Ravinia’s season-long “One Score, One Chicago” selection has been Robert Schumann’s piano suite “Scenes from Childhood,” Op. 15, an adult remembrance of what an ideal childhood should have or could have been, an attractive vacation spot for Schumann, who suffered from horrific depression complete with hallucinations and voices which so terrified him that he jumped off a bridge in a suicide attempt and died in an asylum. But you would never guess any of that from the music, which in this case manages to musically preserve the best of what those of us lucky enough to have experienced a happy childhood remember about it, and for the rest of us, we can fill in the blanks vicariously. For this final presentation of the work, a diverse group of mostly Chicago composers that includes Ramsey Lewis, Lita Grier, Jake Heggie, Nicole Mitchell, Ned Rorem, Augusta Read Thomas, Kenneth Frazelle, Jorge Torres Sáenz, Ricardo Lorenz, Aaron Jay Kernis, Josephine Lee, Ana Lara and Ravinia outreach student Kedgrick Pullums have composed their own “New Scenes from Childhood” inspired by Schumann that will be given their world-premiere performances by musicians from Ravinia’s Steans Institute. Soprano Harolyn Blackwell and pianist J.J. Penna will also perform works by Schumann and his wife, Clara, a gifted pianist and composer in her own right. A special preview concert at 6:45pm will showcase new pieces of fourteen student composers from 9 to 16 years old who have responded to Ravinia’s request for student submissions through the “One Score” guide. Both performances are free, but reservations are required. (Dennis Polkow)
September 13 at Ravinia Festival’s Martin Theatre, Lake-Cook and Green Bay Rds., Highland Park, (847)266-5100. 6:45pm (preview), 8pm (concert). Free.