James Conlon Announces Schedule of Ravinia Music Festival, in His First Year as Music Director

Classic Arts News   James Conlon Announces Schedule of Ravinia Music Festival, in His First Year as Music Director
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra will begin a five-year project of complete Mahler symphonies and a three-year project of Mozart piano concertos at this summer's Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

This year's festival, James Conlon's first as music director, runs from June 7 through September 10.

The festival is the summer venue for the CSO.

"Mahler is someone I can't live without," Conlon told the Sun-Times. "I think there can be no better idea than to do a Mahler cycle with the CSO.

The season also features the U.S. premiere of Orion, a piece by Philip Glass commissioned for the 2004 Olympics, along with new works by Aaron Jan Kernis, Jake Heggie, and Ana Lara.

Two works will, unusually, be performed in Chicago rather than in Highland Park. Viktor Ullman's opera The Emperor of Atlantis will be performed at Temple Sholom, and Mark Morris' staging of Handel's oratorio L'allegro, il penseroso ed il moderato, which will take place at the Harris Theater.

The festival's annual gala takes place July 16 and features pianist Van Cliburn in a program that includes Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16; Schubert's Overture to Rosamunde; Ponchielli's "Dance of the Hours" from La gioconda; and Rossini's Overture to Guillaume Tell.

The recital schedule include performances from pianists Garrick Ohlsson and Emanuel Ax, flutist James Galway, cellist Maya Beiser, and baritone Hê‰kan Hagegê‰rd singing Shubert's song cycle Winterreise.

Soloists on the program include pianists Richard Goode, Lang Lang, and Joseph Kalichstein and violinists Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Itzhak Perlman. Guest conductors making appearances this summer include Marin Alsop, Leonard Slatkin, Itzhak Perlman, and former Ravinia music director and current Philadelphia Orchestra music director Christoph Eschenbach.

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