“The Ravinia Festival’s gala on Saturday turned out to be an even more wildly theatrical event on all fronts than its planners could have imagined,” writes Hedy Weiss in Sunday’s (7/24) Chicago Sun-Times. “First came the deluge, a torrential thunderstorm that flooded the lawn … but did nothing to keep the elaborately dressed Pavilion ticket-holders from making it to their seats. After all, this was the most anticipated concert of the summer season—an evening designed to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s annual residency in the park, as well as the return (for the first time in 23 years) of conductor James Levine leading the CSO in Gustav Mahler’s monumental Symphony No. 2. That was the same work for which he won great acclaim 45 years ago when, at the age of 28, he stepped in at the last minute for an ailing maestro—a feat that subsequently led to his being named music director of the Ravinia Festival, a post he held for two decades, from 1973-1993.… It seemed that Mahler’s symphony, dubbed ‘The Resurrection,’ was determined to live up to its name.”

Posted July 25, 2016

Pictured: James Levine leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (“Resurrection”) on July 23 at the Ravinia Festival. Photo by Russell Jenkins / Ravinia Festival