladysmith Black Mambazo / Sweet Honey in the Rock (July 11): The South African and African-American (respectively) choral groups share the bill on a concert that evokes not only Shaw’s worldwide embrace of music but the spirit of his civil rights work in the then largely segregated city of Atlanta, where he devised multiple collaborations between the Atlanta Symphony and Spelman and Morehouse Colleges and frequently performed in black churches.

· Chanticleer (July 19): Any group whose name derives from the French words for “sing” and “clear” must owe a debt to Shaw. “He had an exquisite sense of what togetherness in music can be: that’s what Shaw was all about,” says Chanticleer director William Fred Scott. Ravinia audiences will see that togetherness in action when the group dedicates itself to an evening of songs about the moon.

· Chicago Symphony Chorus (July 23): Shaw’s passion for the voice reverberated through Ravinia’s concert halls with the arrival of James Levine, who was an assistant conductor at the Cleveland Orchestra during Shaw’s final three years there as an associate conductor, between 1964 and ’67. As Levine returns this summer, so too will that vocal prowess with the gala performance of Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony, featuring the impeccableChicago Symphony Chorus and guest soloists soprano Ying Fang and mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill. “Shaw transformed our thinking about choral music,” said Duain Wolfe, director of the Chicago Symphony Chorus. “He elevated the performing standards of choruses by inspiring attention to detail.”

· Chicago Children’s Choir (July 29/30): One of the music world’s most sought-after teachers and mentors, Shaw was an admirer of children’s choirs, as demonstrated by his arrangements that have inspired generations of singers. Josephine Lee directs the Chicago Children’s Choir in tandem with the CSO’s performance of the Oscar-winning score to Titanic.

· Shaw’s Favorite Composer (Aug. 9/10): Welz Kauffman, who worked closely with Shaw at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, shares a favorite composer with the great choral director: Brahms. Kauffman programmed Shaw’s two favorite symphonic pieces, the composer’s Second and Fourth Symphonies, to be performed by the CSO under the baton of David Zinman on successive nights. Brahms’s Liebeslieder Waltzes will be performed by singers and pianists from Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute on Aug. 10.

· Master Class for Singers (Aug. 13): Two of Shaw’s fondest acolytes, soprano Sylvia McNair and mezzo-soprano Marietta Simpson, will lead a master class for RSMI fellows that is free and open to the public. The class will focus on vocal works for which Shaw was famous, many of which these spirited singers performed with him.

· Roomful of Teeth (Aug. 21): Founded in 2009, a full decade after Shaw’s death, the Grammy-winning octetRoomful of Teeth, devoted to finding adventurous new expressions of the human voice, is a group that Shaw would have loved: “I wanted this tribute to Shaw to feature a newer group that demonstrates how his influence reaches into the future,” Kauffman said. It will present the Chicago premiere of Wally Gunn’s The Ascendant on a program that includes works by Ted Hearne, Michael Harrison, and its own Pulitzer Prize–winning member, Caroline Shaw (no relation).

· A Robert Shaw Christmas (December): Shaw left a legacy of beloved Christmas recordings, so Sylvia McNair and the Chicago Children’s Choir, directed by Josephine Lee, will return in the holiday season to perform renditions of his classics as part of Ravinia’s year-round $10 BGH Classics series.

 

TRIBUTE CONCERTS

Several Ravinia events will celebrate the lives and art of music’s brightest lights. 

· The Gershwin Experience (June 11): Pianist Richard Glazier, whose music journey “From Broadway to Hollywood” was one of last year’s fast-selling concerts, returns with his musical storytelling style to essay the works of George Gershwin.

· Tribute to Jazz Greats (June 19): Creating the perfect Father’s Day outing, jazz giants Ramsey Lewis and John Pizzarelli salute the late, great jazz pianist and velvet-voiced singer Nat “King” Cole. On the same program, renowned pianist Monty Alexander makes his Ravinia debut with a tribute to one of the festival’s all-time favorites, Tony Bennett (who returns to Ravinia on Aug. 13). This concert also celebrates the next generation of jazz talent by welcoming the Grammy-nominated 12-year-old piano wunderkind Joey Alexander for his first performance on the Pavilion stage after making his Ravinia debut in Bennett Gordon Hall last summer.

· Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration (June 26): Singer-songwriter and guitarist of the Allman Brothers BandWarren Haynes evokes the style and sound of the late Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia with a symphonic dimension provided by the Ravinia Festival Orchestra.

· Over the Moon (July 19): Billed as “an orchestra of voices,” the Grammy-winning male chorus Chanticleerperforms an evening of classic songs and new works in praise and awe of the Moon—everything from the Sinatra standard “Fly Me to the Moon” and Henry Mancini’s timeless “Moon River” to Nico Muhly’s Pierrot Lunaire, written just for them.

· You’re the Top: Cole Porter’s 125th Birthday Celebration (Aug. 17): Pianist Kevin Cole, fresh off his heartfelt tribute to Marvin Hamlisch at Ravinia last summer, returns with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as host and pianist to honor one of the wittiest songwriters of all time. The program also features singers Klea Blackhurst,Sylvia McNair, and Ryan VanDenBoom with David Alan Miller conducting.

· A Love Letter to Stephen Sondheim(Aug. 18): The singer who gave Stephen Sondheim his biggest chart-topping hit with “Send in the Clowns,” Judy Collins devotes an entire evening to the works of her favorite composer with the Passenger String Quartet.

· Something About Oscar (Aug. 29):Singer/dancer/actor Morris Gearring celebrates his friend and mentor, Chicago jazz great Oscar Brown Jr., in this one-man show on the $10 BGH Classics series.

· Bowie—The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust (Sept. 9): Classic Albums Live, known for its pitch-perfect, note-by-note re-creations of rock’s all-time most important records, will give a faithful performance of David Bowie’s fifth studio album, which tells the story of the fictitious rock star Ziggy Stardust. The group will end the show with a sample of other Bowie hits.

 

COMPLETE CHAMBER “SAMPLER”

Music lovers will get the “complete” picture of key areas of several composers’ output over several evenings. 

· Haydn’s Complete Op. 76 String Quartets (July 5): The Emerson String Quartet performs the complete Haydn Op. 76 string quartets—including the “Sunrise,” “Fifths,” and “Emperor”—on one program.

· Beethoven’s Complete Piano Sonatas (Aug. 18/20/22): The festival launches a three-year exploration of Beethoven’s piano sonatas with pianist Jonathan Biss. It begins Aug. 18 with five of the sonatas, including the “Waldstein”; followed by four more on Aug. 20, including the “Tempest” and “Appassionata”; and wraps up the first year on Aug. 22 with five more, including the “Moonlight.” An internationally recognized Beethoven authority, Biss was commissioned to write a book about performing the great composer’s sonatas, Beethoven’s Shadow, and he is committed to recording all of the sonatas for the Onyx label (the first four volumes have already been released). His exceptional online Coursera course, Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas, which reached 55,000 experts and novices in its first go-around, was relaunched in January.

· Beethoven’s Complete Cello Sonatas (Aug. 16): Celebrated Spanish cellist Adolfo Gutiérrez Arenas makes his first appearance at Ravinia with Bernstein Award–winning pianist Christopher Park to present Beethoven’s complete sonatas for cello and piano.

· Bach’s Complete Sonatas and Partitas (Aug. 17): Over two separate concert performances just hours apart, at 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 17, the director of the RSMI Piano and Strings program, Miriam Fried, celebrates her 70th birthday by scaling the Everest of the solo violin repertoire.

· Beethoven’s Complete String Quartets (Aug. 26–28): The Pacifica Quartet, in residence at the University of Chicago since 1999, performs all 16 of Beethoven’s string quartets in five concerts over three days: 6 p.m. on Aug. 26, 1 and 6 p.m. on Aug. 27, and 1 and 6 p.m. on Aug. 28.

