Ravinia Festival announces 2020 season schedule

Ravinia Festival announces 2020 season schedule

At this point, Ravinia Festival is going full steam ahead with their summer season, hoping that by opening day, May 30, the COVID-19 pandemic will be in the rear view mirror.

In that regard the Festival released the following statement:

It’s difficult to anticipate what impact the disease may have on our 2020 season, which is still three months away. Ravinia is committed to appropriately addressing this quickly evolving situation….focused on the safety of our audiences, guest artists and the general public.

Ravinia Festival 2020 Season

An Overview

Ravinia crowd before Stevie Nicks concert at Ravinia Festival. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

Ravinia crowd before Stevie Nicks concert at Ravinia Festival. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

The 2020 season boasts more than 120 events from May 30 through September 15, including the annual summer residency of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, with MacArthur “Genius” Marin Alsop stepping into the role of Chief Conductor and Curator, a position created specifically for her.

This summer will also bring 35 artist debuts, including Wayne MarshallTeddy Abrams and My Morning Jacket frontman Jim JamesZiggy Marley, six-time Latin Grammy winners Jesse & Joy, and Dispatch. Repertoire features 24 festival premieres, including Ravinia’s co-commission of Paola Prestini’s Hindsight for Piano and Orchestra as part of a summer-long celebration of the talents and achievements of women who have paved the way, as well as the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote.

Big Names

Tony Bennett performing at his 90th birthday bash at Ravinia Festival in 2016. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

Tony Bennett performing at his 90th birthday bash at Ravinia Festival in 2016. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

Returning favorites include: Tony Bennett, Carrie Underwood, John Legend, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Diana Ross, Trombone Shorty, The Roots, John Fogerty, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Jill Scott, Train (three nights), Gladys Knight, Ms. Lauryn Hill and the Beach Boys.

Other Highlights

Final Season for Welz Kauffman

This will be the final season for Welz Kauffman who announced he would retire at the end of the 2020 season as the President and CEO of the festival where he has served for the past 20 years.

New Chief Conductor

Marin Alsop takes up new position as Chief Conductor and Curator, leading the CSO in five concerts, including Legendary Women’s Voices gala starring Oscar nominee Cynthia Erivo.

Focus on Women

The cultural contributions of women will be a summer-long focus to mark the centennial of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote.

RaviniaMusicBox Opens

Immersive RaviniaMusicBox opens with wrap-around movie experience, Bernstein’s Answer, and the National Museum of American Jewish History’s Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music, the first major exhibit on the Jewish identity of America’s most celebrated musician.

Bernstein Celebration

Multi-season Bernstein celebration continues with Alsop conducting Slava!, Wayne Marshall leading the Ravinia premiere of A White House Cantata starring Patricia Racette and Rod Gilfry, Jamie Bernstein hosting the collection of Anniversaries, and RSMI Singers sharing Arias and Barcarolles.

Birthday Celebrations

Festival celebrates milestone birthdays of Christoph Eschenbach at 80, Itzhak Perlman at 75, Misha Dichter at 75, Bob Marley at 75, Isaac Stern at 100, Clara Schumann at 200, and Beethoven at 250.

Tickets and more

What: Ravinia Festival Summer 2020
May 30-September 15, 2020
Where: Green Bay Rd. just north of Lake Cook Road in Highland Park
Tickets will be available to donors beginning March 17. 
Tickets for the public go on April 28 for June and July concerts and April 29 for August and September concerts, exclusively online at Ravinia.org.
Season calendar: For the full season calendar, click here.

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