We've sprung forward and we're hopeful for highs of 50 degress this week, which can only mean one thing: winter is finally winding down! Another sign of the seasons changing? The Ravinia Festival announces its 2015 programming this morning and again the lineup is almost too long to list.
More than 120 events will take place on the outdoor Highland Park stage during its June through September season. This year's most headline worthy concert will perhaps be a two-night run from Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga (June 26-27) but, as usual, the schedule offers a deep well of talent and diversity. Sheryl Crow (June 25), Aretha Franklin (July 11), Harry Connick Jr. (August 7) and Santana (August 29-30) are among the many big names coming to Ravinia this summer.
An appearance by "Family Guy" creator Seth McFarlane accompanied by the Ravinia Festival Orchestra on August 21 will likely prove to be a unique, unexpected and, of course, hilarious evening.
On the homefront, Ravinia continues to pay homage to locally bred talent with appearances from namesake favorite Chicago (August 23), Umphrey's McGee (August 14) as well as a slew of the city's finest classical musicians.
James Conlon will celebrate his final season as music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Ravinia residency this year but not without leaving a final impression on fans. Conlon will lead the CSO in several special nights of music based on his favorite musical themes and composers including a Mahler and Mozart night on July 22, an All Russian Evening on July 23 and a Tchaikovsky Spectacular on August 1.
Jazz pianist and composer Ramsey Lewis will also make his CSO debut at Ravinia in 2015. The native Chicagoan will celebrate his 80th birthday by filling in as both a composer and soloist on August 8.
Finally, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra expands on the success of its "CSO Goes To The Movies" series with live scores and screenings of
Star Trek (August 16), Gladiator (August 2), Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 (July 12), along with a tribute to Danny Elfman's music from the films of Tim Burton (July 14).
For a full schedule, ticket information and more visit Ravinia's website.