Ravinia Festival tickets and update

The Pavilion stage at Ravinia Festival. (Photo courtesy of Ravinia Festival)
The Pavilion stage at Ravinia Festival. (Photo courtesy of Ravinia Festival)

Don’t let April and early May’s bad weather stop you from thinking about enjoying music at Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, IL this summer.

Ravinia concert tickets went on sale to the public online May 4 at 8 a.m. at Ravinia .org   The site has the summer schedule May 20 through Sept. 18, 2022 and ticket info. (Donors already had early access to concert tickets.)

To learn what ticket buyers need to know go to Are you prepared? It includes getting a Ravinia account (needed for tickets), a warning against secondary sellers and suggestions about where to sit. Seating on the lawn directly behind the Pavilion now has reserved spaces.

Along with the Pavilion and indoor theaters, Ravinia will hold a series on the Carousel stage that was new last year on the North Lawn. Seating there is general admission and casual.

The Ravinia Carousel concert series includes many local artists including: Ravinia Festival’s Reach Teach Play Jazz Mentors & Scholars, June 19, Chicago band Summer Drive, June 23, Son Little, June 25, Chicago band Rookie, July 8, Chicago-based Licensed to Sail DJs present Club MTV, August 26, Chicago-based band Tobacco City, September 2, Chicago singer KAINA, September 11 and Flor de Toloache, September 18.

In addition, some opening acts for the Pavilion headliners will appear on the Carousel stage. They include: Southern Avenue opening for Sheryl Crow with special guest Keb’ Mo’, July 7, Mac Saturn opening for The Black Crowes, July 12, Lindsey Ellopening for Little Big Town, July 20, SiriusXM Globalization DJs opening for Pitbull with special guest Iggy Azalea, August 25, Naturally 7opening for Diana Ross, September 4 and Ravyn Lenae opening for Erykah Badu, September 11.

Also, look and listen for performances at the Kohl Kaplan Fountain including a jazz quartet June 2 and 7, a jazz combo June 8, Nanny Nikki June 18, the saxophone quartet Nois Aug. 21 and the Mariachi son de Fuego Sept. 18.

In addition, the Chicago-based Adrian Dunn Singersspiritual and gospel choir joins the concert by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Marcus Roberts Trio on July 16, and Chicago-based vocalistsDevin DeSantis, Susan Moniz, and Bethany Thomas join Brian Stokes Mitchell, Heather Headley, and Alexandra Billings for Yours, Stephen Sondheim: His Letters, Mentorship, and Music with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on August 7.

Canceled:  June 25 performance by Why Don’t We with special guests The Aces and JVKE.

While in the park, visit the Ravinia Music Box. Free to park guests, it has a 65-seat, wraparound holographic theater and a museum gallery space. Figure half an hour if viewing before a concert.

For information about getting to Ravinia, dining there and more about the park and its venues visit Ravinia Festival/About the 2022 Season.

Enjoy Ravinia Festival

Jodie Jacobs

 

Ravinia Festival lineup and tickets announced

 

Ravinia Festival's main entrance is seen from the train stop and West Parking lot. (J Jacobs photo)
Ravinia Festival’s main entrance is seen from the train stop and West Parking Lot. (J Jacobs photo)

 

Ravinia Festival, the famed Highland Park summer concert-in-the-park venue, announced its sterling line-up for the 2022 season March 24.

Check it out now because even though tickets go on sale to the public May 4, donors get to reserve their tickets March 30. Visit Ravinia Festival/Official Site.

The Festival opens May 20 and21 with the Ruth Page Civic Ballet and ends Sept. 17 with Pianist Einav Yarde and Queen with Derrick Carter, Michael Serafini and Garrett David and Sept 18 with Fiesta Ravinia: Kumbia Kings and Dos Santos.

In between are more than 100 concerts ranging from classic, pop  and folk to hip hop, rock and jazz. See Ravinia/Online Schedule/Calendar.

