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HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (CBS) — Ravinia has something for everyone as usual this summer, from multiple headliners who performed at the original Woodstock to an artist who played at Lollapalooza not long ago – not to mention a stop by Glen Campbell on his goodbye tour.
Ravinia released its schedule for the 2012 season overnight. After receiving ovations for his farewell performance at the Grammys this year, Campbell will appear at Ravinia on June 28, along with fellow country music legend Ronnie Milsap.
Also this season, those of the Woodstock generation – and all generations before and after – can look forward to appearances by three performers or groups from the original 1969 festival. Carlos Santana takes the stage at the pavilion on July 9; Crosby, Stills and Nash on Aug. 3; and Arlo Guthrie, joined by Mary Chapin Carpenter, on Aug. 19.
Contemporary artists are also topping the bill this year. Singer-songwriter Iron & Wine (Samuel Beam) appears on June 10 with special guest Dr. John. And San Francisco roots rockers Train will appear for two nights, on Aug. 11 and 12.
Other headliners for this season include James Taylor – also up for two nights on July 27 and 28. Earth, Wind and Fire take the stage at the start of the season on June 9; Al Green is joined by the Chicago Children’s Choir on June 15, and reggae legend Jimmy Cliff appears on June 17.
In a long-standing annual tradition, Garrison Keillor and his radio troupe will bring their live broadcast of “A Prairie Home Companion” to Ravinia on June 23.
Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers take the stage for an evening of bluegrass and comedy June 24, jazz bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding on June 25, and Sergio Mendes joins Ramsey Lewis and his Electric Band for a night of Brazilian jazz on June 27.
As we remember John Belushi 30 years after his passing, his brother Jim will join Dan Aykroyd for a Blues Brothers appearance on July 11.
Tony Bennett will appear Aug. 18, and Duran Duran on Aug. 29. Also appearing this season are Colbie Caillat and Gavin DeGraw (June 29), Sarah McLachlan (June 30), Natalie Merchant (July 10), the BoDeans (July 20), and Seal (July 22).
Ravinia is also set for an eclectic classical lineup, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in residence for the summer for the 77th year.
On July 4, conductor Steve Reinke and vocalist Ashley Brown will lead the CSO in an evening of American orchestral pops. Brown is among the stars in the Lyric Opera production of “Showboat.”
Dutch conductor Jaap von Sweden, music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, will make his first appearance with the CSO as he conducts Gustav Mahler’s Smpyhony No. 6. Idina Menzel, the Tony Award-winning longtime star of “Rent” and “Wicked” on Broadway, will perform with the CSO on July 8.
On July 19, the CSO will present a showcase by conductor James Conlon, with soprano Janai Brugger, of Kurt Weill’s first piece for the musical stage – “Magic Night” – which is described as a “ballet with song” or a “pantomime for children.” The CSO hosts an all Tchaikovsky night on July 29, and the following night, conductor John Axelrod and pianist Gabriela Montero present Gustav Holst’s “The Planets,” accompanied by film images from the Adler Planetarium.
On Aug. 5, the CSO is also presenting a tribute to Harold Arlen, writer of “Over the Rainbow” and numerous other classics performed by Judy Garland. Ann Hampton Callaway, the daughter of the late Chicago broadcast journalist John Callaway, will lead the orchestra with her vocals.
CSO performances of Mozart’s operas “The Magic Flute” and “Idomeneo” are set for Aug. 16 and 17, respectively.
Other famed composers and classical performers are also on the roster. After Garrison Keillor’s show is done, composer Philip Glass will appear for a celebration of his 75th birthday, playing piano with accompaniment by violinist Timothy Fain.
Toward the end of the season on Sept. 7, the Knights young musicians’ fellowship will be joined by cellist Yo-Yo Ma for performances of works by Wagner, Schumann, Debussy and other composers. The following night, the Knights are joined by violinist Itzhak Perlman for a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35.
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.