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Ravinia Festival Names Jeffrey P. Haydon President and CEO

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Ravinia Festival Names Jeffrey P. Haydon President and CEO

Ravinia Chairman Don Civgin today announced the hiring of Jeffrey P. Haydon as President and CEO of the nation's oldest music festival. Haydon is currently CEO of the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in New York and will replace Welz Kauffman, who announced in October that he would vacate the position in September 2020 after 20 successful years in that role.

"Ravinia's reputation for presenting outstanding performances by the world's greatest artists means that we can attract top talent not just to our stages but also to our staff and leadership," Civgin said. "Jeff's successful career in the arts reflects Ravinia's values and shows he can lead an organization through growth and change."

Since September 2012, Haydon has run Caramoor, which, like Ravinia, presents a diverse array of concerts and music programs, mentors young professional musicians, and provides music education opportunities to children. Prior to Caramoor, Haydon was executive director of the Ojai Music Festival and also held positions with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and Aspen Music Festival.

"I am honored to be asked to lead the Ravinia Festival," Haydon said. "Ravinia's international artistic reputation, legendary live-music experience, beautiful park, training of the next generation of artists, and local community impact with children provide an ideal opportunity to further inspire the world through music. I look forward to returning to Chicago to join the Ravinia Family."

The not-for-profit Ravinia Festival presents more than 120 events each summer, including the annual summer residency of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, on 37 wooded acres on Chicago's North Shore. More than a half-million people attend each summer. Ravinia's Reach Teach Play education programs serve 85,000 people each year through such services as Sistema Ravinia, which creates student orchestras by providing curriculum, instruments, and teachers to schools without programs of their own. Ravinia's Steans Music Institute is the onsite summer conservatory where young professional musicians from around the globe are immersed in music performance and study with the great artists who visit the festival. The Covid pandemic forced the cancellation of Ravinia's 2020 season, but the RTP and RSMI programs are proceeding in virtual environments. Ravinia also shares music and stories through RaviniaTV, with a new episode on YouTube every Friday. Visit for more information.

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