“Outgoing music director James Conlon and Ravinia are not rushing into any parting of the ways,” writes John von Rhein in Tuesday’s (8/26) Chicago Tribune. “The 64-year-old American conductor has offered to extend his present contract with the festival for another year, which will keep him in his post through the 2015 summer season, for a total of 11 years as its fourth music director…. Conlon’s contract with North America’s oldest music festival was to have expired at the end of the current season.… His six concerts here next summer will include symphonies by Mahler and Shostakovich…. He will conclude his Ravinia tenure in August 2015 with a concert performance of Wagner’s opera ‘The Flying Dutchman.’ … It was at Ravinia that Conlon … cut his teeth on the symphonic repertory before establishing his reputation, mainly in opera, at home and in Europe.” Along with posts at the Paris National Opera, the city of Cologne in Germany, and the Rotterdam Philharmonic, “Conlon found time to conduct every major orchestra in the U.S. and Europe. He has led nearly 300 performances at the Met since his debut there in 1976…. Ravinia President and CEO Welz Kauffman said the board will proceed with all due care before naming a successor.”

Posted August 26, 2014