Ravinia Festival Announces 2012 Season: Idina Menzel, Barbara Cook & More!


Ravinia Festival President and CEO Welz Kauffman announced the festival's 2012 season, which offers more than 100 separate events exemplifying most musical genres, including the 77th residency of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The summer boasts a variety of music's legends from Philip Glass to James Taylor, along with 43 debuts, including Glee and Wicked star Idina Menzel, reggae master Jimmy Cliff, classic rocker Santana, Grammy-and-Oscar sensation Esperanza Spalding, and Musical America's "conductor of the year" Jaap van Zweden.  Ravinia Music Director James Conlon celebrates the 35th anniversary of his own festival debut as his contract is extended through 2014. 

"The great thing about Ravinia Festival is you can make it your summer 'staycation' because we have such a wide variety of offerings, with a new performance almost every night. Where else can you find performances by violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Johannes Moser, Latin guitarist Carlos Santana, blues guitarist Derek Trucks, ukulele performer Jake Shimabukuro 

and even the great Steve Martin on banjo? And that's just a few of the string players. Don't get me started on piano."

UBS returns as lead sponsor of Ravinia Festival for the ninth consecutive year. 

"For UBS, the relationship with Ravinia Festival is based on a shared passion for collaboration and excellence. In the same way musicians and a conductor rely on one another, UBS strives to work collaboratively with clients to deliver the tailored strategies that help them pursue their financial goals. That is why UBS has a long history of supporting the arts around the globe," said Robert Wolf, President, UBS Investment Bank. "We consider these partnerships to be an integral part of UBS's long and rich history as a worldwide supporter of the arts as they reflect our commitment to investing in cultural expression and making the arts accessible to our clients, our employees and our communities. UBS is pleased to be the Lead Sponsor of the Ravinia Festival and join the community in experiencing some of the finest music that Chicago has to offer." 

"Ravinia Festival is proud to be one of Chicagoland's premier cultural destinations, and we thank all of our supporters-whether they come out for a single show or whether they dig deep to make sure Ravinia can achieve its three-pronged mission of keeping our environment family- friendly, sustaining classical music and returning music to the schools that need it most," said Ravinia Festival Chairman Robert D. Krebs. "Of course, a special thank-you must go to UBS, which returns this summer as our lead sponsor for the eighth consecutive year. UBS is recognized worldwide for its dedication to the arts, and we at Ravinia are honored by this association." 


James Conlon AND THE CSO

Conlon first guest-conducted at Ravinia in 1977 by invitation of James Levine. He was appointed to his current position in 2005, and his contract has been extended through 2014. Conlon's tenure has brought such successes as the critically acclaimed multiyear Mahler Symphony and Mozart Piano Concerto cycles; the Breaking the Silence series, which endeavors to return entartete music to its rightful place in the canon; a series of Mozart operas with the CSO in the Martin Theatre; and world premieres including 2011's hugely successful Ravinia commission of Nico Muhly's concerto for orchestra and pianists The 5 Browns, The Edge of the World. Elsewhere in 2011, Conlon led the first Wagner "Ring" Cycle at the Los Angeles Opera, where he also serves as music director; and CSO Music Director Ricardo Muti invited him to conduct La Bohème in Rome and lead the CSO downtown at Symphony Center. 

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