The very first time since 1935, the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park will fall silent.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this summer’s festival continues to be canceled.
“There’s not really any Ravinia 2020,” stated Ravinia President and Chief executive officer Welz Kauffman within an interview Thursday mid-day.
“No festival, no Ravinia Steans Music Institute, no occasions of any type. The safe practices piece – it simply really comes lower to that particular.
“To attempt to figure that out and have great results, without risk? There’s always risk, but the various bits of this – it simply doesn’t work. And it is heartbreaking.”
Particularly, Kauffman grieved for many special occasions which were to possess happened this summer time, including Marin Alsop’s very first as Ravinia’s chief conductor and curator, a situation produced on her. Also lost: commemorations of violinist Isaac Stern’s 100th birthday another season celebrating the legacy of Leonard Bernstein, together with a rare performance of his “White House Cantata” and many occasions marking the centennial from the Constitution’s 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women’s to election.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Ravinia season, from This summer 10-August. 16, will also not occur.
Among scheduled pop functions that will not be taking Ravinia’s stage: Carrie Underwood, Indigo Women, Diana Ross, Bryan Ferry, Tony Bennett and Gipsy Nobleman.
“This has moved very rapidly,” added Kauffman, who in earlier interviews had stated he likely to cancel portions of year in sequence, when needed.
“This is a process full of numbness and shock. It’s not only we shouldn’t get it done. When individuals have been in shock, it’s difficult to choose to.”
Kauffman stated he and Ravinia colleagues haven’t yet tabulated the price of canceling the growing season. Last year’s budget was $42 million. The marketplace worth of Ravinia’s endowment in the finish of 2019 was $118.9 million. An online fundraising event has been discussed.
The cancellation comes just like Ravinia is going to have a increased national profile: On May 15, PBS’ “Great Performances” will broadcast Ravinia’s broadly applauded manufacture of Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass,” filmed last summer time.
Another irony: Kauffman already had announced he was walking lower from his Ravinia publish in the finish of the summer time, that was to possess been his official farewell. He stated he still is going to be departing in those days.
Rather of looking after this summer’s occasions, he’ll look ahead.
“As almost as much ast I’m able to do to construct an awesome 2021, that’s what I’ll concentrate on within the next several weeks,” stated Kauffman.
“That’s been surface of mind for me personally. I would like so that you can deliver that to my successor or successors. I wish to make certain it is not completely nailed lower, but I’d like my successors to possess some” occasions arranged.
Searching is going ahead for the following Ravinia leader(s), though Kauffman noticed that the pandemic inevitably has slowed such approaches for all arts organizations.
Ravinia opened up in 1904 and it was dark throughout the Depression, from 1932-35. It bills itself as “the earliest music festival within the country” and it has lengthy since developed into an worldwide respected cultural destination.
“The crisis produced through the COVID pandemic has impacted a lot of our way of life in dramatic ways,” stated Ravinia Board Chairman Don Civgin inside a statement. “Ravinia is going to do its part in assisting the country recover, and we’ll celebrate that recovery with music underneath the stars next summer time (2021).”
Stated Kauffman, “It may be the right decision. The board voted unanimously, without any misgivings but many of heartbreak.
“Now that we’re really only at that place where I’m speaking to individuals (concerning the cancellation), it’s tough. The most difficult part to date was calling Jamie Bernstein,” added Kauffman, talking about Leonard Bernstein’s daughter, who had been to possess came back to Ravinia included in the ongoing Bernstein festivities.
“It just really got me. Not just due to who she’s, however i couldn’t help thinking what her father could be doing now,” stated Kauffman, considering conductor-composer Leonard Bernstein’s global role as social activist.
“What would he be turning over?
“Because you realize he’d be throughout this.”
Ticket holders will get refunds, take vouchers for future performances or turn check in value into tax-deductible donations.
To learn more, visit world wide web.ravinia.org or phone 847-266-5100.
Howard Reich is really a Tribune critic.