James Conlon to Lead Chicago Symphony Orchestra Concert, 8/20
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the crown jewel of Ravinia's summer classical programming, closes out their Ravinia summer residency in a concert led by Ravinia Music Director James Conlon in the Martin Theatre at 8 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 20. The performance features CSO soloists and includes Spohr's Nonet in F Major, Op. 31 and Schubert's Octet in F Major, D. 803. The concert also features a ticket and dining package for a special price of $75.
Ravinia's most intimate performance space, the 450-seat Bennett Gordon Hall, is home to classical concerts that cost only $10 for a reserved seat. The $10 classics series continues this week with pianist Sara Davis Buechner making her festival debut at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 21. Buechner has performed over 100 piano concertos throughout the world and has recorded many critically acclaimed albums. The program will include Mozart's Fantasy and Sonata in C Minor; Martin?'s Fantaisie et Toccata; the Chicago premiere of Yukiko Nishimura's Ten New Etudes for Piano; and Gershwin's Foxtrots. The concert also features a ticket and dining package for a special price of $40. There will be no lawn sales for this performance.
Cellist Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt makes his festival debut with pianist Marta Aznavoorian at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 22, in Bennett Gordon Hall. The program includes Debussy's Sonata No. 1 for Cello and Piano in D Minor; Schnittke's Sonata No. 1 for Cello and Piano; and Rachmaninoff's Sonata in G Minor, Op. 19. Schmidt has won numerous awards and recently released a recording on Sony Classical of cello concertos by Schumann and Elgar. Aznavoorian holds both a faculty position and an ensemble-in-residence post with the Lincoln Trio at the Music Institute of Chicago. There will be no lawn sales for this performance.
Violinist Rachel Barton Pine returns to the festival for a sold-out performance at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 23, joined by pianist Matthew Hagle in Bennett Gordon Hall. The pair will perform Mozart's Sonata No. 19 in A Major, K. 305; Montsalvatge's Poema Concertante; Villa-Lobos's Sonata No. 3; Debussy's Sonata No. 3 for Violin and Piano in G Minor; and Brahms's Sonata No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 108. An avid composer, Pine's original compositions, arrangements and cadenzas were published by Carl Fischer, which earned her the distinction of being the only living artist and first woman to join great musicians like Fritz Kreisler and Jascha Heifetz in Carl Fischer's Masters Collection series.
Ravinia favorite the Lincoln Trio returns for a 6 p.m. concert on Friday, Aug. 24, in Bennett Gordon Hall. They are joined by violinist Yuan-Qing Yu and violist Masumi Per Rostad in a program including Brahms's Piano Trio No. 2 in C Major, Op. 87; Arensky's Piano Quintet in D Major, Op. 51; and the world premiere of Zupko's Occupy. The Lincoln Trio was formed in 2003 by Desirée Ruhstrat, David Cunliffe and Marta Aznavoorian, and is a nod to being based in the Land of Lincoln. In addition to performing traditional music they are also known for performing compositions written exclusively for them. Yu is a member of the CSO and has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, Pinchas Zukerman, Lang Lang and Menahem Pressler. Rostad has toured with the Marlboro Music Festival, Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra and the Juilliard Symphony. He is a past faculty member of Northwestern University, University of Chicago and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. There will be no lawn sales for this performance.
Jazz and stride pianist Reginald Robinson performs to a sold-out crowd at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 25 in his festival debut. Robinson launched his professional career in 1992, many years after he taught himself to play ragtime piano and is considered one of the innovators of modern ragtime, being awarded for his musicality and artistry. The program will include Robinson's own compositions.
Ravinia Steans Music Institute alum Inon Barnatan makes his festival debut at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 26, in Bennett Gordon Hall. The program will include Debussy's Suite Bergamasque; Adès's Darknesse Visible; Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit; Stevenson's Peter Grimes Fantasy; and Schubert's Sonata in A Major, D. 959. Barnatan has performed with the Cleveland, Houston, Philadelphia and San Francisco symphony orchestras, and has also made appearances in Amsterdam, Israel, the Netherlands, Shanghai, London and Mexico.
Founded in 1989 by four visionary dancers/choreographers, River North Dance Chicago has established itself as one of Chicago's leading dance companies and one of the most popular national repertory companies, receiving critical acclaim in the U.S. and overseas. Led by Artistic Director Frank Chaves, River North Dance Chicago is a jazz-based contemporary company that features highly skilled and emotive dancers, stimulating music, and bold, commanding choreography. The company performs at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 21, as part of the Ruth Page Festival of Dance. Prior to the start of the performance, award-winning dance, theater and film critic Sid Smith will be awarded the distinguished Ruth Page Award. The award is presented annually by the Ruth Page Foundation to someone who has made significant contributions to Chicago's dance community. The concert also features a ticket and dining package for a special price of $60. Earlier that day River North Dance Chicago will present a separate performance as part of the Kraft Great Kids concert series at 1 p.m.
With a career spanning more than 30 years and songs covered by such artists as Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt and Iggy Pop, John Hiatt & The Combo return on a double bill with Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter Steve Earle and The Dukes, in their Ravinia debut. The pavilion show begins at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 26.
"The Dukes of September Rhythm Revue," a trifecta of talent including American blues-rocker Boz Scaggs; co-founder, singer and songwriter of Steely Dan Donald Fagen; and five-time Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Michael McDonald, appear at Ravinia at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 22. This is McDonald's festival debut. The concert also features a ticket and dining package for a special price of $90.
As the legendary voice, writer and arranger of progressive rock band Supertramp's greatest hits such as "Give a Little Bit," "Take the Long Way Home" and "Breakfast In America," Roger Hodgson led the band that sold more than 60 million records. Hodgson makes his festival debut at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 23, as part of his Breakfast in America tour. The concert also features a ticket and dining package for a special price of $75.
R&B and soul legend Anita Baker makes her long-awaited festival debut at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 25. Baker, who has been performing for over three decades, has won eight Grammy Awards throughout her career and created such hits as "Rapture," "Sweet Love" and "Giving You the Best That I Got."
Texas-based singer/composer and four-time Grammy-winner Lyle Lovett returns to Ravinia with His Large Band at 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 24. This Ravinia favorite released a new album, Release Me, earlier this year to rave reviews.
Ravinia Festival is located at Lake Cook and Green Bay roads in Highland Park. Tickets are available by visiting Ravinia.org or calling the Ravinia Festival Box Office at 847-266-5100. A $7 service fee is added to all online and phone ticket orders. Ravinia welcomes all festival fans to follow, connect and interact online at backstage.ravinia.org, facebook.com (search Ravinia Festival) and twitter.com/raviniafestival. Ravinia Festival is a not-for-profit organization.