Ravinia’s 2014 Kids Concerts series emulates the festival’s main-stage programming across a mix of genres and artists, all in a kid-friendly environment. This Saturday series directly connects to the mission of the festival’s REACH*TEACH*PLAY education programs. The fun kicks off with a double-header on June 14 with the world-renowned Chinese Circus of Beijing at 11 a.m. and Laurie Berkner—The You & Me Tour at 4 p.m. (separate admission required for these events). The series features Tom Chapin at 11 a.m. July 12; Ralph’s World at 11 a.m. July 19; and the Ruth Page Civic Ballet at 11 a.m. Sept. 13. To celebrate the 110th anniversary of Ravinia on August 15, there will be a free “Young*Musician*Concert,” featuring the Lang Lang International Music Foundation Scholars with the Midwest Young Artists Symphony Orchestra (reservations required through Ravinia’s box office).
“Lang Lang was little more than a child himself when he sprang to stardom at Ravinia, so we are ecstatic that the young musicians recognized by the biggest classical artist in the world will perform for other children,” Kauffman said. “We believe that children will be inspired in their personal discovery of classical music when they experience artists their own age finding both joy and pride in performance.”
Ravinia also aims to spark that discovery with its Kids Lawn (formerly known as Family Space) that will include enhanced activities this summer, including hands-on music-making opportunities prior to select concerts, including the Chinese Circus of Beijing and Laurie Berkner on June 14 and Sunday concerts by the CSO, July 13, 20 and 27 and Aug. 2 and 10. Lawn admission to all classical concerts is free to children and students through college.