Today, July 7, 2010 is Gustav Mahler’s 150th birthday anniversary, and in honor of the occasion, Ravinia Festival president and CEO Welz Kauffman and music director James Conlon shared details of three concerts that will be part of the 2011 summer residency of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
The particulars were shared initially with the musicians themselves this morning at the CSO’s rehearsal at the North Shore Festival before being released to the media later today. Among the announcements:
- James Conlon will conclude his multi-year Mahler Cycle during the centennial anniversary summer of the composer’s death by conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in “Das klagende Lied” (“Song of Lamentation”), the first time this rarely heard Mahler masterpiece will be performed at Ravinia in more than twenty years.
- Conlon will also conduct the CSO in Puccini’s “Tosca,” starring soprano Patricia Racette in the title role with Italian tenor Salvatore Licitra as Cavaradossi and Welsh bass-baritone superstar Bryn Terfel making his long-awaited return to Chicago opera—his first appearance here in seven years—as Scarpia.
- Ravinia has commissioned twentysomething indie-rock and classical composer Nico Muhly to write a new multi-genre work specifically for the 5 Browns, a family of acclaimed twentysomething pianists who perform together with five pianos on stage.
Remaining details of these and other programs planned for the CSO’s 2011 summer residency at Ravinia will be released in coming months. (Dennis Polkow)
Dennis Polkow is an award-winning veteran journalist, critic, author, broadcaster and educator. He made his stage debut at age five, was a child art prodigy and began playing keyboards in clubs at the age of fourteen. He holds degrees in music theory, composition, religious studies and philosophy from DePaul University in Chicago. Polkow spent his early years performing and recording in rock and jazz bands while concertizing as a classical pianist, organist and harpsichordist and composing, arranging and producing for other artists. As a scholar, Polkow has published and lectured extensively and taught at several colleges and universities in various departments. As an actor, narrator and consultant, Polkow has been involved with numerous films, plays, broadcasts and documentaries. As a journalist, Polkow helped co-create the experiential Chicago Musicale and Spotlight, the award-winning tabloid arts and entertainment section of the Press Publications chain of newspapers, which he later edited. He also created and ran the nationally recognized journalism program at Oakton College and was faculty advisor to its award-winning student newspaper; many former students went on to major media careers, including Channel Awesome’s the Nostalgia Critic. Polkow’s research, interviews, features, reviews and commentaries have appeared across national and international media and he has corresponded from the Middle East, Asia and Africa for the Chicago Tribune. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org