Ravinia Festival has named renowned pianist, music administrator and educator Kevin Murphy director of the festival’s summer music conservatory, the Steans Music Institute. He replaces Brian Zeger, who steps down in August after six years in the position. Murphy’s duties will include selecting 15 singers and five pianists from a worldwide pool of applicants to participate in the program each summer as well as securing faculty who will work with these artists over an intensive three-week residency. In consultation with the faculty, he will program four concerts of art song and three master classes each summer.
Murphy has been director of music administration at New York City Opera since September of 2008. Before that time, he was director of musical studies at the National Opera of Paris. In 1992 he was the first pianist invited by Maestro James Levine (former Ravinia music director) to participate in the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and continued as an assistant conductor from 1993 through June 2006. In addition to his on- and off-stage partnership with his wife, soprano Heidi Grant Murphy, he has collaborated in concert and recital with many of today’s leading artists, including Steans Music Institute alumna Michelle DeYoung, Nathan Gunn, Bryn Terfel, Plácido Domingo, Renée Fleming and others. Additional credits include performances of Mozart operas with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia.
“I can think of no better fit for Ravinia and the Steans Music Institute than Kevin, a truly respected and talented pedagogue who will spark and inspire the young professional musicians who will study with him,” said Ravinia Festival Music Director James Conlon. “Kevin is a friend, and I look forward to having him as a festival colleague.”