· Bartók’s Complete String Quartets (Sept. 7–8): In a performance dubbed “Bartók by Heart” because they use no sheet music, the Chiara String Quartet performs the composer’s complete string quartets over two evenings.

 

AQUATIC SCULPTURE / WATER MUSIC

To christen Ravinia’s brand-new aquatic sculpture—Chorus, designed by WET, the artists behind the Bellagio’s dancing fountains—a water theme flows through the season. The sculpture will greet guests at the grand entrance and underpass. The sculpture will be unveiled in a free community event on May 28. Ravinia thanks Life Trustee Dolores Kohl Kaplan for supporting the creation of the Morris and Dolores Kohl Kaplan Fountain.

 

· Water Passion (June 10): Tan Dun’s take on “the greatest story ever told,” crafted for the 250th anniversary of Bach’s death, employs bowls filled with water to great musical and theatrical effect.

· Shani Diluka(June 10): Pianist Shani Diluka gives a recital of water-inspired works by Chopin (“Raindrop” Prelude and Barcarolle), Debussy (Jardins sous la pluie), Liszt (Les jeux d’eaux a la Villa d’Este), and Schubert (Auf dem Wasser zu singen), on the $10 BGH Classics series.

· Handel’s Water Music Suite (June 16): The Chicago Sinfonietta, conducted by Mei-Ann Chen, returns to Ravinia for a program that includes a suite from Handel’s Water Music, which has become a cultural landmark, sampled in everything from Ren & Stimpy to The Dead Poet’s Society. It was famously used as the music to Walt Disney World’s Electrical Water Pageant, making it doubly appropriate for celebrating the festival’s new aquatic sculpture, as the original water feature at Ravinia when it opened in 1904 was an electric fountain and refectory. This will be the Sinfonietta’s first Ravinia appearance since its triumphant performances of the South African works Princess Magogo and uShaka.

· Fountains of Rome(July 12): Cristian Măcelaru leads the CSO in Respighi’s Fountains of Rome and Pines of Rome on a program that also includes the first violin concerto from Wynton Marsalis.

· The Planets(July 13): Bowie musically questioned if there was “Life on Mars,” and NASA scientists’ recent discovery of water on the “red planet” suggests that there just might be, so the CSO dives into Holst’s The Planets—An HD Odyssey, complete with a startling new film boasting images from the latest space discoveries.

· Fire and Water (July 26): Perhaps the definitive water-themed piece of orchestral music, Debussy’s La mer is paired with Britten’s Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes on a program that features Ravinia’s co-commissioned new staging of Stravinsky’s The Firebird, created by Janni Younge. Ben Gernon conducts.

· Titanic (July 29/30): Rolling like an Irish brogue and smelling like the sea, the late James Horner’s minor chords helped make Titanic a major motion picture. The CSO plays the Oscar-winning score live while James Cameron’s epic movie is screened.

· Anything Goes (Aug. 17): Pianist Kevin Colehosts You’re the Top, Cole Porter’s 125th Birthday Celebrationincluding memorable tunes from his hit-filled musical Anything Goes, set aboard a sailing ship, performed by the CSO.

 

CHAMBER MUSIC AND 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, presenting 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:

· Juilliard Introduces New Cellist (June 27): The Juilliard String Quartet introduces its newest member, cellistAstrid Schween, with a performance of Schubert’s String Quintet on a program that also features Mozart’s String Quartet in C Major, K. 465, and Richard Wernick’s String Quartet No. 9. The concert marks the final Ravinia appearance with the ensemble of cellist Joel Krosnick, who is stepping down after 42 years with the group.

· Menahem Pressler (July 12): Gramophone and American Classical Music Hall of Fame pianist Menahem Pressler, a longtime faculty member of RSMI, gives his first solo concert at Ravinia since 2003.

