Highly regarded as a champion and interpreter of American music, conductor David Alan Miller will lead the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at our Gala Benefit Evening this Saturday, July 23, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the CSO’s annual summer residency at Ravinia as well as legendary American composer George Gershwin with a program including his most beloved music. Miller, who has appeared at Ravinia 19 times since his 1997 festival debut, replaces James Conlon, who has withdrawn due to illness. The concert also features vocalists Sylvia McNair, Kelli O’Hara, Brian Stokes Mitchell and pianist Kevin Cole. The program, which includes Cuban Overture, selections from Porgy and Bess, An American in Paris, Rhapsody in Blue and “Gershwin around the Piano,” song selections to be announced from the stage, is based upon the all-Gershwin program that the composer himself performed at his one and only appearance at Ravinia Festival in 1936.
Hosted by the Ravinia Women’s Board, the annual Gala is the only performance fundraiser benefiting the not-for-profit festival’s mission, especially its efforts to bring music back to the schools through its REACH*TEACH*PLAY education programs.