 

Ravinia Festival goers spread out near the Pavilion for a summer musical evening. (J Jacobs photo)
Ravinia Festival goers spread out near the Pavilion for a summer musical evening. (J Jacobs photo)

 

Still the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Chief Conductor Marin Alsop, the schedule has 17 CSO concerts including the First Annual “Breaking Barriers Festival.” Curated by Alsop, it celebrates women conductors.

Some of the highlights: Sting, Emmylou Harris, Béla Fleck, Common, Jackson Browne, Gipsy Kings, Sheryl Crow, John Fogerty, Stevie Nicks and Esperanza Spalding.

About 50 artists will make their Ravinia debut including Pitbull, Erykah Badu, Grace Potter, Dispatch, The Black Crowes and Ziggy Marley.

Performer venue

Performances will mainly be on the main-stage Pavilion,  the indoor Martin Theatre and Bennett Gordon Hall. Plus, after its successful inaugural year in  2021, the outdoor Carousel stage will have casual concerts and  opening acts on the North Lawn that will be announced.

 

Ravinia Festival goers spread out near the Pavilion for a summer musical evening. (J Jacobs photo)
Most Ravinia Festival restaurants and the Market include a patio.(Photo courtesy of Ravinia Festival)

Dining

Bring a picnic basket or take advantage of the Ravinia Market and its mobile carts. Or dine (reservations strongly suggested) at Ravinia’s Park View, Tree Top and Lawn Bar in the Dining Pavilion.

Special Feature

The Ravinia Music Box. Free to park patrons, it features an immersive 4D  experience called Bernstei ‘s Answer. That celebrates Leonard Bernstein’s legacy.

Best is to take advantage of bus shuttles where you park at the Highland Park Metra train station or take the train directly to the Ravinia train stop. Union Pacific North line ill honor Ravinia tickets in lieu of train fares on date and time of concert.

Masks needed on trains and buses if the mask mandate is extended beyond April 18, 2022.

The main West Parking Lot is on Green Bay Road north of Lake Cook Road at 201 Ravinia Park Road, Highland Park, IL

Jodie Jacobs

Upcoming concerts

 

Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park (J Jacobs photo)
Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park (J Jacobs photo)

 

Chicago’s famed Gospel , Blues and Jazz festivals won’t  happen until this fall (hey, it takes time to bring back their featured performers). To see who what and when visit Chicago festivals reimagined.

But the Chicago area will still be swinging, rocking and keyboarding the classics outdoors, this summer.

Check out Aurora for rock, the Grant Park Music Festival for classics and a 4th of July salute, the Windy City Smokeout bands and Ravinia Festival for all of that from rock to pop and classics.

Aurora

Just west of Chicago, Aurora  has a terrific rock concert line up this summer. There are a few tickets left for REO Speedwagon, July 1, 8 p.m. at the River Ridge Park. Then,  on July 16 there is Tribute to Fleetwood Mac. For tickets and more concert schedule info visit Aurora Pop/Rock.

Windy City Smokeout

The popular eat, drink and good band festival takes over Parking Lot C at the United Center, 1901 W. Madison St., Chicago, July 8-11, 2021. Headliners include Dierks Bentley, Jon Pardi, Brett Eldredge and Darius Rucker. For more info visit Windy City Smokeout.

Grant Park Music Festival

Held in Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion, the longtime Chicago summer concert series starts  July 2-3 with a mix of crowd pleasers from John Williams’ Summon the Heroes, Scott Joplin’s Overture to Treemonisha and a Robert Lowden arrangement of the Armed Forces Salute to pieces from Leonard Bernstein’s  West Side Story,  Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and John Philip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever. The Festival continues with such classics as Rossini’s Overture to Willian Tell on July 7 and Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 on July 9-10. For complete schedule and other information visit Grant Park Music Festival

