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Ravinia Releases 2011 Schedule

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HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (CBS) – Variety is the spice of life, and there is going to be something for everyone at the Ravinia Festival this year.

Tickets will go on sale to the general public on April 27. Donor orders are filled prior to the public sale.

Maroon 5, Steely Dan, and Jennifer Hudson are among the headliners for this season.

The season kicks off on Thursday, June 9, with a performance by the Chicago Children’s Choir. The following day, country legends Naomi and Wynonna Judd will appear as part of their “Last Encore” farewell concert, and also the first time they have appeared onstage together at Ravinia.

On Sunday, June 12, jazz trumpet master Wynton Marsalis appears with the Jazz at Lincoln Center orchestra.

Also on the docket for June are the Moody Blues (June 11), Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin fame (June 16); for some retro pop action, the Go-Go’s and the B-52’s (June 17); and for ’70s rock fans, Deep Purple (June 18.) For Father’s Day on June 20, 90-year-old jazz piano star Dave Brubeck and his sons will appear. Later in the month, look for k.d. lang (June 23), Daryl Hall and John Oates (June 26), and the aforementioned Maroon 5 (June 30 and July 1.)

As he does every year, Garrison Keillor will present his “A Prairie Home Companion” public radio variety show live from Ravinia on the evening of Saturday, June 25.

The July schedule includes appearances by an array of stars past and present, including children’s performer Tom Chapin (July 2), Peter Frampton (July 5), the Ramsey Lewis trio with a premiere of Lewis’ “Colors: The Ecology of Oneness” (July 10), Five for Fighting with Michelle Branch (July 22), and the BoDeans (July 29.) Also look for Arrival from Sweden performing the music of ABBA on July 3.

The July schedule also includes a wide offering of classical performances. Among them are an all-Brhams evening by conductor Christoph von Dohnányi and pianist Emanuel Ax (July 14), and several performances by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, including Stravisnky’s “Rite of Spring” (July 8), a Brahms and Beethoven production by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (July 24), and a staging of Puccini’s “Tosca” (July 30.) The CSO will also present annual Great Gershwin Gala on July 23.

And if you’re waiting for Jennifer Hudson, she’s onstage July 16.

The classical offerings continue in August, with bass-baritone Bryn Terfel performing songs and arias (Aug. 2), the legendary Itzhak Perlman performing Beethoven’s only violin concerto (Aug. 4), and cellist Yo-Yo Ma playing the works of Tchaikovsky (Aug. 5.) The 1970s icons Steely Dan appear on Aug. 12 and 13, Lyle Lovett and his Large Band are up Aug. 21, the band Chicago appear Aug. 27 and 28, and look for Tony Bennett’s 85th birthday concert on Aug. 26.

Also look for singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright’s premiere with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on Aug. 14.

In early September, Ravinia hosts the contemporary lineups of ’70s icons Lynyrd Skynyrd (Sept .1) and the Doobie Brothers (Sept. 2). Look for Carrie Underwood on Sept. 3, and John Hiatt and the Combo appear with special guests Big Head Todd and the Monsters to close out the season on Sept. 11.

Non-member tickets for this season’s concerts go on sale April 27, although donors can by them now at a discount.

Audiences have been flocking to Ravinia since 1904, when the A.C. Frost Company opened an amusement park that hosted a steam calliope concert of “Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home.” But it wasn’t too long before the New York Philharmonic made an appearance, and over the years, the venue has hosted everyone from George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein to Janis Joplin and Frank Zappa.

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