James Levine, Christoph Eschenbach, Gustavo Dudamel,Susanna Mälkki, Kent Nagano, a “virtual” Esa-Pekka Salonen, and three conductors making Chicago Symphony Orchestra debuts take the podium.
CSO soloists include Lang Lang, headlining the gala fundraiser;Joshua Bell; Sir James Galway; Pinchas Zukerman; Denis Matsuev;Garrick Ohlsson; and pianist Yuja Wang, one of 30 classical artists making Ravinia debuts
Guest ensemblesincludethe Lucerne Symphony;National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela; and Apollo’s Fire, the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra, all in their Ravinia debuts; along with the returns of The Knightsandthe Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
CSO performs the award-winning scores to all three Lord of the Ringsfilms as the movies are shown on consecutive nights; Oscar darling La La LandLive with Orchestra receives Midwest premiere
Tributes set for three great Americans: Henry Mancini, Ira Gershwin, and a multi-concert celebration of the 70th birthday of John Adams
Chamber/recital series featuresPacifica Quartet with the complete Beethoven quartets;Jonathan Biss,continuing his multiyear Beethoven cycle; bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green, subject of bestseller Sing for Your Life;and the Simón Bolívar String Quartet
Stevie Nicks,John Mellencamp,Common,Pentatonix,Lila Downs,TLC,Alanis Morissette,John Butler Trio,Andrew Bird,Sammy Hagar,and the Tony-winning Leslie Odom Jr., Burr from Broadway’s Hamilton,among59artists makingRavinia debuts
Double bills pair John Legend/Gallant,OneRepublic/Fitz & the Tantrums,Michael Bolton/Gladys Knight,Garbage/Blondie,Lifehouse/Switchfoot, The Beach Boys/The Temptations,and Judy Collins/Stephen Stills
Returning favorites includeWillie Nelson, Aretha Franklin, Diana Krall, Santana, Tony Bennett, Darius Rucker, Sheryl Crow, Frankie Valli&the Four Seasons,Smokey Robinson, The Gipsy Kings,and The Moody Blues,celebrating the 50th anniversary of Days of Future Passed
Los Tigres del Norte and NataliaJiménez headline second annual daylong Fiesta Ravinia, celebrating Mexican IndependenceDay
Ravinia renews Chicago Symphony Orchestra summer residency with unprecedented eight-year extension
HIGHLAND PARK, IL—Ravinia President and CEO Welz Kauffman today announced the not-for-profit festival’s complete 2017 summer lineup—more than 140 events from June 3 through Sept. 17—including the 82nd annual residency of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as well as visits by the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela with conductor Gustavo Dudamel in his Ravinia debut. In addition to Dudamel, 58 artists make their Ravinia debuts, including Stevie Nicks, John Mellencamp, Pentatonix, Common, Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr., and Ryan Speedo Green. Tickets are available to donors beginning March 22 and go on sale to the general public on May 9, exclusively at Ravinia.org.
“I’m frequently asked what defines a successful season. Because there are so many ways to enjoy Ravinia, that answer is different for everyone, and their defining moments might be a big light-and-sound spectacular with a legendary hit machine or a quiet evening on the lawn with a chamber concert flowing from the Martin Theatre, one of our popular film projects or one of our magnificent classical masterpieces, performed as only the Chicago Symphony Orchestra can,” Kauffman said. “It’s an all-of-the-above summer at Ravinia in 2017.”
$25/$10/FREE CLASSICAL PRICING
Ravinia’s popular pricing returns this summer, with most Pavilion seats for all CSO concerts selling for just $25 apiece. Most lawn tickets will be priced at $10 each, and lawn admission for all classical concerts—CSO, special events, recitals, and chamber music—is free for children and students through college. A 10-punch lawn pass will also be sold, granting lawn admission for as little as $7 per concert. On film nights, the $25 price for a reserved seat in the Pavilion is the same for a lawn ticket, so patrons can choose the experience they prefer—a seat under the roof with a view of the orchestra or a picnic on the lawn before the giant movie screen—without cost being an issue. The $10 BGH Classics series offers up-close-and-personal musical experiences in Ravinia’s most intimate concert space, the 450-seat Bennett Gordon Hall, for only $10 for a reserved seat, less than the cost of a movie ticket.
CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA RESIDENCY
Ravinia has hosted the CSO in its summer residency since 1936, and the two institutions recently agreed to an eight-year extension of their current contract—which would have expired in 2018—extending the unique relationship through 2026.
“I’m so proud that one of my first opportunities in becoming chairman of the Ravinia Festival Association was to work with my predecessor John Anderson and Welz Kauffman in negotiating this unprecedented agreement with our CSO counterparts, Helen Zell and Jeff Alexander,” said Jennifer Steans. “I literally grew up attending CSO concerts at Ravinia and find particular satisfaction in seeing today’s youngsters discovering the ensemble that stands as one of Chicago’s eternal assets.”
Modeled on the successful 2016 CSO residency, which averaged more than 6,000 listeners per concert, the 18 concerts of 2017 intertwine staples of the symphonic repertoire; a variety on the podium, from the returns of James Levine, Christoph Eschenbach, and Susanna Mälkki to three conductors making their CSO debuts; popular movie nights, with all three Lord of the Rings films; and attractively priced tickets.
