Ravinia's Steans Music Institute

Program for Singers | July 27—August 20, 2021

Steans Piano and Strings Program Header Program Overview Application and Audition Requirements Performance Facility Faculty and Fellows

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ravinia was forced to cancel all concerts and events that were to occur this summer, including Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute. RSMI will not be holding auditions for the 2021 Program for Singers.


Program Overview

Ravinia's Steans Music Institute is the Ravinia Festival’s professional studies program for young professional musicians, providing participants the opportunity to study with internationally renowned faculty, made up of performing artists, dramaturgs, scholars, and teachers. Fellows hone their skills as performing artists through coaching, public master classes, and special events, working with some of the most distinguished musicians and pedagogues the world has to offer. The Program for Singers promotes the art of song, focusing upon the central repertoire of German and French art song repertoire. Fellows study with every faculty member, receiving coaching and advice from a variety of musical traditions. Fellows receive training in vocal performance, foreign language study, and 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.

Kevin Murphy

Director of the Program for Singers, Kevin Murphy

John Matthew Myers talks about his summer experience at Ravinia's Steans Music Institute's Program for Singers.

Application and Audition Requirements

RSMI will not be holding auditions for Summer 2021. Please check back for application information for 2022.


Audition Requirements

Each applicant must submit electronic recordings, video preferred, covering the following requirements:

Program for Singers 2020: July 28-August 21

  • Each applicant must submit electronic recordings, video preferred, covering the following requirements:

    o  One art song in English
    o  Two additional art songs of contrasting style and language
    o  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 to offer at least three art songs of contrasting style and language and two arias from operas and/or oratorios. 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 25: Advent Lutheran Church, New York City, NY
    o   Tuesday, November 26: Advent Lutheran Church, New York City, NY
    o   Monday, December 9: Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, Highland Park, IL
    o   Monday, December 16: Berlin, Germany (Knutson Studios)
    o   Tuesday, December 17: Berlin, German (Knutson Studios)
  • 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 by mid-March.
  • Email institute@ravinia.org with any questions or concerns.
  • For technical questions please contact the Acceptd Support Team at support@getacceptd.com or by calling 1-888-725-2122. Check out our Help Desk for frequently asked questions.


Master Class with James Conlon

Antonina Chehovska (2018) works with Maestro James Conlon in an RSMI vocal master class

Fellows are given multiple opportunities to perform in Bennett Gordon Hall, the intimate recital space created specifically for Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute. These concerts add to the many offerings of the Ravinia Festival and attract appreciative audiences throughout the summer. Programs presented are a variety of repertoire, including fellow selections and specially curated programs.

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.

The Facility

BGH auditorium with Yang Xiaohui

RSMI concerts take place in the purpose-built, acoustically-brilliant Bennett Gordon Hall

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 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 made available to fellows for study and review after concerts and classes.


Faculty and Fellows

Marianne Barrett, German
Alan Darling, vocal coach
Michelle DeYoung, guest faculty & mezzo-soprano
Cori Ellison, dramaturg
Walter Huff, vocal coach and pianist
Rachelle Jonck, vocal coach and pianist
Gerald Martin Moore, voice teacher
Heidi Grant Murphy, soprano
Patricia McCaffrey, voice teacher
JJ Penna, piano
Jennifer Ringo, language and diction coach
Mark Schnaible, voice teacher

Javier Arrebola, Head of Piano Staff
Kunal Lahiry
Lucas Nogara
Kseniia Polstiankina
Nikolay Verevkin

Anastasiia Sidorova, mezzo-soprano
Anneliese Klenetsky, soprano
Ben Schafer, baritone
Benjamin Werley, tenor
Brandon Bell, baritone
Brian Vu, tenor
Claire Galloway, soprano
Ganson Salmon, tenor
Magdalena Kuzma, soprano
Merissa Beddows, soprano
Tiffany Choe, soprano