Ravinia Festival opens Music Box space with immersive audiovisual exhibit linked to Leonard Bernstein

Posted on: August 10, 2021

Exterior of the Music Box, which opened this weekend at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois. Photo: Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune

Before the pandemic, the Ravinia Festival “already had a sharp new addition up its sleeve: the Ravinia Music Box,” writes Hannah Edgar in Sunday’s (8/8) Chicago Tribune. “The space is dedicated not to live performance but to ‘Bernstein’s Answer,’ a high-tech, immersive exhibit meant to introduce audiences to classical music through the genre’s most avuncular avatar. The 12-minute audiovisual presentation, hosted by a phantasmic Bobby McFerrin, ensconces up to 65 visitors in wraparound 3D projections. After the Music Box’s formal unveiling Saturday with an all-Bernstein CSO program, festival patrons can enter free with a concert ticket, first-come-first-serve…. Ravinia will implement timed entry starting next year…. The Music Box gallery space … hosted the Grammy Museum’s traveling Leonard Bernstein exhibit in 2019…. Emerging from an exceptionally harrowing year and a half, one suspects visitors to the Music Box will hear ‘Bernstein’s Answer’ loud and clear for years to come…. ‘If this show can provide even a little bit of catharsis for the people who get to see it, then I think it’s done exactly what [Bernstein] did throughout his career,’ says Brad Shelton, a creative director for BRC Imagination Arts, the design and production company who devised the exhibit.”