Ravinia's Steans Music Institute
Program for Singers | July 29—August 21, 2019
Kevin Murphy, Program Director
Ravinia's Steans Music Institute is the Ravinia Festival’s professional studies program for young musicians, providing participants the opportunity to study with an internationally known faculty of performing artists and to appear in recitals as part of the festival’s summer concert schedule. The program for singers exists to promote the art of song, focusing upon the central repertoire of German and French art song. Participants study with each faculty member, thus receiving advice from a variety of musical traditions. Vocal study is available, and language professors offer detailed study of each song’s text in addition to providing diction coaching. The 15 singers selected for the program find a supportive, collegial atmosphere as well as a distinctive international community drawn from around the world. Many participants already have flourishing careers in opera and find the luxury of total immersion in art song an experience that they wish to share, thus helping to build new audiences for this rich and intimate repertoire.
Application and Audition Requirements
Program for Singers 2019: July 28-August 19
Applications for RSMI’s Program for Singers 2019 summer are now closed. Please check back in late summer 2019 for information about applying for RSMI 2020
Each applicant must submit electronic recordings, video preferred, covering the following requirements:
- One art song in English
- Two additional art songs of contrasting style and language
- One aria
- Selected applicants will be asked to attend live auditions. Applicants unable to attend live auditions will be considered based on the recordings they submit with the application.
- Live Audition Repertoire: Singers granted a live audition will be asked for at least two songs of contrasting style and language plus at least two oratorio or opera arias, illustrating understanding of various styles and command of French and German. It does not have to be the same repertoire offered for study during the summer nor the same repertoire submitted in application recordings.
- Live auditions will be held on the following days and locations:
o Monday, November 19, 2018: New York City
o Tuesday, November 20, 2018: New York City
o Monday, December 3, 2018: Ravinia (Highland Park, IL)
o Monday, December 17, 2018: Berlin, Germany
o Tuesday, December 18, 2018: Berlin, Germany
- A pianist will be provided at the auditions, but you are welcome to bring your own.
- Everyone accepted for the program receives a full fellowship covering all Steans Music Institute activities, housing, most meals and intercampus transportation. The only cost to the participant is transportation to and from Chicago.
- Application fee: $60
- Notification: Applicants are notified of our admissions decisions by email in mid-March.
Each singer accepted for the program must prepare at least five and no more than six groups of songs from the standard repertoire, such as one might perform on a recital program. Songs in English by both American and British composers or songs in the native language of the young artist (should that not be English, French or German) are encouraged. Final repertoire for the summer will be confirmed after acceptance in consultation with Kevin Murphy.
Each participant has the opportunity to take part in formal recitals in Bennett Gordon Hall. These Ravinia's Steans Music Institute concerts are scheduled before concerts by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and other festival presentations, attracting large, appreciative audiences. Informal performances for colleagues are also arranged.
Ravinia Festival Activities
Ravinia Festival is located on Chicago’s North Shore and runs each year from late May through early September. All Ravinia events are open to Ravinia's Steans Music Institute participants.These include outdoor concerts in the pavilion by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, often joined by distinguished soloists, and solo and chamber recitals in Ravinia’s Martin Theatre. Ravinia’s programming includes song recitals and other concerts with vocal soloists during the program for singers.
Ravinia's Steans Music Institute is located on the grounds of the Ravinia Festival in the John D. Harza Building. All performances take place in the intimate, 450-seat Bennett Gordon Hall, which has been praised as an acoustical gem by audiences and performers alike. The Harza Building also contains teaching studios, practice rooms, a library, a lounge and an audio/video control room furnished with high-quality equipment for the recording of all events in Bennett Gordon Hall. The recordings are immediately available for study and review after concerts and classes.
Kevin Murphy, Program Director, Piano and Vocal Coach
Javier Arrebola, Head of Piano Staff
Marianne Barrett, German
Stephen Blier, Vocal Coach
Amy Burton, Soprano
Anne Champert, French
Cori Ellison, Dramaturg
John Henes, Alexander Technique
Myra Huang, Piano and Vocal Coach
Walter Huff, Vocal Coach
Graham Johnson, Piano and Vocal Coach
Patricia McCaffrey, Mezzo-Soprano
Gerald Martin Moore, Voice Teacher
Heidi Grant Murphy, Soprano
John Musto, Composer-in-Residence
JJ Penna, Piano and Vocal Coach
Jennifer Ringo, Language and Diction
Mark Schnaible, Bass-Baritone
Jeanne Sparrow, Media Training
Melissa Wegner, Career Development
Susan Youens, Scholar
Marika Yasuda, apprentice pianist
Fellows for 2019 will be announced in Spring 2019