Most people can’t wait for summer, especially this year. And thoughts of summer are often accompanied by thoughts of Ravinia. This year, don’t look for the Ravinia your parents enjoyed or you may have enjoyed as a child. This is the updated version. Read on to see what is offered.
In a summer already packed with unique pairings and double bills, Ravinia also has added new artists to previously announced concerts. Current Top-10 artists American Authors make their Ravinia debut with OneRepublic and The Script (June 18-19); alternative rockers Toad the Wet Sprocket and folk duo Daniel and the Lion both make their Ravinia debuts with the Counting Crows (July 14); Andrew McMahon, former front-man of Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin, makes his solo debut, joining Gavin DeGraw and Matt Nathanson (July 21); The live-wired Vintage Trouble makes its Ravinia debut with Heart (Aug. 3); The Wallflowers makes its Ravinia debut on a bill with Train (Aug. 22-23) and Katrina (ex-Katrina & the Waves) has joined the star-studded ’80s night “Retro Futura Tour 2014,” featuring the Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey and Howard Jones (Aug. 27).
“Despite a stubborn winter, we’ve already heard great buzz about this summer’s lineup, and we hope these just-added artists make the season even hotter,” said Ravinia President and CEO Welz Kauffman.
FOOD NETWORK IN CONCERT AT RAVINIA
Twin Forks and Raul Midon will now open for John Mayer in his Ravinia debut, headlining Food Network in Concert at Ravinia (Sept. 20). The daylong festival of food and music will feature demonstrations by Chicago's greatest chefs, wine tastings and sessions with Food Network personalities to include Anne Burrell, Alex Guarnaschelli, Jeff Mauro, Jose Garces, Marc Murphy, Geoffrey Zakarian, Sunny Anderson and more. (This 21-and-over event is hosted by Food Network Magazine, and Ravinia donor benefits do not apply.)
VIDEO SCREEN ON LAWN JULY 12-21
Ravinia will install a large video screen on the North Lawn, broadcasting live action from the stage for performances by Willie Nelson and Alison Krauss (July 12); a Broadway evening with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Deborah Voigt (July 13); Counting Crows and Toad the Wet Sprocket (July 14); the Martin Theatre recital by guitarist Milos (July 15); violinist Midori with the CSO (July 16); West Side Story with the CSO playing live to the film (July 17-18); Crosby, Stills & Nash (July 19); a CSO evening with Lerner & Loewe (July 20); and Matt Nathanson, Gavin DeGraw and Andrew McMahon (July 21). Video screens flank the stage for every Pavilion performance.
KIDS CONCERT SERIES
Ravinia’s 2014 Kids Concerts series emulates the festival’s main-stage programming across a mix of genres and artists, all in a kid-friendly environment. This Saturday series directly connects to the mission of the festival’s REACH*TEACH*PLAY education programs. The fun kicks off with a double-header on June 14 with the world-renowned Chinese Circus of Beijing at 11 a.m. and Laurie Berkner—The You & Me Tour at 2 p.m. (separate admission required for these events). The series features Tom Chapin at 11 a.m. July 12; Ralph’s World at 11 a.m. July 19; and the Ruth Page Civic Ballet at 11 a.m. Sept. 13. To celebrate the 110th anniversary of Ravinia on Aug. 15, there will be a free performance,“Young*Musician*Concert,” featuring the Lang Lang International Music Foundation Scholars with Midwest Young Artists Symphony Orchestra.
“Lang Lang was little more than a child himself when he sprang to stardom at Ravinia, so we are ecstatic that the young musicians recognized by the biggest classical artist in the world will perform for other children,” Kauffman said. “We believe that children will be inspired in their personal discovery of classical music when they experience artists their own age finding both joy and pride in performance.”
Ravinia also aims to spark that discovery with its Kids Lawn (formerly known as Family Space) that will include enhanced activities this summer, including hands-on music-making opportunities prior to select concerts, including the Chinese Circus of Beijing and Laurie Berkner on June 14 and Sunday concerts by the CSO, July 13, 20 and 27 and Aug. 2 and 10.Large-print and Braille versions of Ravinia's schedule are available now at the Ravinia website
Photos: Courtesy of Ravinia