Sibling Ivory: The 5 Browns

The 5 virtuoso siblings from Juilliard brought the exciting sound of 5 pianos to the Martin Theatre stage on Thursday night.

The talented group performed pieces from the classical repertoire, including works by: Gershwin, Ravel, Copland, Rachmaninoff, and Stravinsky. Desirae, Deondra, Melody, Gregory, and Ryan introduced themselves individually to the audience prior to performing their solo pieces and discussed the work they were about to perform using historical and personal anecdotes.

The Browns have 10 Steinway grand pianos in their home in Utah (5 in one room for rehearsal, and 5 others in idividual rooms), and 5 dedicated Steinway grand pianos that travel with them across the globe for performances. Their 5 dedicated pianos were in Philadelphia for an upcoming performance; thankfully, the local Steinway dealer graciously provided three extra grand pianos to make the performance possible.

Hundreds of anxious fans patiently waited for their chance to meet the Browns and get their autographs after the performance. Their second recording, "No Boundaries," has been #1 on the classical music charts for 13 weeks, and counting.

-Justin Brown, Communications Associate


Robert Greenberg Back by Popular Demand

It's not your typical lecture. Get ready to laugh and be entertained on July 22 and 23 when renowned musicologist and lecturer Robert Greenberg will return to Ravinia to present a series of seminars on the music of Shostakovich and Mozart.

Dr. Greenberg returns by popular demand after delivering a series of acclaimed talks on Mahler last season and will present three different lectures over the course of the two days:

Saturday, July 22 from 3 to 5pm: "Ears Will Hear!: the Life and Symphonies of Dmitri Shostakovich"

Saturday, July 22 from 6 to 7:15pm:"Protest and Revelation: Shostakovich's Symphony No. 13, 'Babi Yar'"

Sunday, July 23 from 3 to 4:30pm: "Formal Behavior: Musical Structure in the Classical Era"

All of the talks will take place in the Martin Theatre and are FREE to any concert ticket holder (lawn pass or pavilion ticket).

Robert Greenberg combines humor and scholarship to produce captivating and theatrical talks that mesmerize audiences. He has performed, taught, and lectured extensively across North America and Europe. He is music historian-in-residence with San Francisco Performances, the city's premier presenter of chamber music, instrumental and vocal recitals, jazz, and contemporary dance. His music history lectures recorded by the Teaching Company are best sellers and have achieved international acclaim.

Ravinia is honored to bring Dr. Greenberg back during this Shostakovich and Mozart anniversary year.

Robert Goldberg
Associate Director of Community Outreach and Education, Programs


4th of July

Highland Park's annual Fourth of July parade was a blast. With over 40 floats and hundreds of participants, a good time was had by all. Weeks of planning and preparation paid off with Ravinia winning a first place trophy in the float competition for the sixth consecutive year.

More than 5,000 plastic recorders were distributed to the children (and adults) of Highland Park. The sound of plastic recorders could be heard from the end of the parade route!

Our float displayed the theme of the parade, Community Commitment: Near and Far, by featuring our One Score, One Chicago program, which was designed to unite the citizens of our city in appreciation of a single provocative work of art. A child size piano was shadowed on the float by a full size grand piano, the use of pianos was motivated by this year's featured work for "One Score, One Chicago," Robert Schumann's Scenes from Childhood.

-Justin Brown, Communications Associate


Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra began their 70th Ravinia Festival summer residency last week with a spectacular performance of Mahler's Third Symphony with mezzo-soprano Birgitta Svenden, who, the Chicago Tribune described as bringing "a stern, stoic dignity to Mahler's setting of Nietzsche's 'Midnight Song.'"

As a preview to the opening night performance, James Conlon participated in a live online chat featured on Chicago Classical Music's website. The chat featured an in-depth discussion of Conlon's inspired "Breaking the Silence" concert series. Conlon described the composers featured in this series as artists "whose life experiences were very different, but the fate of their music is all the same. For the most part, their music was prohibited after 1934."

Conlon was also asked to discuss Shostakovich's defiance of Stalin. In reference to his Ninth Symphony, Conlon had the following response: "From the first bars of the symphony, it was clear that Shostakovich walked away from the grandiose, and with his ever wry wit and irony 'disappoints' all of Stalin's expectations of a triumphant symphony that is full of praise. It is not so much about what Shostakovich did in this symphony as what he did not."

Chicago Symphony Orchestra performances at Ravinia continue this week with Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition on Friday night and Verdi's Requiem on Saturday night.

-Justin Brown, Communications Associate


Live online chat with Music Director James Conlon

Ravinia Festival is proud to present a live chat with Music Director James Conlon at Chicago Classical Music on Wednesday, June 28, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Join Maestro Conlon to discuss upcoming Chicago Symphony Orchestra performances at Ravinia as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the CSO summer residency at Ravinia Festival.

Chicago Classical Music members simply need to login and click "chat" to participate. Not yet a member? Sign up for free registration today at: