Rewind: August 5, 1937

Now in its ninth consecutive decade, the musical partnership between Ravinia and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra continues to be a uniquely fulfilling one, with the six-week summer residency of the orchestra regularly featuring about as many programs as might be heard downtown over the rest of the year. With that diversity of programming, Ravinia has also introduced the CSO to innumerable soloists and conductors in that time, including most recently violinist Ray Chen, whose performance of Mendelssohn’s vaunted concerto the Chicago Tribune called “a dazzling calling card,” but also violinist Itzhak Perlman and cellist Lynn Harrell, who both celebrated the 50th anniversaries of their CSO and Ravinia debuts last season, along with conductor and pianist James Levine, who celebrated his 45th such anniversary last year and is poised to assume the mantle of Ravinia Conductor Laureate next summer. Significantly, several such artists went on to become music directors of the CSO, including current Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti, who made his debut on July 25, 1973. His predecessor, Daniel Barenboim, made his CSO debut as a piano soloist on June 24, 1965, and Georg Solti before him as a conductor on August 3, 1954. Jean Martinon and Artur Rodzinski also first stood before the CSO at Ravinia, on July 19, 1960, and June 30, 1938, respectively. But before all of them, Fritz Reiner took the podium for the first time for four consecutive days of concerts beginning on August 5, 1937.