Ravinia Festival Dance Competition

The Ravinia Festival Women's Board held the first ever dance competition at the park on June 18, 2006. Watch highlights from this lively and fun competition.


Hubbard Street, in Highland Park.


Hubbard Street Dance gave their final Ravinia performance of the 2006 season last night. The combination of modern dance with traditional classical music provided a unique experience for those in attendance. They performed four works that have all received their Chicago premieres in the last two years.

The company of 21 dancers emotionally portrayed the choreography of Jim Vincent, Marguerite Donlon, Susan Marshall and Nacho Duato. Well-known melodies of Bach, Mozart and Arvo Pärt accompanied these works.

The next dance performance at Ravinia is on August 16 when the Joffrey Ballet performs Twyla Tharp's "Deuce Coupe" set to the music of the Beach Boys.

-Justin Brown, Communications Associate


Jazz in June

The party was non-stop for Jazz in June over the weekend. Ravinia Festival celebrated jazz music and musicians during this 4-day festival. Here are some of the highlights:

The Friday evening "Spirit of New Orleans" concert also spread the spirit of Mardi Gras. On hand to perform were The Neville Brothers and Dr. John. Ravinia staff and volunteers took donations on behalf of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, raising thousands of dollars to help rebuild their concert hall.

Artistic Director of Jazz at Ravinia, Ramsey Lewis, was featured with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble and also gave the debut performance of his original "One Score, One Chicago" composition, which was inspired by Robert Schumann's "Scenes from Childhood."

The Original Pin Stripe Brass Band was lead by its Grand Marshall around the park, sharing their blend of traditional New Orleans and pop music styles.

The Sunday "Battle of the Big Bands" also featured a dance contest. For the first time ever, a dance floor was constructed on the lawn and hundreds of audience members (including many children) took advantage of the unique opportunity.

-Adriana Avila, Marketing Manager


Golijov's Chicago premiere.

You know it's a special performance at Ravinia when audience members leave their picnic tables on the lawn to approach the pavilion to catch a glimpse of the stage. The otherworldly sounds created by Golijov's new opera, "Ainadamar" continued to draw listeners to the stage throughout the hour and a half long performance.

The Thursday night performance featured the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus with conductor Robert Spano. Soloists for that evening's performance included Dawn Upshaw, Kelley O'Connor, Jessica Rivera, and Jesus Montoya (whose voice can be heard on television commercials for Nike, Coca-Cola, and Eveready-Energizer).

The artists arrived Thursday afternoon, just in time for a brief dress rehearsal at 7:00 P.M. The concert followed an hour later, beginning with a brief chat between Osvaldo Golijov, Robert Spano, and Welz Kauffman, President of Ravinia. Their stay was a brief one, they returned to Atlanta on Friday morning.

Yo-Yo Ma will present the second Golijov premiere of the summer with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Miguel Harth-Bedoya on Saturday, August 6. Also on the program are De Falla's "Three-Cornered Hat" and Ravel's "Bolero."

-Justin Brown, Communications Associate


4 down 28 to go...

Garrick Ohlsson began his cycle of Beethoven Piano Sonatas last night (which, by the way, is the first in Ravinia Festival history). He performed Sonatas No. 4, 20, 23 ("Appassionata"), and 28. He will complete the cycle of 32 sonatas during his seven remaining performances at Ravinia this season.

The Beethoven festivities began at 6:45 P.M. with a pre-concert talk hosted by Sylvie Desouches. It was an exciting presentation that included information on Beethoven's history, compositional techniques, and musical examples.

When asked how he prepared for this cycle he responded: "You know the famous joke 'how do you get to Carnegie hall.' Well, how do you prepare for a Beethoven Sonata cycle? It is the same answer."

You can catch the remaining Beethoven sonata performances tonight, June 19 and 20, August 28 and 29, and September 5 and 6.

-Justin Brown, Communications Associate

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