Ravinia's Steans Music Institute

Program for Singers | July 28—August 21, 2020

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

Program Overview

Kevin Murphy 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 2020: July 28-August 21

Applications for RSMI’s Program for Singers 2019 summer are now open.

Click here to apply for the Program for Singers 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 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, 2019: New York City, New York
    o   Tuesday, November 26, 2019: New York City, New York
    o   Monday, December 9, 2019: Ravinia (Highland Park, IL)
    o   Monday, December 16, 2019: Berlin, Germany (Location TBA)
    o   Tuesday, December 17, 2019: Berlin, Germany (Location TBA)
  • 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 steansmusicinstitute@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.


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.


Master Class with Kiri TeKanawa

Pianist Daniel Schlosberg and fellow Wallis Giunta in a master class with Kiri Te Kanawa in 2010.

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.

The Facility

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
Steven Blier, Vocal Coach
Amy Burton, Soprano
Claude Webster, 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

Brent Funderburk
Jonathan Gmeinder
Daniel Gerzenberg
Nikolay Verevkin
Marika Yasuda
, apprentice pianist

Amelie Aldner, Mezzo-soprano
Lily Arbisser, Soprano
Dominik Belavy, Baritone
Shira Ben David, Soprano
Tiffany Choe, Apprentice Soprano
Edward Cleary, Baritone
Dominick Corbacio, Tenor
Ashley Dixon, Mezzo-Soprano
Samuel Hasselhorn, Baritone
Christine Lyons, Soprano
Siena Miller, Mezzo-soprano
Beatriz Miranda, Mezzo-soprano
John Matthew Myers, Tenor
Nicholas Newton, Bass-Baritone
Nils Nilsen, Tenor
Katarina Van Droogenbroeck, Mezzo-soprano