Train Joins Forces With The Count and Elmo

No matter how big a music superstar gets, even they won't turn down a collaboration with the characters of Sesame Street! The Count and Elmo were joined by Pat Monahan, Jimmy Stafford, and Scott Underwood of Train for a stroll down Sesame Street. The group stopped by Hoopers Store for some peaches, but are not sure how many...

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Back to School with Ravinia’s REACH*TEACH*PLAY Education Programs

School is just starting, and that means the festival’s free REACH*TEACH*PLAY education programs are in full gear! We have expanded our Music Discovery program to reach 150 classrooms this year and over 4,300 K-3 kids who will develop their musical skills with resident teaching artists and interactive activities. Talented high school students will be auditioning soon for our Jazz Mentor program in which students are coached by Chicago’s finest jazz musicians. The Ravinia Lawndale Family Music School begins its free music classes in general music, voice, violin, guitar and piano for children and adults alike who reside in this underserved community. Ravinia’s latest program, Sistema Ravinia, which provides intensive after-school orchestral training at the grade-school level, is in full swing at William G. Hibbard Elementary, and Ravinia’s second installment at Circle Rock Elementary has just begun. Many artists in the BGH $10 CLASSICS series will also perform in schools through Ravinia’s Guest Artists in the Classroom program. Remember, your support of Ravinia makes these programs happen!

Performance Today Will Record Ravinia's "Closing Knights" for National Broadcast

The popular American Public Media radio program Performance Today will be on-site to record all three of Ravinia’s season-closing concerts with The Knights. Program host Fred Child will introduce the concerts on stage—including soloists Yo-Yo Ma (Sept. 7), Itzhak Perlman (Sept. 8) and Dawn Upshaw (Sept. 9). You wont want to miss a moment, so make sure you have tickets to all three of these special events. Order today!

Bring the Family to Final Kraft Great Kids Concerts

The Kraft Great Kids concert series wraps up for the summer season, so don’t forget to bring the family to the last two performances featuring Ruth Page Civic Ballet at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8, and Tom Chapin & Friends at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 9. The Ruth Page Civic Ballet show includes interacting with the audience as the dancers perform excerpts from several classic ballets. Named “one of the greatest personalities in contemporary folk music” by The New York Times and “the best family artist around” by Billboard magazine, Tom Chapin has the ability to engage and entertain children and adults alike.

BGH $10 CLASSICS Series Extended Year-Round

Building on the highly successful summer recital series in the intimate, 450-seat Bennett Gordon Hall, Ravinia will extend the BGH $10 CLASSICS series year-round to the fall, winter and spring, making BGH a hall for all seasons! The series will continue with eight concerts from October through April including a Christmas concert and the Chicago premiere of James Whitbourn’s Annelies: The Choral Setting of the Diary of Anne Frank. This series features cellist Sebastian Bäverstam with pianist Pei-Shan Lee on Oct. 13, 2012; violinist Tessa Lark on Oct. 20, 2012; pianist Daria Rabotkina on Oct. 27, 2012; a Christmas concert with Empire Brass featuring vocalist Elisabeth von Trapp on Dec. 6, 2012; Lincoln Trio with soprano Arianna Zukerman, clarinetist Bharat Chandra and Chicago Children’s Choir performing the Chicago premiere of Annelies: The Choral Setting of the Diary of Anne Frank on Feb. 24, 2013; Musicians from Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute (RSMI) on March 16, 2013, a group of alumni from Ravinia's summer music conservatory that is celebrating its 25th anniversary next year; baritone John David Boehr on April 13, 2013; and pianist Michael Brown on April 20, 2013.

Ravinia’s Closing Knights Rooted In Outdoor Performance and RSMI

Just as in the legends of old—from Round Table to Templar—knights can withstand most any opposing force. So what’s a few cicadas or the clatter of a train? Nothing to America’s most headline-grabbing new orchestra, The Knights, according to Allan Kozinn in the New York Times. “The Knights have been the de facto house band of the free Naumburg Orchestral Concerts in Central Park for the last few summers, and they are clearly comfortable enough in that role to experiment with approaches to outdoor programming." Read the full article here. So they’ll be right at home when they close the 2012 Ravinia season with Yo-Yo Ma on Sept. 7, Itzhak Perlman on Sept. 8 and Dawn Upshaw on Sept. 9. In fact several past and present members are alumni of Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, including the ensemble’s co-founders, Colin and Eric Jacobsen; and Kyle Armbrust; Nick Cords; and Max Mandel.