Ravinia Festival

Located at the south east end of Highland Park, the historic music festival brings in world renown artists in classic, folk, pop and jazz genres, plus it is the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  The July schedule features  pianist Jorge Frederico Osorio playing Mozart on July 9 with Marin Alsop conducting the CSO, jazz/pop singer Kurt Elling  July 13 and Rock band Counting Crows, Aug. 19. For tickets, complete schedule and other information visit Ravinia.org.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Ravinia Festival plus CSO and Grant Park Festival welcome summer

 

Main gate at Ravinia Festival in Highland Park. (J Jacobs photo)
Main gate at Ravinia Festival in Highland Park. (J Jacobs photo)

Music will again be heard in the Pritzker Pavilion, across the road at Orchestra Hall and north of the city at Ravinia in Highland Park. The openings this summer come as Chicago and Illinois allow more public gatherings because of the reduction in COVID cases and increase in vaccinations.

What will be different is ticketing and number of people allowed so check their websites.

Ravinia Festival

Opening night is 8 p.m., July 9, 2021.with conductor Marin Alsop, pianist Jorge Frederico Osorio and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the Pavilion. The program is composer Joan Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 1, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 and Beethoven’s Symphony No 7. .Tickets are $35-$145 Pavilion and $15 on the Lawn.

What you need to know

The season contains 64 concerts from June through September with the earliest programs free streaming live with no park admittance and a free July 3 “thank-you” concert to invitees. Then the schedule continues with a diverse program.

Tickets are divided into two parts with the first half from July to Aug. 15 going on sale to the public beginning June 15 at Ravinia.org. Donors can buy tickets beginning May 13 depending on level of contribution. The second half concerts are on sale July 21. Check Ravinia Festival Calendar and Tickets for more information.  For Donor ticket times visit Ravinia/DonationLevels. Scroll down to donor timelines.

Ravinia Festival is just north of Lake cook Road  betgween Green Bay Road and sheridan Road in Highland Park. Attendees are encourage to take the Metra which stops at the Ravinia’s main gate.

Jazz Grandstand Friday, June 11, 6:00 p.m. - Livestream from Bennett Gordon Hall Ravinia Steans Music Institute RSMI Program for Jazz Free livestream on YouTube.com/RaviniaFestival - No in-park admission. (Photo courtesy of Ravinia Festival)
Jazz Grandstand Friday, June 11, 6:00 p.m. – Livestream from Bennett Gordon Hall
Ravinia Steans Music Institute RSMI Program for Jazz
Free livestream on YouTube.com/RaviniaFestival – No in-park admission. (Photo courtesy of Ravinia Festival)

 

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association is welcoming audiences back to Orchestra Hall with the opening concert on May 27, 2021 with a special tribute to healthcare workers from Rush University System for Health.

According to a CSOA statement, three distinct programs created with artistic guidance by Music Director Riccardo Muti, will be presented May 27 through June 13. Featuring music for brass and percussion, string ensembles and orchestra, they will be led  respectively by conductors Michael Mulcahy, Erina Yashima and Edo de Waart on consecutive weekends. Performances are Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 1:30 p.m., Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3:00 p.m.

What you need to know

Ticket availability is limited due to current restrictions on audience capacities for performance venues. Tickets for the CSO’s May and June concerts go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. CDT on May 11, 2021, and will be available at cso.org or by calling 312-294-3000. For protocol and more ticketing information visit CSO.org/SafeandSound.

The concerts are in Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.

 

Grant Park Festival will be at the P:ritzker Pavilion. (J Jacobs photo)
Grant Park Festival will be at the P:ritzker Pavilion. (J Jacobs photo)

Grant Park Music Festival

The music festival opens Fourth of July weekend in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion with Independence Day Salute programs beginning July 2 at 6:30 p.m.  The opening concert features the Grant Park Orchestra and conductors Carlos Kalmar and Christopher Bell.

The program includes

John WilliamsSummon the Heroes Scott JoplinOverture to Treemonisha
Arr. Robert Lowden: Armed Forces Salute Florence Price:Dances in the Canebrakes Leonard Bernstein: Selections from West Side Story, George WalkerLyric for Strings, Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky1812 Overture 
John Philip SousaStars and Stripes Forever. For whole program and season visit 2021 Season :: Grant Park Music Festival.  For more information visit Grant Park Festival.

