Ravinia Festival, North America’s oldest music festival, just announced its line-up for their 2016 season that features more than 140 events—up from 120 for 2015. The summer season kicks off June 2 and runs through September 11.
This year’s concerts run the gamut from Yo-Yo Ma to Train to the 80th anniversary summer residency of The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO).
The 15-week season is nearly 65 percent classical, featuring 74 artist debuts—including legends Paul Simon and Diana Ross—and 50 classical works never before performed at the festival.
Tickets go on sale March 9 to Ravinia donors at the Affiliate level and above; and on March 16 to the Friend level. Bravo and Encore-level donors can begin requesting lawn tickets on April 18. Ticket sales to the general public began online at 5 a.m., April 26.
Highlights of the season–and there are many–include:
- 74 Ravinia debuts including: Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons (June 12), Paul Simon (June 18), and Diana Ross (July 27).
- Bob Dylan (June 24) returns for the first time since 1964, when he was billed as “Robert Dylan.”
- Tribute concerts for David Bowie (Bowie—The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust (Sept. 9); Oscar Brown Jr., Nat “King” Cole, Jerry Garcia (Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration (June 26), and Stephen Sondheim.
- James Levine will celebrate the 45th anniversary of his Ravinia debut when he returns to the festival for the first time since completing his music directorship in 1993 on July 23.
- All aboard for non-classical artists including Train and Andy Grammer (Aug. 26/27); Seal (Aug. 28); Bonnie Raitt (Sept. 3); Los Tigres del Norte (Sept. 5); Tony Bennett (Aug. 15); Patti LaBelle (June 23); O.A.R. (Sept. 4); Don Henley (Aug. 14/15); Indigo Girls (July 1); Steve Miller Band (July 2); Chick Corea, with his trio and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and Lisa Fischer (July 4); Phillip Phillips and Matt Nathanson (July 10); Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Sweet Honey in the Rock (July 11); Lyle Lovett & his Large Band and Emmylou Harris (July 18); and War and Los Lonely Boys (Aug. 11).
- Classical artists include Jean-Yves Thibaudet; Matthias Goerne; Gil Shaham; Joshua Bell and Chris Botti; Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma; Itzhak Perlman; Alisa Weilerstein; Lynn Harrell; Daniil Trifonov; Jeffrey Kahane; Zukerman Trio; Danielle de Niese; Midori; Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra; the Juilliard, Emerson, and Takács String Quartets; and RSMI alumni in the Chiara, Avalon, and Ariel String Quartets.
- Ravinia’s popular film nights return for 2016 with four films and five film nights featuring video screens in the Pavilion and on the lawn with orchestras performing the scores live for the following complete films: Titanic (July 29/30); The Planets: An HD Odyssey (July 13); The Wizard of Oz (September 10) and Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II (September 11).
The 36-acre park, nestled in a gently wooded area, offers an exceptional atmosphere to listen to music and enjoy a bite. Guests can bring their own picnics or eat at one of the park restaurants. Children up to age 15, high school and college students are admitted free to the lawn for classical performances.
Ravinia is located at Lake Cook and Green Bay Roads in Highland Park, about 20 minutes north of Chicago. The Metra Union Pacific North line stops right at Ravinia’s main entrance.
On-site parking is limited, but shuttle service is available from remote lots, mostly along the railroad line. Parking on residential streets is prohibited by City ordinance, and violators will be ticketed by local police.
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