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Mikhail Simonyan, Bella Hristova et al. Set for Ravinia's RISING STARS Concerts; Tickets On Sale 9/20


Rising Stars series, this year featuring six concerts in the fall of 2011 and spring of 2012, bringing the brightest stars of the next generation of professional classical musiciansto Ravinia. All concerts take place in the festival's most intimate performance space, the indoor 450-seat Bennett Gordon Hall, which continues to showcase successful recitals and chamber music concerts during the summer. This season's series features pianist Giles Vonsattel (Oct. 1, 2011); violinist Bella Hristova (Oct. 15, 2011); the Linden String Quartet (Nov. 5, 2011); pianist Daria Rabotkina (Nov. 19, 2011); Musicians from Ravinia's Steans Music Institute (April 7, 2012); and vocal ensemble Calmus (April 28, 2012).

Ravinia is dedicated to developing the full potential of emerging artists, beginningwith their performances on the Rising Stars series and, ultimately for some, their Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut on the pavilion stage during the festival's summer season. Designed to provide gifted young musicians with the opportunity to refine their performing skills, the Rising Stars series encourages audiences to experience and support a lineup of the best and brightest candidates for future stardom while presenting artists with the chance to perform before discerning audiences in an intimate setting. Rising Stars concerts have introduced Ravinia audiences to such current stars as violinists Pamela Frank, Gil Shaham and Maxim Vengerov; pianists Lang Lang, Jonathan Biss and Joyce Yang; cellists Zuill Bailey and Claudio Bohórquez; and clarinetist Anthony McGill.

In addition to their Rising Stars performances, the artists will also perform in free concerts for students involved in Ravinia's REACH*TEACH*PLAY education programs throughout the Chicago area. These performing opportunities give students a chance to make an intimate connection not only to the young artist, but also to classical music. Ravinia's education programs make music accessible to thousands of children K-12 in Chicago and the north suburbs, teaming working musicians with teachers to put music back into the public schools.

The Joseph M. Fabbioli Rising Stars Concert features 2008 Avery Fisher Career Grant winner pianist Giles Vonsattel, who began touring after winning the top prize of the prestigious 2002 Naumburg International Piano Competition. He made his AlIce Tully Hall debut that same year and has since performed at Zürich's Tonhalle, Warsaw's Chopin Festival and Tokyo's Opera City Hall. He has performed in the U.S. with the Utah, Santa Fe, Nashville and Grand Rapids symphonies as well as with the Boston Pops Orchestra. During a 2006-09 three-year appointment, Vonsattel was a member of Lincoln Center's prestigious Chamber Music Society Two, with whom he performed extensively both in New York and on tour.

Violinist Bella Hristova is first-prize winner of the 2008-09 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and made her debut in the Young Concert Artists Series during the 2009-10 season at Carnegie Hall's Merkin Concert Hall and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. At the auditions she was also awarded the Helen Armstrong Violin Fellowship, the Miriam Brody Aronson Award, the Ruth Laredo Memorial Award, the Candlelight Concert Society Concert Prize and the Lied Center of Kansas Concert Prize. Hristova has performed at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Cartagena Festival Internacional de Musica and in recital at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston as well as appearing as a guest artist with the New York String Orchestra conducted by Jaime Laredo. She has also been featured on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion on NPR.

Currently the Graduate String Quartet-in-Residence at the Yale School of Music, the Linden String Quartet is the gold medalist and grand prize-winner of the 2009 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, winner of the 2010 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition, and comprises laureates of the 9th Borciani International String Quartet Competition. Other awards include first prize at the Sixth Hugo Kauder International Competition and the Coleman-Barstow prize at the 2009 Coleman National Chamber Ensemble Competition.

Winner of the 2007 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, pianist Daria Rabotkina has performed in solo appearances with the San Francisco and New World symphonies under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas, and with the Kirov Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev in a four-concert North American tour. Rabotkina has given recitals at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall and Merkin Concert Hall, the Moscow Conservatory, and in Denmark, Switzerland and Japan. In addition to her 2007 victory at the CAG Competition, she has garnered prizes at the Virtuosi per Musica di Pianoforte in the Czech Republic, Tbilisi Competition in Georgia, Jacob Flier Piano Competition in New Paltz, Sendai Competition in Japan, World Piano Competition in Cincinnati, Jacksonville Competition in Florida and the Montreal International Musical Competition.

Musicians from Ravinia's Steans Music Institute is a chamber ensemble whose members are selected each year from the most promising musicians to attend the institute's summer session at Ravinia. The tour, designed to bring the musical richness of Ravinia to a wider audience, presents formal concerts as well as educational programs for schools and community organizations. Musicians from Ravinia's Steans Music Institute has appeared at such prestigious venues as Boston's Gardner Museum, the Library of Congress, Miami's Friends of Chamber Music series and New York's Town Hall, in addition to performances each year on Ravinia Festival's Rising Stars series. This year's touring group includes violinists Tessa Lark and Steans Institute piano and strings program director Miriam Fried, violist Ayane Kozasa, cellists Deborah Pae and Nathan Vickery and pianist Adam Golka.

Founded in 1999 in Germany, the a cappella quintet Calmus comprises graduates of Leipzig's renowned St. Thomas Church Choir School and offers the unique combination of soprano voice with four male voices ranging from bass to countertenor. With no fewer than 10 recordings to its credit, Calmus received the 2009 Echo Klassik Award for Lied:gut!, a disc of treasured German folksongs. The group‘s latest CD, Hausmusik, is a collection of songs by Robert and Clara Schumann and J.S. Bach. Calmus's festival appearances include International A Cappella Week in Hannover and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, where the group attended a master class with The King's Singers. In addition to first prize and numerous performance prizes at the CAG Competiton, other awards include first prizes at the fourth annual Robert Schumann Choral Competition, the International Competition for Vocal Ensembles in Finland and the 37th Tolosa Choral Contest in Spain.

Ravinia Festival gratefully acknowledges the support of The Albert Pick, Jr. Fund and The Bruning Foundation for their generous participation as sponsors of this series.

Tickets for Rising Stars concerts go on sale in September and are $20, with a 20 percent discount on orders for tickets to four or more concerts. All concerts are at 8 p.m. on Saturdays. Ravinia will also offer concert/dining packages for each show at a special price of $50. Dinners will take place prior to the concert at 6 p.m. in the Freehling Room. Ravinia Festival's Bennett Gordon Hall is located in the John D. Harza building on the Ravinia Festival grounds, 201 St. Johns Ave in Highland Park, IL. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call the Ravinia Box Office at 847-266-5100. Ravinia Festival welcomes all fans to follow, connect and interact online at, (search Ravinia Festival) and Listen to the music of Ravinia artists at the festival's free online radio station at, which is available 24 hours a day. Ravinia Festival is a not- for-profit organization.


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