Conlon is scheduled to complete his multi-year Mahler symphony cycle with the Chicago Symphony at Ravinia in 2011, the centennial of the composer's death. His other ongoing projects at the festival include a complete Mozart piano concerto cycle and Breaking the Silence, a multi-year series of concerts dedicated to reviving music silenced by the Nazi regime, with the focus on one composer each year. The 2007 festival will feature the works of Alexander von Zemlinsky, including the Ravinia premieres of his tone poem The Mermaid and his one-act opera A Florentine Tragedy, based on a text of Oscar Wilde.
Other highlights of Ravinia's 2007 classical season include Mahler's Fifth and Sixth Symphonies and a concert performance of Madama Butterfly starring Patricia Racette. This summer's Ravinia gala will offer a rare concert performance by Plšcido Domingo.
Now 56, Conlon is music director of the Los Angeles Opera and of the Cincinnati May Festival (the oldest choral festival in the U.S.). From 1995-2004 he was principal conductor at the Op_ra national de Paris, and over his career he has been a guest conductor at almost every major orchestra and opera company in Europe and North America. He has appeared at the Ravinia Festival dozens of times over the years, and became music director there in 2005, succeeding Christoph Eschenbach.
Located a short train ride north of Chicago, Ravinia is the oldest music festival in North America. It has been the summer home of the Chicago Symphony since 1936.