Ravinia CEO Welz Kauffman Lends His Voice to Chicago Reads Library Event

To celebrate its 125th anniversary, the Highland Park Public Library will stage Chicago Reads from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, in the auditorium of the library at 494 Laurel Ave. Popular Chicago Tribune columnist Rick Kogan hosts an afternoon featuring literary and cultural figures from throughout Chicago reading from their favorite works of literature. Ravinia President and CEO Welz Kauffman will read from John Rockwell’s All American Music. Other readers scheduled include bestselling authors Elizabeth Berg and Jonathan Eig; essayist and short story writer Joseph Epstein; comedian, author, and journalist Aaron Freeman; Writers’ Theatre artistic director Michael Halberstam; acclaimed documentary producer and broadcaster Bill Kurtis and his producer Donna LaPietra; and Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering. LaPietra and Rotering both serve on the Women’s Board of Ravinia Festival. For information, call 847-681-7031.

Don’t Miss Summer’s Final $10 Classics in Acoustical Gem Bennett Gordon Hall

John von Rhein previewed in the Chicago Tribune several of Ravinia’s BGH $10 CLASSICS chamber concerts and recitals recently, noting that while some bemoan the “death of chamber music,” this great art form flourishes at Ravinia, with top-name talent at a ticket price that cannot be ignored and in an acoustically pleasing and intimate Bennett Gordon Hall—that’s what BGH stands for. The series has already included such acclaimed artists as Rachel Barton Pine, Zuill Bailey and David Greilsammer, who was recently praised in The New York Times by Anthony Tommasini. Just three remain this summer. They are: young Decca recording artist and pianist Behzod Abduraimov, tomorrow, Aug. 31; pianist Orion Weiss on Sept. 3—by the way, check out Orion’s own website one of the coolest out there—and Johannes Moser, who Rhein called one of the best cellists of his generation, accompanied by Weiss on Sept. 4.

Duran Duran Cancels Aug. 29 Ravinia Concert

Dear Duran Duran ticket holder,

Rock band Duran Duran has canceled its Aug. 29 Ravinia Festival concert due to keyboardist Nick Rhodes’s continued illness, which has forced the band to cancel its last three concerts in Kettering, OH; Pittsburgh, PA; and Atlantic City, NJ.

Click here for the band’s official press release.

Ravinia Festival is awaiting word from the band’s management as to the possibility of the concert being re-scheduled in the very near future. Patrons who have purchased tickets for the Aug. 29 performance should hold on to their tickets and await information by email or check back at www.ravinia.org.

Thank you for your patience,
Ravinia Festival

#SocialUpgrade: Duran Duran

Ravina Festival wants to #SocialUpgrade your summer in 2012. We are excited to see so many people following us on social media, and now we want to do something for you; for the first time ever, we have reserved two (2) seats for EVERY SHOW this season, to be given away exclusively on social media! So whether it is a Pavilion, Martin Theatre or Bennett Gordon Hall performance, there will be two (2) seats with your name on it. Contests will take different forms: simple retweet contests, themed photo contests, caption contests, topic-based tweets and many more. To make it easy for you to find our about all the contests, we created a new page on the blog just for the giveaways. Look up the show you want to see this summer, and find out when you can start looking for a #SocialUpgrade.

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Daryl Hall Opens His House to Some Of Music's Biggest Names in Webcast

Daryl Hall, who returns to Ravinia in concert with longtime partner John Oates on Sept. 1, has created one of the most acclaimed webcasts by opening his doors to some of the biggest names in music—some with legendary pedigrees, others new to the biz. Hall was a pioneer in the webcast game, creating his free monthly show, Live From Daryl’s House, in 2007. Episodes available online include Hall performing with Smokey RobinsonNick Lowe, K.T. Tunstall, Todd Rundgren, Matt Nathanson and Chicago's own Plain White T's. Pavilion tickets to the Ravinia concert are in very limited quantity, and lawn is recently SOLD OUT.

