Theatre

These days – these days of fractured politics and fraudulent politicians and fake news, and all of the fear they’ve collectively caused our country – perhaps we could all use a little comfort food, be it literal or figurative. And for a couple hours on Sunday night at Ravinia, that’s what John Mellencamp and Carlene Carter dished out – American music that was comforting while still completely captivating.

American music, of course, is Ms. Carter’s birthright. By nature and by nurture, the daughter of June Carter and stepdaughter of Johnny Cash was meant to grace the stage, and oh boy, did she ever. The strains of her guitar and twang of her voice filling the night air, Carter welcomed the crowd as they filed to their seats. Regaling us with stories of a life lived among musical royalty (one yarn involved a late-1960's Kris Kristofferson in leather pants and a helicopter), Carlene gifted us with her own God-given talent. Setting down her guitar to sit down at the piano, she shared the personal loss of her mother and stepdaddy with the hymnal “Lonesome Valley.” Leading us north shore folks in an acapella “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” she winkingly assured us that our rendition was alright, even though we’re no Carter Family.

This professionalism continued as members of the headlining band took the stage, decked out in black suits and armed with hollow-body guitars, a violin, faux-distressed drumkit, and even an accordion. The music of a newer number, “Lawless Times” from 2014’s Plain Spoken, began. And then that familiar face and comforting form of John Mellencamp strolled out, Telecaster guitar strapped over black duds that would’ve made the afore-mentioned Mr. Cash proud, as confident and cocksure as he was decades ago.

The opener was a newer song, but the weathered voice, the still-handsome face, and the populist politics – sentiments both working-class and progressive? How vintage! How quaint! – were anything but. This was the guy – the legend, the hall-of-famer, the working man’s musician – the crowd had come to see. And their hero delivered.

After another more recent number, Mellencamp dove into his back catalogue with renditions of “Minutes to Memories” and “Small Town” off the once-ubiquitous Scarecrow, the crowd eager to leap to its feet and sing along.

After introducing himself and his band, Mellencamp traveled back in time even further with a modern blues take – just vocals, slide guitar, and upright bass – on Robert Johnson’s haunting “Stones in My Passway.”

Again returning to his own work, Mellencamp sang “Pop Singer,” which could just as easily critique today’s fleeting and narcissistic culture as the one nearly three decades ago, as could 1987’s “Check It Out.” The only updates these songs got were thanks to the mature and polished backing band Mellencamp brought and the weathered rasp that age has brought him.

The next song didn’t need the stellar backing musicians or their bevy of instruments to make it powerful. Clutching his acoustic guitar, today’s John Mellencamp told the tale of how a 24-year-old version of himself penned “Jack and Diane” while torn between dreams of songwriting stardom and the more worldly concerns 20-somethings have always had. And strumming said guitar, he allowed the crowd of equally aged folks to take the lead, literally, singing the lead vocal we all know…or at least thought we did. When the crowd skipped the second verse, instead plowing into that beloved chorus, Mellencamp corrected us before continuing. But that chorus of voices made “Oh yeah, life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone” float through the summer air, sounding every bit the hymn or old standard it has become.

Carlene Carter then returned for a couple of tunes, including “My Soul’s Got Wings,” whose lyrics were once written by Woody Guthrie, only to be given the Mermaid Avenue treatment (given music and a proper recording) by Mellencamp on this year’s Sad Clowns & Hillbillies. A lovely overture by the band’s violinist and accordion player was played before the crowd again got the classics, in the form of “Rain on the Scarecrow” and “Crumblin’ Down.” When each of these was played, the audience leapt to its feet, especially going footloose for “Authority Song,” whose authoritative target most of them have become all these years later.

But that was not the point of the show. Who we were – and how that’s not so different than who we are now – was what mattered. And as we embraced John Mellencamp’s songs, singing with him, all together for one glorious night, he provided the comfort and familiarity that was underscored by the main set’s closer, “Pink Houses”: “Ain’t that America, somethin’ to see…”

For one night, we forgot about the world outside. It sure was somethin’ to see.

 

Published in In Concert
Sunday, 13 August 2017 17:40

Latin Paradise - Santana Live at Ravinia

The summer concert season continues at Ravinia. Midsummer brings to the Midwest one of the toughest guitarists on the planet. The act that has graced the stages with the most famous performers at Woodstock has come to Ravinia in Highland Park for yet another incredible performance. The oldest outdoor venue in America was the setting for two sold out nights. Santana graced the stage and, by night’s end, everyone was completely blown away.

