Ravinia concert season under way

June 23, 2011 10:45:31 AM PDT
This year, Ravinia celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra summer residency.

Running from July 7 through Aug. 19, the 17-concert residency, under Ravinia Festival Music Director James Conlon.

The season features more than 40 recitals and chamber concerts in Ravinia's intimate indoor performance spaces, the 450-seat Bennett Gordon Hall and the 850-seat Martin Theatre.

The 2011 Kraft Great Kids Concert series, which comprises eight family-friendly shows, emulates the festival's main-stage programming, including the mix of genres and artists, in a kid-friendly environment.

Ravinia Festival's 2011 season features rock, R&B, jazz, country, world, Broadway and classical crossover artists including the debuts of Maroon 5, Jennifer Hudson, The Judds, Five For Fighting, Michelle Branch, Deep Purple, Jackie Evancho, Steely Dan, Go-Go's, Lifehouse, Eldar Djangirov, Laura Benanti, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Guster. Returning artists include Robert Plant, Carrie Underwood, Moody Blues, Wynton Marsalis, Peter Frampton, k.d. lang, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Pink Martini, Chicago, Garrison Keillor with A Prairie Home Companion, Dave Brubeck and more.

Spurred by its mission to introduce classical music to "new ears," Ravinia has expanded its free admission policy for children. Starting in 2011, children up to age 15 will be admitted free to the lawn for all classical programs. High school and college students will be admitted free to these programs with a valid student I.D. Military families may purchase a special pass that allows 10 lawn admissions for classical concerts for only $40 ($4 per admission). Complete packages of reserved-seat ticket, 3-course meal and parking will be available for as low as $35 for 33 events.

New this year will be the ADA-compliant pedestrian train underpass "grand entrance" that connects Ravinia's main parking lot to the festival grounds, eliminating long wait times while trains are emptying. Ravinia was started by a train company in 1904, and the Metra North Line still stops at the festival's main gate; a round-trip ticket to Ravinia is priced at only $6.


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