Women’s Board Gala Raises $900,000 to Support Ravinia, REACH*TEACH*PLAY

In its 50th anniversary year, the Women’s Board of Ravinia Festival hosted a gala benefit—starring Patti LuPone and Patricia Racette with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by James Conlon and Rob Fisher—that raised $900,000 for the festival and its REACH*TEACH*PLAY education programs. Since its inception, the Women’s Board has become the biggest donor to the nonprofit festival, having given more than $25 million. The group also started Ravinia’s first educational programs and continues to spearhead new initiatives, such as Sistema Ravinia, which creates student orchestras in underserved schools. Listen to this public service announcement from Hubbard Radio (WTMX, WILV, WDRV) about Ravinia’s Women’s Board.

Eric and Colin Jacobsen Return to Ravinia Where They Spent Many ‘Knights’ in RSMI

Brothers Eric Jacobsen (cello) and Colin Jacobsen (violin) have come a long way since forming the most talked-about orchestra in the country, a new breed of ensemble that actually votes on what it will play. Not only are The Knights intriguing enough to be the subject of the 2011 documentary We Are the Knights, but they consistently work with the biggest names in classical music, as they will to close the 2012 Ravinia season with cellist Yo-Yo Ma playing Schumann on Sept. 7, violinist Itzhak Perlman playing chestnuts on Sept. 8 and soprano Dawn Upshaw in a French-inspired concert in the Martin Theatre on Sept. 9. Ravinia marks a homecoming of sorts for the Brooklyn-based brothers, who are both alumni of Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, Ravinia’s summer conservatory which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2013.

Momix Redefines What A Waltz of Flowers Can be in Command Performance of Botanica

Many classical art forms draw inspiration from nature, but the endlessly inventive, impossibly agile and fun-loving Momix dance company recreates flora and fauna on stage like nobody’s business in the acclaimed theatrical evening Botanica, a circus of visual delights that Ravinia brings back on Tuesday, Aug. 28, following two successful presentations last summer. This short video only hints at the wonders in store for ticket-holders.

Share Your Best Memories of Ravinia at Video Booth to Win Swag at Lovett Show

What better time to collect memories of favorite experiences than at a concert by one of Ravinia’s favorite artists? Ravinia will set up a video booth to record memories from our audience members at the Aug. 24 concert, Lyle Lovett and His Large Band. Tell us about your first concert, favorite moment, most elaborate picnic—whatever Ravinia means to you. Your video could be used at Ravinia.org and on our social media sites. Plus anyone who shares a memory will walk away with a piece of Ravinia Festival swag. The booth, located just south of the Martin Theatre, will be open from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

#SocialUpgrade: A Week of Legends

Ravina Festival wants to #SocialUpgrade your summer in 2012. We are excited to see so many people following us on social media, and now we want to do something for you; for the first time ever, we have reserved two (2) seats for EVERY SHOW this season, to be given away exclusively on social media! So whether it is a Pavilion, Martin Theatre or Bennett Gordon Hall performance, there will be two (2) seats with your name on it. Contests will take different forms: simple retweet contests, themed photo contests, caption contests, topic-based tweets and many more. To make it easy for you to find our about all the contests, we created a new page on the blog just for the giveaways. Look up the show you want to see this summer, and find out when you can start looking for a #SocialUpgrade.

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Legendary Rocker John Hiatt Tilts The Mystic Pinball on 21st Studio Album

Acclaimed musician and songwriter John Hiatt will release his 21st studio album, Mystic Pinball, on Sept. 25, a few weeks after his return to Ravinia for an Aug. 26 concert featuring special guest Steve Earle. Called “one of rock’s most astute singer-songwriters of the last 40 years” by the Los Angeles Times, Hiatt specializes in character studies with twisting storylines and wry humor. The first single, “We’re Alright Now,” is a blues-driven, gospel song available to hear today at www.americansongwriter.com. Mystic Pinball will be available as both a CD and on limited edition 180-gram vinyl. Pre-order a copy of Mystic Pinball from Ravinia Gifts.

#SocialUpgrade: Tony Bennett Special

Once again, in collaboration with Ravinia Festival, our friends over at Terlato Wines have another special upgrade for us. We have four box seat tickets available for tomorrow nights Tony Bennett concert at Ravinia Festival and we want to give them to you! We are very excited to have this very unique upgrade! We want everyone to have a chance at this opportunity, so we will be taking email submissions! Read below for details on how to enter:
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