A zero-humidity night with slight breezes made for the perfect setting for an outdoor concert. People from all walks of life entered the manicured grounds at Ravinia for the one band show. Dressed to impress, concert goers were seen dancing salsa-style to the rhythmic sounds of a Latin influenced band. It was just amazing.

Opening the night with “O Paradiso” was a great way to start the evening. The mood had been set. The smooth guitars over the Latin percussion made feet move and caused hips to shake throughout the entire evening. Carlos Santana had taken charge and he wasn’t leaving without impressing each soul that watched and listened to his band in awe.

“Are You Ready” kept the musical train rolling. As the crowd clapped their hands and stomped their feet, the music clearly ran deep into each fan. The music was not only being heard, it was being felt. Ray Greene was the vocalist. Greene took the songs and presenting them with his incredible voice that sounded as if it was handed down from the heavens.

The night kept going with “Love Makes the World Go ‘Round”. This Deon Jackson cover was a perfect selection for the evening. The opening guitar riffs combined with the vibra-slap kept the audience’s attention and the adrenaline levels high.

“Maria Maria”, “Foo Foo” and “Corazon Espinado” were amongst the next selections played. The grace and style of the band that was on stage was incredible. The rhythm section was spot on never missing a beat. The combination of an incredible bass player (Benny Reitveld), drummer (Cindy Blackman Santana), and Latin percussionist (Karl Perazzo and Paoli Mejias) were the underlayment for a fantastic evening. Carlos held notes so long that it seemed like they would never end and no one wanted them too. He followed up with fast-paced guitar runs and had a sweet guitar tone from his Paul Reed Smith.

“Jingo” helped to keep people moving to the music. Many attendees couldn’t stop dancing in the lawn and pavilion. It was so powerful you could feel it in the ground. The band was so on fire that nothing could stop it.

When “Evil Ways” began the place went wild. A young lady started grinning from ear to ear as she began to dance. Within the first few seconds the joy went right to her face as she proclaimed, “That’s my song!” David K. Matthews was filling all the gaps from behind his keyboards. His Hammond organ was pumping throughout the evening as he screamed on the keys.
The night was also filled with songs that other songwriters wrote. “Higher Ground” by Stevie Wonder and “Troubled Man” by Marvin Gaye were superb choices for this band to tackle. The music was so packed with energy and the sound was clean.

A highlight for the night was “Mona Lisa”. The melody within the guitar was nothing less than ear candy that dripped from Carlos’ strings. The canvas was being painted for the vocalist to sing about an amazing woman worthy of her own song. Latin music was in the air and young lovers were moving to the groove. Tommy Anthony was the backup guitarist and held his own.
A Santana show would not be complete without the Tito Puente song, “Oye Como Va”. The crowd was at their feet singing with every note. There couldn’t be a better way to say, “How’s it going?” The song ended and the band exited the stage for a short period, but they weren’t done yet.

The crowd cheered, clapped their hands, and stomped their feet to bring out an incredible guitarist once more. There was no way he could leave yet. After a few minutes, the video screens started showing clips of people sliding in the mud from the 1969 concert Woodstock. The drums kicked in to begin “Soul Sacrifice”. The tribal rhythm was just the start of the encore.
His wife, Cindy, was a powerhouse drummer. Her work was a driving force and during her solo she proved she could lock horns with anyone else behind a kit. When the song finished Carlos gave props to her amazing ability stating, “That’s the sound of a woman kicking a man’s ass. Spiritually speaking.”

“Smooth”, “Love, Peace, & Happiness” and “The Highest Good” finished out the evening. The lights came on and people started making their way out of the concert venue even though nobody wanted to leave yet. People continued to cheer and sing. The crowd was nearly delirious from an evening of musical greatness and fun.

Highland Park’s Ravinia is the place to be in the summer months. The acts that grace their stages have been superior to a lot of other venues. Musical acts are a dime a dozen, but great bands like Santana really rise to the top in talent. They provide the music to which people love to dance. They put a smile on your face. In short, Santana is a super group on every level.

 

Published in In Concert

The summer concert season kept rolling at Ravinia with Stephen Stills and Judy Collins. The manicured lawns were graced with the musical talents of two folk singers that started their careers a half century ago. As they went along through the course of a ninety-minute set they presented their own style of serene music for everyone to hear.

Concert-goers were allowed a dry spell long enough to enjoy a good show. The humidity was starting to fade into night as people munched on short rib tacos and sipped wine from Ravinia’s restaurants. The well-groomed crowd mostly decked in white pants and khakis were preparing themselves for a time to remember.

