Ravinia's James Conlon and CSO Present All-French Program and More, Beg. 8/7


Ravinia Music Director James Conlon leads a program with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and piano virtuoso Jean Yves Thibaudet at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7, in all-French repertoire including Debussy's Two Nocturnes and La mer; and Ravel's Piano Concerto in G Major and Piano Concerto in D Major for the Left Hand. Thibaudet, who has appeared as a soloist with the world's greatest orchestras, was recently inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame. The concert also features a ticket and dining package for a special price of $75.

Conlon and the CSO return at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 8, with pianist Yefim Bronfman performing Brahms's monumental Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 83. The concert also includes Dvo?ák's Symphony No. 7 in D Minor, Op. 70. Ravinia favorite and Grammy award-winner Bronfman is known for his performances with orchestras worldwide as well as in recital, most recently performing with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Baritone Gerald Finley presents a vocal recital at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 9 with new program director of Ravinia's Steans Music Institute's program for singers Kevin Murphy at the piano. The performance will include songs by Loewe, Schumann, Ravel and Britten. One of Canada's finest operatic baritones with award-winning performances and recordings, to his credit, Finley is well known for performing classic roles as well as creating new ones including the title role of Mozart's Don Giovanni, the Count in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro and Golaud in Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande, which won him a nomination for outstanding achievement in opera at the 2008 Laurence Olivier Awards. The concert also features a ticket and dining package for a special price of $75.

Ravinia's summer music conservatory, the Steans Music Institute, brings together talented young musicians from around the world to make music coached by an internationally renowned faculty. Vocal artists will present an all-French program at 8 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 6, in Bennett Gordon Hall, including music by Debussy. There will be no lawn sales for this concert. The concert also features a ticket and dining package for a special price of $40. At 2 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 10, in Bennett Gordon Hall, baritone Gerald Finley will conduct a free Steans master class. On Sunday, Aug. 12 at 2 p.m., world-renowned soprano Kiri Te Kanawa will conduct a free master class for Steans Music Institute vocal fellows. For the Aug. 10 and 12 master classes, tickets are not required and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Ravinia grooves with hit-making artists including Grammy Award-winning rock 'n'roll group Huey Lewis and The News known for their hits "Hip To Be Square," "Heart of Rock & Roll" and "The Power of Love," on a double bill with Joe Cocker, known for his distinctive, gritty voice that has created such hits as "You Are So Beautiful," "Up Where We Belong" and "With a Little Help From My Friends," at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 10.

Grammy Award-winning group Train returns to the festival for two sold-out shows at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11, and Sunday, Aug. 12. The roots-rock group, which played a sold-out concert as their Ravinia debut in 2010, is known for such hits as "Hey, Soul Sister," "Drops of Jupiter," "Meet Virginia" and "Calling All Angels." With chart-toppers "Hey Mama," "Nothing Left to Lose," and "Closer to Love," Mat Kearney has garnered a spot on the Billboard Top 40 chart and will make his festival debut as a special guest for both performances. Following his appearance opening for Colbie Caillat and Gavin DeGraw at Ravinia in June, Andy Grammer will return to the festival to open the show. Grammer is the first male pop star since 2003 to reach the top five at Adult Pop Radio on his first single and certified gold record, "Keep Your Head Up." All pavilion and lawn tickets for both performances are completely sold out.