· Four-hands Piano (July 22): Pianists Julia Hsu and Peter Serkin perform selections from Brahms’s Hungarian Dances, Schumann’s Six Studies in Canonic Form, selections from Bizet’s Jeux d’enfants, Schubert’s Allegro in A Minor and Grand Rondo in A Major, and Mozart’s Sonata in B-flat Major, K. 358.

· Zukerman Trio (July 28): The legendary violinist Pinchas Zukerman and his ensemble perform selections from Glière’s Duos for Violin and Cello, Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 2 in E Minor, and Schubert’s Piano Trio No. 1 in B-flat Major.

· Danielle de Niese debut (Aug. 4): The luminous star of the Lyric Opera’s Bel Canto, Danielle de Niese makes her Ravinia debut accompanied by the director of the RSMI Program for Singers, Kevin Murphy.

· Gypsy Carmen (Aug. 19): Accordionist Ksenija Sidorova infuses a bright and wild gypsy spirit into her take on Bizet’s Carmen with pianist Michael Abramovich, percussionist Itamar Doari, guitarist Reentko Dirks, violinist Alejandro Loguercio, and bassist Roberto Koch.

· All-Russian Evening with Zuill Bailey (Aug. 23): Cellist Zuill Bailey performs Stravinsky’s Suite italienne,Prokofiev’s Cello Sonata in C Major, and Rachmaninoff’sCello Sonata in G Minor.

· Double-duty Debargue (Aug. 25): Pianist Lucas Debargue proves he’s a major talent as both a jazz and classical pianist over two concerts. He re-creates his Moscow Critics Award–winning program of Medtner’s Piano Sonata No. 1 and Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit at 6 p.m., then returns at 8 p.m. to showcase his jazz skills (separate admissions). The 24-year-old Debargue, caused a stir at the Tchaikovsky Competition when he came in fourth place, prompting a judge (who asked to go unnamed) that “Not giving Lucas Debargue at least a Bronze was an outrage and further evidence that these competitions are more political than artistic in nature.”

· Songs of Struggle and Redemption (Aug. 30): Bass-baritone Dashon Burton of Roomful of Teeth sings spirituals and songs of freedom with pianist Lindsay Garritson.

· Fantasy for Harp and Guitar (Sept. 2): In their Ravinia debuts, harpist Yolanda Kondonassis and guitaristJason Vieaux present an evening of solos and duets that demonstrate the beauty of their respective string instruments with such works as Montsalvatge’s Fantasy for Harp and Guitar, Máximo Diego Pujol’s Suite mágica, Salzedo’s Chanson dans la nuit, and Hovhaness’s Sonata for Harp and Guitar.

 

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.

“It’s essential that Ravinia’s relationships with the artists it shapes at RSMI do not end when they’ve finished their studies. What use is it to send these young talents out into the world to perform without giving them a place to perform?” Kauffman said. “I’ve become deliberately dedicated to featuring RSMI alumni and our talented faculty on our stages, and this year 20 of our alumni, including those in the Ariel, Avalon, and Chiara String Quartets return to us. I urge you to join in their journeys.”

In addition to these alumni performances, including the Aug. 16 concert by the Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma, which boasts two alumni (violist Nicholas Cords and violinist Colin Jacobsen), 10 current faculty members will also perform as will this year’s fellows.

 

· Faculty concerts: Key to the success of RSMI is that is faculty members each have successful performance careers of their own. Violinist Miriam Fried, director of the RSMI Piano and Strings program, will perform the Bach’s complete solo sonatas and partitas over two programs (5:30 and 8:30 p.m., Aug. 17); Kevin Murphy, director of RSMI’s Program for Singers accompanies the Ravinia recital debuts of Metropolitan and Lyric Opera stars Matthew Polenzani (Aug. 1) and Danielle de Niese (Aug. 4); acclaimed pianist Menahem Pressler gives his first solo recital at Ravinia in 13 years; and Fried and Pressler are joined by fellow Piano and Strings faculty members violinist Midori, violists Atar Arad and Paul Biss, and cellist Christopher Richter for a recital that includes Mozart’s Piano Trio No. 6 in G Major and Brahms’s String Quartet No. 2 in G Major (July 6).