Kenny White started out the evening with a solo piano show. He tickled the ivories for a short warm up to set the tone for the evening. Calm and mellow was the mood for this outing. The opening act was brief, but filled with soft tones that were easy on the ears.

Then came the time for the main act and the legendary artists came out together as if they owned the world. The first song for the evening was the Traveling Wilburys' hit song “Handle with Care”. It was a great way to start off the show and get the crowd’s attention. After nearly fifty years since these two performed together live, Collins and Still fell back into it as if it were meant to be.

Stills had some guitars with him that were not just for an everyday player. Two mid-fifties Fender Stratocasters made their way into the hands of the guitar legend and he was more than worthy to play them. His sound was smooth and pristine. His solo capabilities were incredible and he could even up with any guitar great out there. His voice was crystal clear and very pleasant to hear.

Stephen changed guitars after almost every song. He went back and forth between one of the Strats to a Gretsch Stephen Stills Signature model and a few Martin acoustics. He told a story about buying one smaller bodied Martin acoustic while on tour. He joked how if you are traveling North in Minnesota in February that your musical career was just about over with. After a good laugh from the audience he continued by saying he bought the guitar to perform for the evening.

A white light came up from behind Collins and lit up her hair as if she were an angel. Her voice was refined and her guitar abilities were excellent. Her instrument of choice was a Martin Judy Collins Signature Model. She strummed chords on the beautiful twelve-string while providing some incredible vocal harmonies. She is truly just a stunning woman to see and hear.

The two pulled out some songs that made the crowd very happy as toes tapped and bodies swayed. Judy brought out a bigger hit “Both Sides Now”. The mellow upbeat song was an excellent choice for the set list that put a smile on so many faces. Stills played the classic rock anthem “Carry On”. The CSN masterpiece was like a shot in the arm of adrenaline. After all, they were being entertained by one of their heroes.

Stephen started to strum out the chords to a song that turned out to be a high point for the evening. Once lyrics came out, “There’s something happening here…” the crowd started to applaud with excitement. The Buffalo Springfield song “For What It’s Worth” was heard through the venue and everyone knew the words. The show would not have been the same without the iconic protest song about the Sunset Strip curfew riots.

It came time for an encore and they saved the best for last. “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” written for Judy Collins was a reason that a lot of people attended the show. The torch song was first unveiled for the public at Woodstock in 1969 and it brought this crowd to their feet. Singing along with every word it made the evening complete.

The show ended and everyone started to make their way back to their mode of transportation. The fountain outside the main entrance was lit up in every spectrum of the rainbow. As the colors changed a few raindrops started to fall. Thankfully it held out just long enough for this perfect evening.

Ravinia Festival in Highland Park provided the setting for this great concert that was brought together from the love felt within two musicians. Stephen Stills and Judy Collins graced the grounds with their unbelievable talent and performed a mellow musical set for its well-behaved onlookers. It was a night to remember.

 

Published in In Concert

It’s summer at Highland Park’s Ravinia and the concert season continues with Sheryl Crow and Lukas Nelson. The grounds were jam packed with people ready to see a quality show and they were not let down one bit. The weather was nice, the drinks were cold, and the music was hot! It was a night of pure pleasure.

Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real took the stage first just as the sun was starting to set. This is a super tight group with skills beyond the levels of so many bands in existence today. The band was absolutely powerful and a real treat to see. Unfortunately, as the case with many opening acts, there were a lot of empty seats because too many people are only interested in the headliner. Big mistake, as the openers are sometimes just as good as the main act. A lot of people only came to see Sheryl Crow, but those in attendance for Lukas Nelson undoubtedly became fans of him as well.

Nelson was just at Ravinia a few weeks prior with his father Willie Nelson. Just before the show many music lovers who caught Willie’s show were still talking about Promise of the Real in anticipation of another great performance - and that is exactly what they got. Nelson’s band impressed so many people and left a few asking, “Who is he?” Now they know. Growing up in a family filled with some of the best musical minds, talent has truly rubbed off onto this young man.

Promise of the Real put together some great songs for the audience. “Four Letter Word” is a great little song and well written piece. “Find yourself” was being belted out to a few people who swayed their drink of choice back and forth to the almost reggae style beat created by the rhythm section.

Just before Lukas started to play “(Forget about) Georgia”, he talked about the inspiration to the song. He dated a young lady once by the name of Georgia and sadly, their relationship ended. He stated that he would forever be tormented during performances with his dad as he was constantly reminded of her every time they played “Georgia on My Mind”.

