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Ravinia: There and Back Again #2

As winter approaches, we would like to shake up our version of a snow globe to reminisce about summer days.  On August 23, 1974, patrons enjoy the warm summer breeze as The Joffrey Ballet dances Remembrances to music by Richard Wagner and choreographed by Robert Joffrey.


RSMI Alum Marquis Hill Wins International Accolade

Chicago native and 2010 Ravinia Steans Music Institute Jazz Alum, Marquis Hill, has taken top honors at the 2014 Thelonious Monk International Trumpet Competition. He adds this an already impressive streak over the last few years with his Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition win in 2013 and International Trumpet Guild Jazz Improvisation Competition in 2012. The win comes with a $25,000 music scholarship and guaranteed recording contract with Concord Music Group.

Marquis talked briefly about his time here as a fellow of the Ravinia Steans Music Institute Program for Jazz in the video celebrating 25 years of the Ravinia Steans Music Institute in 2013 below.


Ravinia: There and Back Again #1

Although Ravinia Park originally served as an upscale destination for passengers of the new Chicago & Milwaukee Electric Railroad in 1904, within a few years it became apparent that the enterprise was not profitable, and the railroad company looked to unload the Highland Park property it owned. Fearing the site would devolve into a cheap amusement park, local residents purchased the land and in 1911 established The Ravinia Company, under whose supervision the park became primarily a summer venue for classical music. Performances of operatic music began to dominate the repertoire, and by the end of the decade Ravinia had established a reputation as summer opera capital of the world. From June 30 to September 3 of 1917, the year this photo was taken, Ravinia presented 54 performances featuring scenes and acts from no fewer than 20 different operas.


Three Improvement Projects Under Way

This fall Ravinia is working on three projects recently approved by Highland Park City Council: rebuilding the north bus turnaround to make it safer and more efficient, reducing noise and exhaust; refacing the back of the Harza Building to match the south entrance; and widening the south parking lot gate to the same width as the street that feeds it, removing the bottleneck. For more information: click here


Hey, Kids, Send Us Your Arts and Letters

Ravinia is developing a new section of its website called Kid Zone, geared for kids ages 5–10. One of its functions will be to share the Ravinia-inspired art, drawings and writings about music online with other festival-loving children. This work could include reviews of concerts, short prose and poetry about music, and drawings of the park.

Please e-mail submissions to