What you need to know

Seats are free but due to crowd restrictions, reservations are required for the  Seating Bowl and on the Great Lawn.  Reservations may be made online or by phone. Passes will be touch-free and issued with a barcode to be printed at home or displayed on smartphone. Health & Safety protocols—masks are mandatory—in order to gain entry to the Pavilion.

For the Independence Day Salute  only, reservations will become available on Wednesday, June 30. For other concerts reservations will become available at 10 a.m. on the Monday before the concert. Reserve online using the link provided with each concert listing. Also visit Grant Park Music Festival | Classical Concerts in Millennium Park

The Jay Pritzker Pavilion is in Millennium Park south of Randolph Street and east of Michigan Avenue.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Ravinia Festival to open in July

Music lovers also sit outside the Pavilion to enjoy Ravinia. ( J Jacobs photo)
Music lovers also sit outside the Pavilion to enjoy Ravinia. ( J Jacobs photo)

Ravinia, the country’s oldest outdoor music festival, announced today it will be back operating a summer season outside beginning sometime in July.

First opened in 1904, Ravinia Festival had to close its gates last year to protect guests, staff and musicians from the COVID virus. But with the lowering of cases and easing of restrictions it will be doing what it does best, presenting a wide range of good music.in its 36-acre park in Highland Park, IL. Just expect to follow recommended protocols that will be announced along with ticket and program information.

“All of our performances will take place outside in our open air Pavilion with reserved-in-advance, distanced seating offered in the Pavilion, on the Lawn, and al fresco at our dining spaces,” said a Ravinia statement released March 16, 2021.

“We are delighted that the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will return in July to its summer home here at Ravinia for its annual six-week summer residency. Our anticipation is doubled with Marin Alsop set to lead seven concerts with the orchestra in her first season as our Chief conductor and curator,” the statement said.

Ravinia’s lineup will b e announced in late April.

For more information visit Ravinia Festival and LiveMusicReturns.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Ravinia tribute to Leon Fleisher

 

Ravinia Festival (Jodie Jacobs photo)
Ravinia Festival (Jodie Jacobs photo)

To keep the music going Ravinia Festival has been broadcasting excellent concerts on Friday nights. However, the one coming up is particularly special given that the artist, pianist Leon Fleisher, won’t be heard live again. Fleisher died at age 92 on Aug. 2, 2020.

In a tribute to Fleisher, Ravinia Festival will do a broadcast of a past concert, Sept. 21, 8 p.m.  CT on WFMT.

The program will bring back the “Leon Fleisher and Friends” program that celebrated his 90th birthda, performed and recorded July 23, 2018 in Ravinia’s Martin Theatre.

“Leon Fleisher was a great artist. His integrity and commitment to truth, his unerring sense of proportion, his larger-than-life persona, the sheer beauty of his sound, and the power of conviction in his playing were unparalleled and mesmerizing,” said Miriam Fried, director of the Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute (RSMI) Program for Piano & Strings. Fleisher had been a program faculty member for 24 summers.

The birthday concert features Fleisher’s playing “Sheep May Safely Graze” from Bach’s “Birthday” Cantata No. 208 and Kirchner’s “For the Left Handwritten for Fleisher in 1995.

It also includes his wife, pianist Katherine Jacobson Fleisher, joining him in the four-hands piece of Schubert’s Fantasy D. 940 and Ravel’s La Valse.

In addition, the Argus Quartet and bassist Kit Polen perform alongside Fleisher in an arrangement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 12, K. 385p. The Argus Quartet was in residence at RSMI in 2017 and had won the M-Prize and Victor Elmaleh competitions later that  year.