Lukas has put together a band of musicians that could challenge any band to a duel. They had to be a real tough act to follow, but if If anyone could follow them it would have to be someone with super musical powers like Sheryl Crow.

Night time had finally come and the cool breezes graced the pavilion seats and manicured lawns, creating the ambiance for a perfect night of music. By the time she took the stage, Crow was playing to a packed house. She opened the show with “Everyday is a Winding Road” then taking the audience down a musical path of her most popular hits.

“All I Wanna Do” was definitely a crowd pleaser and a great way to get people involved in singing the chorus. The music was extremely well rehearsed and vocally she sounded better than ever. As her set of gems continued, she mellowed out the crowd a bit with her cover of “The First Cut is the Deepest”. Then she quickly pumped everyone right back up with her next song “Halfway There”. The lady really knows how to work a crowd.

It wouldn’t be a Sheryl Crow show without the song “If It Makes You Happy”. Her set was just dynamite and arranged very well, as she kept hitting fans right between the eyes with one great song after another.

Possibly the youngest in the crowd was a not quite two-year-old child named Michael who was experiencing his first show. He put his hands together and started his uncoordinated dance during “Soak Up the Sun”. He was an enjoyment to the section he was in and added to the music in his own innocent way.

A major highlight of the entire evening was Sheryl’s cover of an Allman Brothers song, “Midnight Rider”. She gracefully nailed the vocals in her own style that put a smile on everyone’s face. She later ended the night with “I Shall Believe”. Even though it was a full show of boundless material by both groups, a lot of people left wanting more. When the music is that good, who would want it to ever stop?

Highland Park’s Ravinia has a great reputation of putting together incredible performances. The park has been the place to go for entertainment in the area for over one hundred years. Ravinia put yet another notch in the belt of their list of great shows with Lukas Nelson and Sheryl Crow. The festive outdoor concert venue is never a disappointment and always delivers a magical experience as they constantly keep their sites on perfection. Hats off to Ravinia, Sheryl Crow, and Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real for the great event they put forth. Collectively they created a show beyond the wildest of dreams of most. It was just priceless!

 

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

Talk about an interesting night of music at Ravinia Festival. I knew about Gipsy Kings for a while now. I knew there were guitars involved. What I did not know was the rest of the story.

Flamenco is a Spanish tradition. It is a fiery, romantic style of music defined by the Spanish Guitar. It may seem a little strange that The Gipsy Kings actually are from the south of France, but there is no true border to this tradition.

The origins of this band go back to 1978. Some of the members are sons of original members. They are descendents of some of those who fled Catalonia during the Spanish Civil War in 1930. That explains some of the band’s makeup. This also explains the name of the group. The Kings are not just a Flamenco group, however. They have incorporated Salsa and Pop into their repertoire.

The one thing you cannot ignore is the rhythm of the music. The Gipsy Kings gets the audience clapping. You just can’t help it. As a musician myself, this was a study in rhythm. Syncopation is a big part, feeling the “and” of the beat. For those of you who don’t know what I am talking about, clap along with a song and count…1,2,3,4…right? Yeah okay, but most people clap either on beat one and three or two and four. Two and four are the “back beat”. With Latin rhythms there can be multiple back beats. You can clap along with the “and” of the beat…1 and, 2 and, etc. The rhythmic accent is not always the same.

Now let’s take eleven musicians, up to six guitars, bass, two percussionists and vocals and play with the rhythm. Some band members accent different parts of the beat creating a texture of metronomic complexity. Now, on paper that sounds like something hard to dance to. The security at Ravinia (whose job in part is to keep a clear pathway to the stage) had to ask people to stop dancing in the aisles. So, they went back to their seats and danced…and clapped…and sang. Concert attendees could not help themselves. I took my wife with me. She does not dance, forget about it. Guess what? The woman I have known for many years was dancing! I couldn’t believe it. This was a party!

I really wish I would have paid closer attention in Spanish class in high school, though not understanding all the words didn’t stop me from enjoying the music of The Gipsy Kings. I was a bit surprised at how packed the place was since the group is well below what I would call “main stream”. But the band obviously has a major following. This proves you don’t need a Top Forty hit to pack seats in a concert environment. You just need to throw a good party. The Grateful Dead proved that for many years but this was not a counterculture event. These were not hippies dancing. These were regular people having the time of their lives.

