The Corner


Our Culture: A Check-In

A venue at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Ill., a suburb of Chicago (Jay Nordlinger)

The Ravinia Festival is the music festival outside Chicago (Highland Park — John Hughes territory). It has the Chicago Symphony and other classical “acts,” but also Jethro Tull, Lyle Lovett, Martin Short, etc. It is an imaginative and wonderful festival, in a beautiful setting, presided over by Welz Kauffman.

He is the longtime boss of Ravinia, and one of the leading impresarios in the music biz. He is also my guest on the latest Q&A. Kauffman has known anyone and everyone. He has a great deal of experience — and he relates it all with great “fluency,” as WFB would say. In the course of our conversation, we discuss some of the pressing issues in our culture.

By the way, Kauffman matriculated at Occidental College with Barack Obama, who was then known as “Barry.” Kauffman was present for what was probably the future president’s first significant speech.

That is what we might call a “brush with history.”

In any event, there is no other political note in this podcast, and if you’d like a break away from the political wars, a trip to Ravinia — in the form of this podcast — might be just the ticket.


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