US loses its last-but-one summer festival

Ravinia, the oldest American music festival running from June to mid-September, has pulled the plug on summer 2020.

The website reminds us that ‘Ravinia has operated continually since its 1904 opening except for 1932–1935, when the park was silenced by the Great Depression.’

This was to have been the final show for Ravinia’s veteran President and CEO Welz Kauffman. He’s working on virtual alternatives for the students who attend its courses: ‘The lives of these young students have been thrown in total disarray, so it is important that Ravinia helps where it can to provide the structure of these virtual classrooms. Our programs give young people a means of expression and connection with each other and their own quarantined families. We teach them that music is their superpower, and what better time than now to have a superpower?’

Tanglewood is now the last major US festival still to declare its future.

UPDATE: I’m reminded that Aspen Music Festival, the biggest in terms of students, has cancelled just the first two weeks. It will decide in mid-May on the rest.

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  • I’m sure that all the aging Boomers on Chicago’s North Shore will miss their favorite 80’s rock acts this summer.

    CSO? What’s the CSO? Oh yes….the Boomers will miss the movies with live orchestra too.

  • Marlboro Music hasn’t formally cancelled yet. Arguably one of the most important US classical music institutions, and much more than a festival.

  • I’m still waiting to hear from the Santa Fe Opera. We have tickets to Tristan but don’t want to take the Liebestod too literally.

    • Perhaps you can sign up for an immersive experience with one of the Ring Cycles and participate in the immolation scene if you pay extra. That would be a lot more fun than the Liebestod.

  • Meanwhile, just down the street, the Grant Park Music Festival in the heart of downtown Chicago hasn’t revealed any plans to cancel this summer’s events. Very strange indeed.

  • Wisconsin’s Peninsula Music Festival has cancelled but intends to have the same line-up of conductors and soloists, and repertoire, as they scheduled for this August. Or at least that is the goal.

  • Neither Saratoga (SPAC) (NYC Ballet, CMS of Lincoln Center and Philadelphia Orchestra) nor Glimmerglass Festival has canceled — yet.

  • I’ve heard rumors that Aspen has already decided to cancel, but they haven’t announced it publicly yet…shhhhh

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