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Press Releases

Ravinia Festival Offers Sneak Peek at 2013 Classical Season

November 29, 2012 | By Amy Schrage
Associate Director of Communications

• Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute celebrates 25th anniversary with Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

• Lang Lang returns to the gala stage that launched him to superstardom

• James Conlon leads CSO in Verdi’s Aida, 2013’s One Score, One Chicago selection, with the Chicago Symphony Chorus

• CSO performs score to The Lord of the Rings—The Two Towers while complete film is projected on video screens in pavilion and on lawn

• Christoph von Dohnányi returns to lead the CSO in two all-Beethoven evenings with Emanuel Ax

• Conlon leads CSO in Mahler’s Symphony No. 7

• Juilliard String Quartet presents final performance by violist Samuel Rhodes and the first appearance of his successor Roger Tapping

• The Lincoln Trio gives daring audience-request concert

• 360-voice Mormon Tabernacle Choir returns to perform an evening of choral music with orchestra

Ravinia Festival today presented a “sneak peek” at its 2013 classical music concert season, which includes a performance of Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and vocalists from the festival’s summer conservatory along with Itzhak Perlman on the same program; the return of pianist Lang Lang to the gala stage that launched him to superstardom; a commemoration of Verdi’s bicentennial with Ravinia Festival Music Director James Conlon conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in a complete concert performance of Aida, this year’s One Score, One Chicago selection; and the CSO performing Howard Shore’s score to The Lord of the Rings—The Two Towers, while the entire film is broadcast on video screens in the pavilion and on the lawn—this has been the most requested CSO concert at Ravinia in decades, following the popularity of the trilogy’s first film in concert here two summers ago.

“We have such exciting things in the works for 2013 that I’m spilling the beans now—or at least some of them,” said Ravinia Festival President and CEO Welz Kauffman. “I’m tremendously proud of what’s in store, a season that presents the incomparable CSO with all-time iconic works such as Aida along with performances that may capture the imaginations of new symphonic audiences, such as The Lord of the Rings. Not just young listeners—kids and students through college are always free on the lawn for classical concerts—but young artists are top of mind for me. Whether it’s the superstar of his generation, Lang Lang, headlining our annual gala—the very event that placed him on the world stage in 1999—to the fellows from Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, who will showcase their talents in a variety of opportunities throughout the summer, including the vocal showcase Serenade to Music.” Other highlights include the return of Christoph von Dohnányi conducting the CSO in two evenings of Beethoven with pianist Emanuel Ax; Conlon conducts Mahler’s Symphony No. 7; The Juilliard String Quartet presents the final performance of violist Samuel Rhodes and the first by his successor Roger Tapping in a single concert; a program of audience requests performed by The Lincoln Trio; and the return of the massive and massively popular Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Ravinia will announce its complete lineup, including the remaining concerts on its 2013 summer residency of the CSO in March.

RSMI/Serenade to Music/Perlman

On Wednesday, Aug. 7, vocalists from Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute join the CSO conducted by Carlos Miguel Prieto (in his Ravinia debut), in honor of the 25th anniversary of the summer conservatory, performing Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music. On the same program, perennial Ravinia favorite, violinist Itzhak Perlman performs Mendelssohn’s popular Violin Concerto. The program also features three Spanish-themed orchestral works including Ginastera’s Estancia Suite and Ravel’s Rapsodie Espagnole and Bolero.

Gala Benefit Evening

“In my heart, I knew it was the beginning of something new, the beginning of a new life.” That’s what piano phenomenon Lang Lang wrote in his memoir about his life-changing debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia’s 1999 Gala. Since that unforgettable evening, Lang Lang has become a superstar virtuoso, performing with every major symphony orchestra and in the world’s best recital halls. This year he returns to the stage that launched him to superstardom on Saturday, July 27, for another unforgettable Gala to perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the CSO led by Ravinia Music Director James Conlon. Hosted by the Ravinia Women’s Board, the annual Gala Benefit Evening 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.

