Levine to lead Haydn “Creation” at Ravinia, ahead of conductor laureate role in 2018

Posted on: August 3, 2017

“Welz Kauffman, Ravinia’s president and CEO, created the position [of conductor laureate] for [James] Levine last spring following the overwhelmingly positive response of the orchestra, chorus, audience and press to the transcendent performance there of Mahler’s ‘Resurrection’ Symphony (No. 2)” in July 2016, writes John von Rhein in Tuesday’s (8/1) Chicago Tribune. Levine served as Ravinia’s music director from 1973 to 1993, and the 2016 performance marked “first time Levine had conducted anything at his former summer bailiwick in 23 years…. Levine is to direct two concerts each summer with the CSO, sometimes with the Chicago Symphony Chorus participating, beginning in 2018 and ending in 2022…. Levine also will conduct master classes at Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, the professional summer conservatory he created with former Ravinia executive director Edward Gordon in 1988.… The Ravinia public will get a taste of things to come on Aug. 8 when Levine is to lead the CSO, its chorus and vocal soloists in Haydn’s great oratorio ‘The Creation.’ … Levine and Kauffman said they regard Levine’s renewed affiliation as an opportunity for him to rekindle the special chemistry he enjoyed with the musicians of the CSO during those remarkable summers… ‘Everything about this new position feels right,’ … Levine said.”

Posted August 3, 2017