Steans Music Institute at 25: schooling talent with a personal touch

Posted on: July 24, 2013

In the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday (7/24), John von Rhein reports on the Steans Music Institute at Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois, which this summer is “celebrating its 25th anniversary as one of the most unusual professional music conservatories in the nation. Select groups of young musicians from around the world, typically 17 to 30 in age, converge during the festival season to hone and refine their performance skills … What began as a dream of Edward Gordon, Ravinia’s late executive director, to fill in the chinks in the artistic armor of young career-bound performers has grown from being the festival’s best-kept secret to a nationally and internationally respected institution, one that each year attracts some of the world’s finest young classical instrumentalists, singers and jazz performers … Enrollment is kept small, of necessity by limited physical space but also so each fellow gets maximum attention and performance time. ‘We want the place to have a definite atmosphere,’ says [violinist and Steans faculty member Miriam] Fried. ‘We look for musicians who exude passion and dedication when they perform.’ … Since the institute’s inception in 1988 (it is named after longtime Ravinia benefactors Lois and Harrison Steans), the directors and faculty have imparted musical wisdom to nearly 1,200 musicians from 65 countries.”

Posted July 24, 2013