Ravinia Festival Shares Schedule for Summer ’17

By Andi Lamoreaux |

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Ravinia Festival president and CEO Welz Kauffman has announced the lineup for this summer’s festival, anchored by the eighty-second annual residency of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The festival and the CSO have extended their summer-residency contract through 2026.

James Levine returns to conduct the orchestra and the CSO Chorus in Haydn’s oratorio, The Creation. Also returning is guest conductor Susanna Mälkki, plus Christoph Eschenbach with pianist Lang Lang. Pianist Yuja Wang will make her Ravinia debut, joining a roster of other distinguished soloists including Joshua Bell, Yefim Bronfman, Nikolai Lugansky, Simon Trpčeski, and Pinchas Zukerman.

Guest conductor Kent Nagano will lead a tribute to composer John Adams for his seventieth birthday. Tributes will also be presented for Henry Mancini, with flutist Sir James Galway, and for lyricist Ira Gershwin, with soprano Sylvia McNair and pianist Kevin Cole.

Ravinia will present the Midwest premiere of La La Land: Live with Orchestra, and the Chicago Symphony will play all three Lord of the Rings scores as the films are shown over three consecutive evenings.

And this summer’s daylong Fiesta Ravinia will celebrate music from Mexico with Los Tigres del Norte and Natalia Jimenez.

Other guest artists this summer will include Gustavo Dudamel and the National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela; the mezzo-soprano Susan Graham appearing with the Knights; and the early-music group Apollo’s Fire. The Pacifica Quartet will present a Beethoven cycle, and pianist Jonathan Biss continues his Beethoven sonatas cycle.

Some traditional Ravinia favorites are making return appearances, including Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson, and The Moody Blues. Also appearing will be Leslie Odom Jr from the musical Hamilton.

The Steans Institute for Young Artists will continue its presentation of student performances and faculty recitals.

To find the complete festival lineup, visit Ravinia’s website.