BY KYLE MACMILLAN | FOR SUN-TIMES MEDIA
Summer is quickly counting down, but there is still time to catch some of the season’s best classical-music offerings. So, if you’ve been putting off getting to a concert or just haven’t managed to carve out the time, don’t fret. The Ravinia Festival and Grant Park Music Festival continue their bountiful offerings, and a few other scattered events are happening elsewhere as well. Here is an overview of 20 classical highlights in August:
+ 7:30 p.m. Aug. 2, “Salome,” Soprano Patricia Racette and conductor James Conlon, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Pavilion, Ravinia Festival – ravinia.org. Conlon’s concert performances of operas have been high points in past Ravinia’s seasons, and this well-cast presentation promises to continue that tradition.
+ 8 p.m. Aug. 2 and 3 p.m. Aug. 3, Pianist Igor Lipinski and conductor Istvan Jaray, Woodstock Mozart Festival, Woodstock Opera House – woodstockoperahouse.com. This repeated program includes two classics by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – his Piano Concerto in D minor, No. 20, K. 466, and Symphony No. 36 in C major, K. 425, “Linz.”
+ 8 p.m. Aug. 5, “The Devil’s Tale,” Clarinetist John Bruce Yeh and Chicago Pro Musica, Martin Theatre, Ravinia. This locally based chamber ensemble performs the premiere of Illinois composer James Stephenson’s sequel to “The Soldier’s Tale.”
+ 5:45 p.m. Aug. 5, Rush Hour Concerts, St. James Cathedral, 65 E. Huron – rushhour.org. Presented in conjunction with the Poetry Foundation, this concert features poetry readings along with Quintet Attacca’s performance of William Albright’s “Abiding Passions.”
+ 6:30 pm. Aug. 6, Vocalist Storm Large and conductor Carlos Kalmar, Grant Park Orchestra, Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Grant Park Music Festival – grantparkmusicfestival.com. The multitalented singer takes centerstage in “The Seven Deadly Sins,” Kurt Weill’s ballet chanté or sung ballet in seven scenes.
+ 7 p.m. Aug. 7 and 8,” “The Return of the King,” Conductor Ludwig Wicki, Chicago Children’s Choir, Chicago Chorale, The Lakeside Singers and Chicago Symphony, Ravinia. The orchestra offers a live performance of Howard Shore’s score as the film adaption of J.R.R. Tolkien’s tale is screened.
+ 7:30 p.m. Aug. 8 and 9, Kalmar and Grant Park Orchestra, Pritzker Pavilion, Grant Park Music Festival. “The Legend of the Northern Lights” combines a world-premiere score by Christopher Theofanidis with a presentation of celestial images by astronomer José Francisco Salgado.
+8:30 p.m. Aug. 12, Soprano Kiri Te Kanewa and pianist Kevin Murphy, Ravinia. Composer Jake Heggie has written a new work for the celebrated soprano as part of the festival’s celebration of her 70th birthday.
+ 6:30 p.m. Aug. 13, Artists from the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center, Kalmar and Grant Park Orchestra, Pritzker Pavilion, Grant Park Music Festival. A quartet of Ryan Center singers perform 12 orchestrated versions of William Bolcolm’s “Cabaret Songs.”
+ 7 p.m. Aug. 14 and 1 p.m. Aug. 16, “Don Giovanni,” Baritone Christopher Maltman and Conlon, Chicago Symphony, Ravinia. The orchestra presents the first of its two interwoven sets of concert versions of two famed Mozart operas.
+ 6:30 p.m. Aug. 15 and 7:30 p.m. Aug. 16, Kalmar and the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus, Pritzker Pavilion, Grant Park Music Festival. The festival’s 2014 season culminates with the world premiere of Bolcom’s “Millennium: A Concerto-Fantasia for Orchestra.”
+ 3 p.m. Aug. 17, Organist Lynn Trapp, Madonna della Strada Chapel, Loyola University Chicago – luc.edu/campusministry. A recital by this internationally known organist of St. Olaf Catholic Church in Minneapolis concludes Loyola’s Summer Celebrity Organ Concert Series.
+ 5:45 p.m. Aug. 19, Rush Hour Concerts, St. James Cathedral. The Jason Seed Stringtet presents the premiere of Seed’s “At Rush Hour,” written in honor of the late founder of Rush Hour, Deborah Sobol.
+ 8 p.m. Aug. 20, Mezzo-soprano Dawn Upshaw and the Knights, Martin Theatre, Ravinia. The stellar vocal artist and adventurous chamber orchestra have made their collaboration an annual event at the festival.
+ 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Aug. 23 and 2 p.m. Aug. 24, Violinist Rachel Barton Pine, Ravinia. The native Chicagoan performs a pair of solo concerts and then joins cellist Mike Block for a third program titled, “Old World, New World.”
+ 5:45 p.m. Aug. 26, Rush Hour Concerts, St. James Cathedral. Keyboardists Daniel Schlosberg and Amy Briggs join Third Coast Percussion for a performance of “Sextet” (1984-85) by famed minimalist innovator Steve Reich.
+ 8 p.m. Aug. 27, Pianist Anthony de Mare, Bennett Gordon Hall, Ravinia. De Mare presents more selections from his “Liaisons” project, in which he invited 36 top composers to create piano arrangements of Stephen Sondheim songs.
+ 4 p.m. Aug. 30, Pianist Dan Tepfer, Bennett Gordon Hall, Ravinia. The innovative jazz pianist crosses genres as he presents Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” with accompanying jazz improvisations.