The set list was lively and very appetizing including such favorites as “Djobi Djoba”, “Bem, Bem Maria”, “Hotel California”, “Bamboléo”, “Vamos a Bailar”, and “Volare”.

If you have a heartbeat I recommend checking out The Gipsy Kings. I am not really sure if their recordings could actually capture the magic of their live performance, but their live show is nothing short of amazing. Their show is a celebration of life, and celebrations seem to require dancing. Escaping a civil war is a good reason to celebrate, or even just a Friday night. It doesn’t matter, let the party start. 

Ravinia Festival is one of the best summer music venues near Chicago and it's always worth getting out there a few times a year. To see Ravinia's upcoming schedule, visit www.Ravinia.org.

Published in In Concert

“You were always on my mind …You were always on my mind”
 
Summer warmth and clear skies are finally here. It is time for summer concerts. Highland Park’s Ravinia was the setting for an amazing show. Willie Nelson and Family were in town and the show was spectacular to say the least.

The beautiful lawns we're decorated up with concert-goers that were excited about the show. Happiness and anticipation could be seen within each fan. The weather predictions were calling for rain and they couldn’t be more wrong; there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.
Coolers were filled with beverages and the heat was starting to fade into the evening. It was time for a high-class concert, and, with that, Willie Nelson and his family brought several masterpieces to the stage for a nostalgic musical journey.

Ages of the fans in attendance greatly varied as it was a family friendly show. A young girl by the name of Sienna was attending her first concert. She was just learning to walk and was being corralled in by her family with the help of a few others in the lawn. It was a delight to see the smile on her young face and she quite possibly the youngest person there. With pretzel in hand and baby curls in her hair, she was the preshow entertainment with her cute chubby cheeks.

Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real were the opening act for the evening and without a doubt talent runs through the veins of this young man. His voice, writing style, and guitar ability was like seeing a young Willie Nelson. They were nothing less than incredible.

The song “Find Yourself” was a highlight in Lukas’ show. “Find Yourself” is a funky reggae style song that has a groove and feeling to it that just runs through deep into your soul. A ballad type song singing to a love with disappointment with a blues feel that just tore it up. Lukas undeniably has his father’s genes.

The time came for the main act Willie Nelson. A feeling of joy instantly took over the crowd that glazed their faces when the first lyric was sung; “Whiskey river, take my mind”. The opening three songs, “Whiskey River”, “Still is Still Moving to Me” and “Beer for My Horses” were just amazing choices to kick off this Friday evening show. Everyone sang along with every word.

The band was on fire, following the lead of the country genius as he jam-packed his show with a no nonsense approach. “You Were Always on my Mind” was played while the words were coming out of the mouths of the sea of people in attendance. A lady in the audience had tears in her eyes. She said with a joyful heart, “We can go now.” She was truly happy.

“Mamas’ Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”, “Crazy”, “On the Road Again”, and “Georgia” were among the set list prompting one sing-a-long after another. “It’s All Going to Pot”, “Shoeshine Man”, and “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” were played so well that everyone had to be impressed with the overall performance of each.

Lukas plays with Willie’s band as well and the most powerful moment of the show was during their performance of “Texas Flood”. Lukas took the lead vocal and the pipes were like a gift from the heavens above. The song wasn’t just another cover of a song. He became the song and he did as good if not better than anyone else had ever done. It came time for his guitar solo and the man’s entire body twitched with convulsions with every note played, his soulful rendition seen, heard, and felt. If anyone didn’t enjoy this masterful jam, they’re probably not a fan of music.

Bobbie Nelson, Willie’s older sister, graced the stage on piano. She is always referred to as “little sister” by the band leader and for this show it was no different. She really can just tickle the keys and did so in a dim light to one side of the stage.

Since the early seventies Mickey Raphael has been in the band. It just wouldn’t be a Willie Nelson concert without the man. Some of the greatest moments in music history involved him playing harmonica. Raphael is son entertaining, most people could probably have listened to this man just stand there and play by himself. All the members within the band are stand-alone musicians, each as impressive as the next.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. The show was highly engaging and the atmosphere just perfect. Every note was flawless and carried with it the perfect sentiment. It was priceless to see one of the musical greats of the twentieth century. Ravinia is an incredible setting for a show as always. Having Willie Nelson and Family just goes to show the high caliber of talented acts brought in by the famous concert grounds in Highland Park. The weather cooperated and it was a great start to the summer concert season. It’s a time that will not be forgotten. To see a list of upcoming musical acts appearing at Ravinia, visit www.Ravinia.org.

 

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.

 

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