Ravinia Cancels 2020 Season

By Keegan Morris |

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Marin Alsop leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Joshua Bell at Ravinia

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ravinia has canceled its 2020 season, a festival-issued statement announced this morning.

The summer season was to feature more than 120 events, including concerts featuring the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which takes its summer residency at the venerable, Chicago-area music festival.

In the statement, Ravinia Festival President and CEO Welz Kaufman says that after “lengthy and thorough discourse,” the conclusion had been made that “it [was] impossible to move ahead with the season.” Even with the canceled season, Kaufman is still set to step down this year, as was announced in November.

The season was also set to be the first to feature Marin Alsop in her new position: chief conductor and curator. Her appointment was announced in February.

Audiences will still have the opportunity to hear music from Marin Alsop and the Ravinia Festival, however — on Friday, May 15, PBS’s Great Performances series will be premiering a TV broadcast of the festival’s Alsop-conducted 2019 production of Bernstein’s Mass. WFMT’s sister station WTTW will air the performance twice: on May 15 and May 17.

The release states that ticketholders can receive refunds, vouchers for future performances, or convert their purchases into tax-deductible donations to the festival.