Ravinia Festival Post Summer Season: BGH Classics bring music to Ravinia year round

Ravinia Festival Post Summer Season: BGH Classics bring music to Ravinia year round

Economically priced 14-concert series boasts two artist debuts, 29 festival premiere performances, and a tribute to Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday

Just as the  Ravinia festival’s summer season is winding down, CEO Welz Kauffman has just announced an extensive lineup of post-summer BGH Classics concerts that will take place October 5 through May 9 in the 450-seat Bennett Gordon Hall (BGH) on the Ravinia Festival grounds.

The 14-concert series will include two artist debuts and 29 festival premieres. It mirrors the celebrated festival season by presenting a mix of talented artists across several genres, including classical and jazz, a tribute to Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday, and even what promises to be an amazing performance by a singer and tap dancer who lost a leg to bone cancer.

“At Ravinia, we always have something for everyone to enjoy, and this year’s BGH Classics concerts showcase that entirely. Our lineup will bring familiar rich tones of music and performance to all concertgoers. Concertgoers will see that every single performer is bringing something unique to Ravinia, and what better way to grasp that than to see them up close and personal beginning this fall,” Kauffman said.

Here’s the Line-up:

David Greilsammer, Oct. 5: “Accomplished and adventurous,” David Greilsammer wowed the New York Times with his “riveting” program “Labyrinth,” exploring the inventiveness of music from the Baroque to the present with the folkloric guide Janáček, whose Overgrown Path leads to hidden vistas of C.P.E. Bach and Mozart.

Simply Three, Oct. 12: The electrifying string trio Simply Three brings an ear for crossover creativity that’s as if George Gershwin were nurtured on the music of Adele, Coldplay, and Ed Sheeran, earning attention not only from Rolling Stone but also the artists they’ve covered, including Janelle Monáe and OneRepublic.

Robert Chen, Oct. 26: Just two months after taking his last bow of the summer with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia, Robert Chen, the ensemble’s illustrious concertmaster for nearly 20 years, returns with pianist Matthew Hagle for his third solo concert in what he told theChicago Tribune is “a beautiful-sounding space.”

European Guitar Quartet, Nov. 2: Ravinia’s favorite six-stringers return with their “easy and palpable chemistry” (Classical Guitar) on a new US tour entitled “Turn the World Around,” featuring that Belafonte standard alongside choice favorites from the rock and reggae idioms as well as a Kurt Weill suite and bouncy Piazzola tangos.

Stella Chen, Nov. 16: The reigning Queen Elisabeth Competition winner, Stella Chen and pianist Jinhee Park bring Schubert’s fiendish final Fantasy and the filmic, freewheeling view of Carmenby Franz Waxman alongside Stravinsky’s Suite italienne and music from the sonata that best buds Brahms and Schumann wrote together for a gift.

Chicago Chorale, Dec. 14: Chicago Chorale lifts up a holiday concert of classic hymns, from a Renaissance O magnum mysterium to Bruckner’s Ave Maria, as well as the Gloria from Rachmaninoff’s “Vespers,” plus John Rutter’s I Wonder as I Wander, Eric Whitacre’s Lux Aurumque, and more settings from today’s choral masters.

RSMI Singers, Jan. 25: Before embarking on a concert tour with a quartet of alumni from Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute Program for Singers, pianist and program director Kevin Murphy brings the foursome to their home stage for a score of American classic songs.

WindSync, Feb. 15: WindSync salutes birthday-boy Beethoven with his youthful quintet in this three-peat at Ravinia also featuring a spotlight Puerto Rican music, including short pieces by Luis Rodríguez Miranda and Louis Moreau Gottschalk, as well as their own transcriptions and works written for the wind quintet.

Reimagining Sondheim, March 14: In honor of Stephen Sondheim’s 90th, Anthony de Mare is adding new piano twists on songs by that greatest living American musical theater composer to his celebrated “Liaisons” project and is previewing these reimagined hits from Into the Woods,Sweeney Todd, and more at Ravinia.

Quinn Kelsey, March 28: A longtime favorite at the Lyric and a global star as Verdi’s Rigoletto,Quinn Kelsey makes his first return to Ravinia in over a decade to give his adoptive hometown crowd a closer listen to the “warm, resonant” (Associated Press) baritone that “projects absolute determination” (Wall Street Journal).

RSMI Piano and Strings, April 11: Five alumni from the vaunted RSMI Program for Piano and Strings join violinist and program director Miriam Fried for a showcase of Beethoven, from the immediate masterfulness of his first piano trio to one of his visionary “late string quartets,” and a storied quartet from Bartók.

Daniela Liebman, April 25: Since making her Ravinia debut in 2017, Daniela Liebman has been renamed one of the most influential women in Mexico by Forbes and made her recording debut on Warner Classics. Now she returns with Chopin’s complete Ballades, Debussy’s firstImages, and sonatas by Prokofiev and Beethoven.

Evan Ruggiero, May 2: A New Jersey Tap Ensemble member in his teens, Evan Ruggiero has not only tapped back into dance after losing a leg to bone cancer, he has added voice to his award-winning theater career. With his S’Evan Legs combo, he brings an evening of stage and pop/rock favorites as well as original songs and dance.

Einav Yarden, May 9: A longtime collaborating pianist at RSMI, Einav Yarden returns to Ravinia for her first solo concert to show why France’s Diapason says “atmospheres are born in a blinding clarity as much as the articulation, the weight, the balances, and the answers from [her] hands become spellbinding.”


Reserved-seat tickets are $12 each, but concerts are only $9 each when purchased as a 10-punch pass for $90. Ticket-and-dining packages at the Freehling Room restaurant (in the same building as Bennett Gordon Hall) are $50 each. Catered pre-concert events can be arranged by emailing groups@ravinia.org. Tickets go on sale today Monday, Aug. 26, only at Ravinia.org.

Subscribe to Show Me Chicago by email

If you would like to keep in touch with what’s happening in Chicago, like us on Facebook or subscribe to Show Me Chicago by email. To subscribe, type your email address in the box below and click the “create subscription” button. Our list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

Filed under: Ravina Festival

Leave a comment

  • Advertisement:
  • Advertisement:
  • ChicagoNow is full of win

    Welcome to ChicagoNow.

    Meet our bloggers,
    post comments, or
    pitch your blog idea.

  • Meet The Blogger

    Carole Kuhrt Brewer

    Arts, entertainment and dining journalist..

  • Follow me on Twitter.

  • Recent posts

  • Categories

  • Latest on ChicagoNow

  • Advertisement: