The Ravinia Music Festival
Browse articles:
Auto Beauty Business Culture Dieting DIY Events Fashion Finance Food Freelancing Gardening Health Hobbies Home Internet Jobs Law Local Media Men's Health Mobile Nutrition Parenting Pets Pregnancy Products Psychology Real Estate Relationships Science Seniors Sports Technology Travel Wellness Women's Health
Browse companies:
Automotive Crafts, Hobbies & Gifts Department Stores Electronics & Wearables Fashion Food & Drink Health & Beauty Home & Garden Online Services & Software Sports & Outdoors Subscription Boxes Toys, Kids & Baby Travel & Events

The Ravinia Music Festival

Started in 1904, the Ravinia Festival is a musical event which takes place each summer in Chicago.

The Ravinia Festival is an annual summer music festival that takes place in Chicago, Illinois. Started in 1904, artists from various genres of music, including jazz, classical and musical theatre, perform at the festival. The oldest outdoor music festival in North America, the event attracts over half a million people each year.


Ravinia was started as an amusement park as a way to attract people to the struggling Chicago & Milwaukee Electric Railroad. At the time, an electric fountain, baseball park and casino buillding, housing a dance floor and dining room were located in the park. There was also the Ravinia Theatre which is still in existence. Although the railroad went into receivership, the festival continued for decades during which classical music and later opera was performed. Some of the Greg singers of the day including Tito Schipa and Edward Johnson sang at Ravinia.

The Great Depression ended performances at Ravinia for five years. They were restarted though, by local businessmen who created the Ravinia Festival Association. The mission of the association was to present high quality music at a low price. By 1936, the festival was the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In 1954, One of the businessmen who helped to finance the festival, gave Ravinia 36 acres of park.

In 1964, the first music director of the festival was Seiji Ozawa. In 1968, Edward Gordon became the executive director, expanding the festival by adding the Stearns Music Institute and a professional studies area. The festival has continued to expand. Former executive director, Zarin Mehta, started the jazz festival portion of Ravinia, with Ramsey Lewis as artistic director.


Many famous artists have performed at the festivel. A sml sampling of these performers include Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington, Jose Greco, Frank Zappa, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Luciano Pavarotti, Isaac Stern, Jascha Heifetz, John Houseman, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, among others.


In an effort to encourage a love of fine music, the Ravinia Festival has a number of outreach iniatives such as the Ravinia Lawndale Community Partnership. residents of the Lawndale neighborhood can take lessons at the Ravinia Community Music Conservatiry. the jazz scholars program is an initiative in which talented high school students are given instruction through master classes, ensembles and personal instruction. Noted jazz musicians in Chicago assist in teaching and advising the students. Additionally, Ravinia provides outreach to elementary schools and the community of Chicago in an effort to help encourage a love of classical music and the benefits of learning music.



Additional resources:

Company update: We are currently taking legal action against two former employees of ZipfWorks for violation of trade secrets, breach of contract, and unfair business practices. Click to to learn more about our legal case against Mark Mazza, Patrick Williams, and PromoCodeWatch.
Need an answer?
Get insightful answers from community-recommended
in Music & Musicians on Knoji.
Would you recommend this author as an expert in Music & Musicians?
You have 0 recommendations remaining to grant today.
Comments (1)

This is in my area, but I've never been to it. It sounds great!