WFMT can be found at 98.7 FM and online at wfmt.com/listen,

 

CSO and Ravinia send music to you

 

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra. (A CSO photo)
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra. (A CSO photo)

 

It doesn’t matter that some of the memorable concerts conducted by Pierre Boulez or Sir Georg Solti were during the 1990s. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association has pulled some of their programs from the Rosenthal Archives so that music aficionados still have great music to enjoy while Orchestra Hall is dark.

Calling the initiative “Gems From the Vault,” the online program lists historic broadcasts available with a click on a free subscribe link.

Among the offerings is Boulez conducting a 1999 concert that starts with Stravinsky’s The Song of the Nightingale followed by CSO principal harpist Sarah Bullen with Debussy’s Sacred and Profane Dances then concluding with Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique.

Another CSO initiative brings its musicians and guests from their homes to yours.

For more information and program listings visit CSO/gemsfromthevault and also check out CSO/fromhome.

 

Ravinia Festival. (J Jacobs photo)
Ravinia Festival. (J Jacobs photo)

Ravinia Festival has joined the growing list of arts organizations presenting special programs while their in-person venues are shuttered. Dubbed RaviniaTV, the program is a 20-minute weekly variety show that can be found on YouTube and Facebook. Fridays at 7 p.m. CDT.

The series starts with Ramsey Lewis performing from home on July 3 and with Chicago performances recorded last year.

Future episodes will include CSO concertmaster Robert Chen, pianist Kevin cole, vocalist Sylvia McNair, and other performers.

“It broke our hearts when the Covid pandemic forced Ravinia to cancel a season for the first time since the Great Depression, so the whole team got together to create ways to stay connected to the Ravinia Family, our artists, and audiences in what would otherwise be our silent summer,” said Ravinia President and CEO Welz Kauffman.

“So many of the longtime legends, as well as nascent stars, associated with Ravinia shared the same sense of urgency to keep the music playing as we all struggle with the hardships of this strange new reality. The solution was a show that not only shares music but offers a casual, conversational feeling like you would have on the Lawn at Ravinia,” Kauffman said.

The series, the brain child of Ravinia Communications Director Nick Pullia, is a mix of new, past, home and in-house (on Ravinia’s stage) concerts.

Episodes also have interviews with such guests as Ravinia Chief Conductor and Curator Marin Alsop and such topics as how civil unrest and the pandemic and its economic fallout might affect the art produced in this era, or how to help your kids keep sane while social distancing.

For more information visit YouTube/Ravinia festival.

Jodie Jacobs

Picnic at Ravinia during virtual special concert

Picnic at Ravinia Festival (Jodie Jacobs photo)
Picnic at Ravinia Festival (Jodie Jacobs photo)

 

So much has moved to virtual experiences that it is arguably easy to miss another fundraising concert. However, Ravinia fans who miss their picnic on the lawn this summer have a chance to create a unique, virtual experience, this Saturday.

Ravinia is holding “Living Room Lawn Party” at 8 p.m. CDT on June 27, 2020 that features Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress/singer Kristin Chenoweth as the emcee.

A pre-show slideshow starts at 7:45 followed by performances from Chenoweth, soprano Patricia Racette, pianist Kevin Cole and Jazz artist Ramsey Lewis with Ravinia Jazz scholars, plus other entertainers.

Sponsored by Allstate, BMO, The Dancing Skies Foundation, and the Ravinia Women’s Board, Living Room Lawn Party will benefit the non-for-profit festival and its mission, especially its efforts to bring music back into schools through its Reach Teach Play education programs serving more than 85,000 community members across Lake and Cook Counties. Even though those programs are virtual now, Ravinia is ensuring music education remains accessible and alive (and fun) for all students, according to a Ravinia Festival statement.

“Music is a vital part of our students’ lives, and although they are not meeting with teachers and peers in person right now, it has not stopped us from providing the support and guidance to continue to musically enrich them,” said Ravinia Festival President and CEO Welz Kauffman.

