In the first Chicago Symphony concert since the orchestra made its June 17 public declaration of the irrelevance of current CSO management by unanimously voting to give Daniel Barenboim the honorary title of “Conductor for Life” on his last day as music director—and ergo making sure that only Barenboim himself would get to make the announcement—the CSO comes to Ravinia to begin its seventieth consecutive year in residence at the North Shore festival (which is currently receiving some bizarre and misinformed media comparisons that seek to exalt free downtown Grant Park Orchestra concerts over paid CSO summer concerts). Rest assured, as wonderful and convenient as Grant Park Orchestra concerts are, they are at their best a secondary tier of music making next to the fully unleashed CSO in a monumental work such as the Mahler Third Symphony. Its aural and evocative portrayal of the wonders of nature is the ultimate summer music and under such world-class direction as Ravinia music director James Conlon and within the tranquil far-from-city-noises-and-chaos temple to nature and sanctuary that is Ravinia, it remains a magical experience that cannot be had virtually anywhere else. (Dennis Polkow)
June 29 at Ravinia Festival, Lake-Cook and Green Bay Rds., Highland Park, (847)266-5100. 8pm. $10-$50.