One Score, One Chicago: Verdi’s Aida

Based on the Chicago Public Library’s One Book, One Chicago, Ravinia’s One Score, One Chicago engages the entire community in a single musical masterpiece. In honor of Verdi’s 200th birthday, the 2013 selection is one of the most popular operas of all time, Aida. Ravinia will present a concert version of this opera on Saturday, Aug. 3, performed by the CSO led by Conlon and featuring the Chicago Symphony Chorus. To help engage the Chicago area community in this annual focus on a single masterwork, a resource guide to the piece will be made available at Arias from the opera will also be brought into schools through Ravinia’s REACH*TEACH*PLAY education programs.

The Lord of the Rings—The Two Towers

After the highly successful 2011 film and score sold-out presentations of The Lord of the Rings—The Fellowship of the Ring with live orchestral accompaniment, the festival by popular demand will present two performances of the second feature film from the box office smash trilogy, The Lord of the Rings—The Two Towers on Thursday, Aug. 15, and Friday, Aug. 16.The CSO will perform the Grammy®-winning Howard Shore score live as the complete film is projected on a giant temporary screen on the north lawn and the two permanent video screens that flank the pavilion stage. The orchestra will be led by Ludwig Wicki.

All-Beethoven Evenings Conductor Christoph von Dohnányi returns to the festival leading the CSO on Thursday, July 11, and Friday, July 12, joined by pianist Emanuel Ax. Beethoven compositions will be featured over two nights including the Third and Fourth Symphonies and Piano Concertos No. 3 and 5 “Emperor.”

Mahler’s Symphony No. 7

In celebration of the major Mahler anniversaries that have transpired over his tenure as Ravinia’s music director, Conlon has explored Mahler’s symphonies over a number of summers. On Thursday, July 25, he conducts the composer’s Seventh Symphony performed by what is widely regarded as the greatest Mahler orchestra in the world, the CSO.

Samuel Rhodes Farewell

Performance/Juilliard String Quartet The Juilliard String Quartet has remained at the forefront of string ensembles since its inception some 66 years ago. In 2011 the quartet acquired a new first violinist when they were joined by Joseph Lin, an alumnus of Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute (RSMI). This summer Ravinia audiences will be privileged not only to hear violist Samuel Rhodes’s farewell performance with the group (he has served as Juilliard’s violist since 1969), but will also have their first encounter with his successor, violist Roger Tapping, on Wednesday, July 10. This Martin Theatre performance will feature Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 135, Mozart’s Viola Quintet, K. 593 and violist Rhodes’s original Viola Quintet.

The Lincoln Trio Classical Request Night

The three brilliant and beautiful musicians who make up the Lincoln Trio, take on a new challenge with a unique “request” program on Thursday, Aug. 15, in Bennett Gordon Hall. Some 25 or so works from the piano trio repertoire will be listed online at, and for the second half of the this evening, audience members will be able to request which selections they want to hear. The Lincoln Trio was formed in 2003 by Desirée Ruhstrat, David Cunliffe and Marta Aznavoorian, and their name, given to them by former president of the Music Institute of Chicago Frank Little, is a nod to being based in the Land of Lincoln The Lincoln Trio. In addition to performing traditional music, they are also known for performing compositions written exclusively for them.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir

For the first time since their sell-out Ravinia debut in 2007, the 360-voice Mormon Tabernacle Choir returns on Saturday, June 15, for an evening of choral music joined by the Orchestra at Temple Square. The choir boasts a repertoire from sacred to secular, popular to classical, ethnic and folk music. The choir has appeared at 13 world’s fairs, performed at the inaugurations of five U.S. presidents and sung for numerous telecasts and special events. The ensemble’s recordings have earned them five gold records and two platinum albums.

Tickets and Info

Tickets to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert are available now at Ravinia’s Classical Grass Pass, a 10-punch lawn pass, is available now for only $70 through Dec. 31, making the cost of each lawn admission to classical concerts only $7. Tickets for all Ravinia events will go on sale to the public in April. Ravinia Festival is located at Lake Cook and Green Bay roads in Highland Park, IL. For more information visit Ravinia welcomes all festival fans to follow, connect and interact online at, and Ravinia Festival is a not-for-profit organization.




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