CSO Celebrates Birthdays and Anniversaries

“Next summer, North America’s oldest music festival nearly explodes with musical milestones,” Welz Kauffman said.

The celebrations begin as soon as the residency starts when Ravinia favorite Garrick Ohlsson sits down at the Steinway to mark the 200th birthday year of Frédéric Chopin. The 150th birthday of Gustav Mahler is celebrated with James Conlon concluding his multi-year Mahler cycle when he leads the CSO in the Adagio of the unfinished 10th symphony. On the same program, Samuel Barber’s centennial is celebrated with his Adagio for Strings and Joshua Bell performing the Violin Concerto.

Closer to home, the birthdays of Music Director James Conlon, 60, and former Music Director Christoph Eschenbach, 70, will be acknowledged throughout the summer.  Conlon, will recreate excerpts from his first Wagner Ring Cycle.

Then the CSO returns to the Martin Theatre for two performances each of Mozart’s Così fan tutte and The Marriage of Figaro, featuring such stars as Frederica von Stade and Nathan Gunn. Eschenbach takes a musical travelogue through his career in concerts that feature him as conductor and soloist working with such colleagues and protégés as Renée Fleming, performing Strauss’s Four Last Songs.

The 20th anniversary of the deaths of two music icons—Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland—is commemorated in concerts that feature some of their most treasured creations including Appalachian Spring, The Age of Anxiety and Candide.

The 200th anniversary of Mexican Independence is acknowledged in a few guises next summer, including the CSO concerts that feature one of Mexico City’s favorite sons, Jorge Federico Osorio, performing all five of Beethoven’s piano concertos over two nights.

Come celebrate with us at Ravinia!


10 Posters For 10 Years

For over 30 years, the Women’s Board of Ravinia Festival has sponsored an annual competition to select the design that will become the unique poster used to promote the festival’s season. The annual poster and its principal design image become a distinctive signature of the Ravinia Festival season. In anticipation of the announcement of the 2010 poster winner, take a look at the past 10 years of winning designs. They are all available at Ravinia Gifts for only $10.


Backstage Gallery: Winter Wonderland at the Garden

The Chicago Botanic Garden hosted a staff event and invited employees from Ravinia Festival, Kohl Children’s Museum, Writers’ Theatre, and of course, the Chicago Botanic Garden last night. As I strolled through the Winter Wonderland I was absolutely awestruck. How on earth do they get lights on every branch? My amazement continued as I wandered through the Wonderland Express exhibit.  If you love the holidays, Chicago, trains, nature, or have the slightest appreciation for beautiful craftsmanship; this is a must see. As with so many things, words cannot begin to describe the experience. Take a look at our photo gallery, courtesy of Russell Jenkins, then head over to the Garden (preferably after dark).

Germaine Maschoff
Corporate Relations and Communications Coordinator


Jazz Showcase Tonight to Honor Mercedes Sosa

Catch a great concert tonight with Elbio Barilari and special guests Diego Urcola and Welz Kauffman to honor the late Latin American great Mercedes Sosa.

Barilari's big band will include several top jazz musicians in Chicago. Plus, Chilean singer Claudia Perez Brown will also be featured for this special night honoring Sosa's life and art.

Where:   Jazz Showcase

               806 S Plymouth Court

               Chicago, IL 60605

               (312) 670-2473

When:    December, Tuesday 8

               Two Performances at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Cost:      $15 cover


Ballet Fólklorico de México

This spring on March 13 and 14, Ravinia Festival partners with the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University to bring Ballet Fólklorico de México to Chicago in a celebration of Mexican culture. Don't miss the elaborate dances, live traditional music, and ornate costumes of this unique performance. Click here to purchase tickets.

“The collaboration with the Auditorium, like our Harris Theater collaborations, is exciting for both institutions, especially as we are co-presenting what will no doubt be one of the highlights of 2010, a year that celebrates two important anniversaries, the 200th anniversary of independence and the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Mexico,” said Ravinia President and CEO Welz Kauffman.