In addition to the CSO residency, Ravinia will host several ensembles throughout the summer.
VIRTUAL REALITY ORCHESTRA
London’s Philharmonia Orchestra will also come to Ravinia—“virtually.” Ravinia ticketholders are invited to virtually take a seat within the orchestra, playing the thrilling climax of Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen, for a once-in-a-lifetime vantage point through this unique virtual reality experience from July 11 through 23 at the Ravinia Tent on the North Lawn. Admission is free for those attending concerts on those nights. Free tickets can be arranged in advance at Ravinia.org or in person on concert nights, pending availability.
“The Philharmonia’s digital projects have taken place all over the world and I am delighted that we are now bringing our latest virtual reality experience, The Virtual Orchestra, to Ravinia,” said Salonen. “The incredible power of virtual reality is that it is disappointing to leave it, to come back to reality. There is no doubt that for classical music, virtual reality will be a very powerful, useful medium, and I am very excited to be taking part in this project.”
Superstars abound on Ravinia’s 2017 roster, including long-awaited debuts and the returns of audience favorites. Playing the festival for the first time are Sammy Hagar & the Circle with Michael Anthony, Jason Bonham, and Vic Johnson on June 19; Chicago’s own Common on June 24; multiple Grammy winner Lila Downs on July 1; Andrew Bird on July 23; Tony-winning Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. on Aug. 13; Alanis Morissette on Aug. 25; John Mellencamp on Aug. 26 and 27; Pentatonix on Aug. 28; Australian roots-rockers the John Butler Trio with special guest The Waifs on Aug. 30; and Stevie Nicks on Sept. 9 and 10.
Returning favorites include Pat Metheny with Antonio Sanchez, Linda May Han Oh, and Gwilym Simcock on June 14; Seu Jorge Presents The Life Aquatic: A Tribute to David Bowie on June 15; 2017 Grammy winner Willie Nelson on June 16; Aretha Franklin on June 17; the Gipsy Kings on June 23; jazz pianist/singer Diana Krall June 28; The Moody Blues with their Days of Future Passed 50th Anniversary Tour on June 30; Sheryl Crow on July 7; Tony Bennett on Aug. 4; Darius Rucker on Aug. 5; Santana in his Transmogrify Tour on Aug. 11 and 12; Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons on Sept. 8; and Motown legend Smokey Robinson on Sept. 15.
Ravinia will also present bigger-than-life pairings such as John Legend in his Darkness & Light Tour with special guest Gallant on June 10; Boz Scaggs and Michael McDonald on June 27; the all-American The Beach Boys and The Temptations on July 2; OneRepublic with Fitz & the Tantrums in their Ravinia debut and James Arthur on July 14 and 15; Blondie and Garbage in its Ravinia debut on July 22; Judy Collins and Stephen Stills (he wrote “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” about her) on July 26; Chris Thile’s Punch Brothers and I’m With Her (Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan) on Aug. 14; Lifehouse and Switchfoot on Aug. 29; Michael Bolton, in his Ravinia debut, and Gladys Knight on Sept. 1; and Los Tigres del Norte and Natalia Jiménez on Sept. 17. The festival also brings together six hit-making bands in “I Love the ’90s: The Party Continues,” starring TLC, Biz Markie, All-4-One, O-Town, and Snap!, all in their Ravinia debuts, along with Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath on Sept. 16.
CELEBRATION: JOHN ADAMS AT 70 After presenting the Chicago premieres of the composer’s El Niño and The Gospel According to the Other Mary, Ravinia will celebrate the 70th birthday of Pulitzer Prize winner John Adams with concerts this season.
Although celebrated for providing one of the finest outdoor music experiences, Ravinia also presents one of the world’s most expansive chamber music series, hosting more than 50 indoor concerts and recitals in its two halls, the exquisite 850-seat Martin Theatre and the state-of-the-art 450-seat Bennett Gordon Hall, home to the $10 BGH Classics series. Martin Theatre concerts are broadcast to the lawn; Bennett Gordon Hall concerts are not. Highlights include:
RAVINIA’S STEANS MUSIC INSTITUTE
The best young musicians from around the world compete for about 60 coveted fellowships each year to Ravinia’s highly immersive and highly regarded summer conservatory to work individually and in ensembles with the superb faculty.
The world’s most celebrated Norteño band, Los Tigres del Norte, and Spanish singer and Telemundo star Natalia Jiménez headline Ravinia’s second annual celebration of Mexican independence in a daylong festival on Sept. 17 that will include Latin cuisine throughout the park, Mariachi bands, children’s performances, family activities, dance lessons, and a Mexican-American art show. The park opens for the special festivities at 2 p.m. and the main-stage show begins at 6 p.m.
KIDS CONCERT SERIES
In addition to admitting all children and students through college for free to the lawn for every classical performance, Ravinia also presents a popular series of concerts intended specifically for young listeners. Tickets are specially priced at $10 to $15 for reserved seats or $5 on the lawn (where applicable).
Ravinia is an internationally renowned, not-for-profit music festival that presents outstanding performances by the world’s greatest artists. Ravinia’s principal objectives are:
For more on Ravinia, the concerts, directions, tickets and group rates, click here