5 things found on the lawn...

My favorite polka-dot flip-flops, a citronella candle, and a sign professing my undying love for Steve Miller are just a few of the things I accidentally left behind on the lawn last time I came to a concert at Ravinia with my friends. My list might sound odd to you, but it seems much stranger things have been left by others.

Of course, the morning after a concert the park staff always finds the usual keys, cell phones, sunglasses, and blankets, but sometimes they come across something a little more unusual.

This season alone the staff has found a whole salmon, a baby stroller, a pair of socks, women's undergarments, and an engagement ring. As Facilities Manager Jim Schmitz said, "It has been a fantastic journey in the land of garbage collection." And if anyone out there misplaced a salmon, it's being held in the lost and found.

-Shannon Rego, Communications Intern


Ravinia Festival Family Space

The Community Outreach & Education department at Ravinia Festival hosts a family space for children and adults to experience the music first hand. Watch as kids get to try out the instruments at an instrument petting zoo, take part in arts & crafts and listen to a story by the Kohl McCormick Storybus.


International Stars at Ravinia

This week of performances at Ravinia opened with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, an acappella chorus from South Africa, who gained worldwide prominence after being featured on Paul Simon's 1986 album, Graceland. The audience was charmed by the traditional Zulu musical styles presented by the charismatic ensemble, and their encore presentation featured a joint performance with the opening act, Sweet Honey in the Rock.

Taiwanese-born violinist Cho-Liang ("Jimmy") Lin performed a diverse program of music for violin and piano on Tuesday evening with the French pianist Andre-Michel Schub. The music of Mozart and William Walton was featured, as well as the Chicago premiere of Bright Sheng's Three Fantasies. Sheng's composition was inspired by Tibetan and Kazakhstani folk songs and music that he heard in a dream.

The Israeli duo of conductor Yoel Levi and violinist Itzhak Perlman took the pavilion stage on Wednesday evening to perform for a sold out Ravinia audience. Mozart's Fifth Violin Concerto was passionate and full of energy, there wasn't an inch of free space surrounding the pavilion; hundreds left their picnics on the lawn to catch a glimpse of the classical music star. Mr. Perlman returns to Ravinia this evening to conduct the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in an all-Beethoven program featuring the Polish-born pianist Emanuel Ax.

-Justin Brown, Communications Associate


James Conlon: Celebrity

Chicago entertainment jounalist, Terry Armour, featured Music Director, James Conlon, in his Chicago Tribune Sunday entertainment feature (7.9.2006). Describing Conlon's new haircut, Armour says "You may notice that James Conlon's once long locks are much shorter." He explains the surprise hairstyle: "Filmmaker Kenneth Branagh asked Conlon to cut his hair for his walk-on part as a soldier in Branagh's adaptation of Mozart's The Magic Flute." Conlon was recently on location in England, where he conducted the movie's score.

On Wednesday, June 28, Maestro Conlon participated in an online chat hosted by Chicago Classical Music, the online classical music forum hosted by the Arts and Business Council of Chicago. He discussed in detail his "Breaking the Silence" series, a multiyear series of concerts that feature music suppressed by the Third Reich, and Shostakovich's Symphonies. Visit to view a transcript of the chat.

-Justin Brown, Communications Associate


Listen to Robert Greenberg Discuss Mahler

Listen to The Professor lecture on Mahler last year at Ravinia Festival.

Don't forget, Greenberg returns to Ravinia on July 22 & 23 to talk about Shostakovich. Be sure to catch these exciting and wonderful lectures!