“From moving our in-person programs to a virtual setting, to providing easy access to sessions and lessons on YouTube to our students, parents and educators and to mobilizing the entire Ravinia Family to assemble and deliver musical care packages, we continue to keep music alive for all,” said Kauffman. Listeners tune in to the Living Room Lawn Party at Ravinia.org/LawnParty.

 

Ravinia becomes the latest summer festival to cancel

 

The annual Tchaikovsky Spectacular fills the lawn at Ravinia Festival. (J Jacobs photo)
The annual Tchaikovsky Spectacular fills the lawn at Ravinia Festival. (J Jacobs photo)

If you have been to Ravinia Festival, the Highland Park summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and a popular outdoor venue of pop, jazz, folk and classical music entertainers, you likely remember lawn picnics under the stars or sitting in the Pavilion to catch a favorite recording artist.

But today, May 1, 2020, Ravinia President and CEO Welz Kaufman announced that the 2020 season has been canceled to protect the health and safety of its audiences, artists, staff and neighbors.

“Out lengthy and thorough discourse on this topic has brought us to the conclusion that it is impossible to move ahead with the season, “ said Kauffman referring to discussions with the Ravinia Board of Trustees and volunteers.

He also noted that Ravinia had been working with guest artists since February on how to proceed including rebooking performers in future seasons.

On the docket for this year were more than 120 programs from June 12 through Sept. 16 plus the Steans Music Institute, which will also be closed.

Ravinia, the oldest operating festival since 1904 had only canceled seasons from 1932 to 1935 due to the Great Depression.

Ticket holder options include refunds, vouchers for future programs and changing them to what would be much appreciated tax-donations.

The concert recording of Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass,” announced earlier this year, is still scheduled for its PBS broadcast May 15.  Kauffman added that Ravinia is also developing other virtual experiences, such as classes and lectures geared to students of all ages.

“The lives of these young students have been thrown in total disarray, so it is important that Ravinia helps where it can to provide the structure of these virtual classrooms. Our programs give young people a means of expression and connection with each other and their own quarantined families. We teach them that music is their superpower, and what better time than now to have a superpower?” Kauffman said.

He was joined in the announcement by Ravinia Board Chairman Don Civgin who said, “The crisis created by the Covid pandemic has impacted so much of our lives in dramatic ways. Ravinia will do its part in helping the nation recover.”

Civgin added,“We will celebrate that recovery with music under the stars next summer.”

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

 

 

Ravinia Festival highlights and ticket options

Ravinia Festival. (J Jacobs photo)
Ravinia Festival. (J Jacobs photo)

If looking for something to distract from COVID-19 closings take a look at what Ravinia Festival, the famed  primarily outdoor music venue has on its l2020 Calendar.

Even a brief scan shows that pop stars such as Sheryl Crow and Carrie Underwood, folk icons Arlo Guthrie and Judy Collins, hip hop band The Roots, rock ‘n roll musician John Fogerty, pop-rock band Train, and classicalists pianist Jorge Federico Osorio and violinist Midori are on the schedule.

Plus, Ravinia’s newly appointed conductor and curator Marin Alsop will be conducting the CSO in an all Rachmaninoff evening with Lukass Vondracek playing the Rach 3, Itzhak Perlman will play the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto and the next day conduct the CSO for Ravinia’s annual Tchaikovsky spectacular.

Ravinia canceled events before June 1 due to the coronavirus but has said nothing so far, about the regular programing after June 1. Instead, its statement read: “Ticket sales to Ravinia’s summer lineup will occur as planned, with donors having access as early as March 17.”

April 28 is the date when the public can get tickets for the June and July concerts. August and September concerts go on sale April 29.

Tip: Ravinia goers sometimes become donors because the hottest tickets go quickly, Click Ravinia/Fund for the donor fee structure and what each level offers.

The Ravinia Festival is at the south end of North Suburban Highland Park between Sheriday and Green Bay Rds, just north of Lake Cook Road. For more Ravinia information visit Ravinia.

Jodie Jacobs