· $10 BGH Classics: This summer’s RSMI fellows will perform a “Jazz Grandstand” with fierce young performers playing original compositions as soloists and in ensembles (June 17), three different piano and string concerts celebrating Beethoven (July 11, 18 and 29), and vocal programs marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death with songs inspired by his writings and works by his contemporaries (Aug. 8), featuring Brahms’s Liebeslieder Waltzes (Aug. 10), and presenting the world premiere of songs by David Ludwigcommissioned for RSMI (Aug. 15).

· Free Master Classes: Violinist Donald Weilerstein (June 30); violist Atar Arad (July 8); pianist Leon Fleisher(July 15); tenor Matthew Polenzani (Aug. 2); soprano Danielle de Niese (Aug. 6); singers Sylvia McNair andMarietta Simpson (Aug. 11)

· Free RSMI Concerts: The world’s top young professional piano and string players collaborate on a series of free 2 p.m. matinee concerts on July 2, 7, 9, 10, 14, 16, 17, 22, and 23; and the RSMI vocalists present a free 2 p.m. matinee concert of intimate song repertoire on July 31.

· RSMI in Chicago: The 2016 RSMI fellows will perform on the Dame Myra Hess Concert series at the Chicago Cultural Center at 12:15 p.m. on July 13 and 20; and on the Rush Hour Concerts series at St. James Cathedral, at 5:15 p.m. July 19. All three concerts will be broadcast live on WFMT. 

 

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.

 

 

2016 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 major sponsors for their support:

· Lead Classical Sponsor: Allstate Insurance Company

· Featured Sponsors: BMO Harris Bank; Discover, Official Card; Exelon; Hyundai, Official Vehicle Sponsor; Midtown Athletic Club, Official Club; Terlato Wines, Official Wine Sponsor; United Airlines, Official Airline

· Season Sponsors: Beam Suntory; Ernst & Young LLP; Fortune Brands; Illinois Tool Works; Jenner & Block LLP; Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP; Kirkland & Ellis; PNC Bank; RBC Wealth Management; Steinway Piano Gallery of Northbrook, Official Piano Sponsor; Wintrust

· Program Sponsors: Baizer Kolar P.C.; Baxter International, Inc.; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois; Consilio; Deloitte LLP; Grant Thornton LLP; Greenberg Traurig, LLP; KPMG LLP; Latham and Watkins LLP; Mesirow Financial; Mayer Brown LLP; Perkins Coie; The PrivateBank; RSM US LLP; Stella Artois and Goose Island Beer Company, Official Craft and Import Beer Sponsor; Walgreens

· Individual supporters: In Memory of Keene H. Addington II; Megan P. and John L. Anderson; Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation; Harriet Bernbaum; Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; The Crossroads Consortium; In Honor of Sandra K. Crown; The Dancing Skies Foundation; The Firebird Consortium; The Deane A. and John D. Gilliam Foundation; Welz Kauffman and Jon Teeuwissen; Lori Ann Komisar and Morris Silverman; Jo and Newt Minow; Holly and John Madigan; Roslyn and James Marks; Sharon and Eden Martin;  Negaunee Foundation; The Planets Consortium; Pinkert Industrial Group; Sue and Tom Pick; Diana and Bruce Rauner; Ravinia Associates Board; Ravinia Women’s Board; The Smart Family Foundation, Inc.; In Memory of Howard A. Stotler; Audrey L. Weaver, in loving memory of Michael D. Vogan; Lynne and David Weinberg; Joan Wing and Family, in Memory of Jack Wing; Nancy Zadek

 

GENERAL INFORMATON

· 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 re-entrance 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 2016 lineup may be requested by Ravinia donors at the Affiliate level and above beginning March 9, and the Friend level on March 16. Bravo- and Encore-level donors can begin requesting lawn tickets on April 18. General public ticket sales begin at 5 a.m. on April 26, 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 AND PROGRAMS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

 

Published in In Concert
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