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Fri, Aug 11


Highland Park

Want Symphonic: Rufus Wainwright with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia

Want One and Want Two 20th Anniversary Tour

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Want Symphonic: Rufus Wainwright with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia
Want Symphonic: Rufus Wainwright with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia

Time & Location

Aug 11, 2023, 8:00 PM

Highland Park, 200 Ravinia Park Rd, Highland Park, IL 60035, USA

About the event

About the Artist

Praised by the New York Times for his “genuine originality,” Rufus Wainwright has established himself as one of the great male vocalists and composers of his generation. The New York-born, Montreal-raised singer-songwriter has released 13 studio albums to date, including live recording like the Grammy-nominated Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall. He has written two operas, numerous songs for movies and TV, and is currently working on his first musical. Wainwright’s latest Grammy and Juno nominated album, Unfollow the Rules, finds him in fresh artistic maturity with passion, honesty, and a new-found fearlessness.


Chicago Symphony Orchestra Lee Mills, conductor Rufus Wainwright, vocalist


Want One and Want Two released over 2003–4, are as iconic as it can get in an iconic musician’s catalogue. Rolling Stone wrote that “Rufus Wainwright’s fanciful songs about love and faith place him in the rarefied company of Bjork and Brian Wilson.” David Bowie praised “Dinner at Eight” as “the best father/son song he knew,” calling Rufus “simply one of the great writers.” Paste Magazine enshrined Want One as the album of the year, while Rolling Stone marked it number five among the best releases of 2003.

Twenty years on, Wainwright is renewing both albums’ “breathtaking and eccentric opulence” (German Rolling Stone) with the original songs translated into new lush symphonic arrangements by Sally Herbert (Woodkid, Florence + the Machine) and Max Moston (Antony and the Johnsons). The tour kicks off with two of the most iconic classical institutions and orchestras: the Proms in London and the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony.

Want Symphonic is a sonic Shangri-La for 60 classical musicians, drummer Matt Johnson (Jeff Buckley, St. Vincent), and the “velvety truffle” (London Times) of Wainwright’s voice. The elevated instrumentation of these songs originally produced by Marius de Vries (Madonna, Bjork, Massive Attack, David Bowie) expands on the “glorious musical adventure with Wainwright’s vocals—sweet and unerringly hopeful—reaching out so disarmingly that they make you feel at home amid even the most ‘daunting’ of instrumental moments” (LA Times).

Want One and Two are maybe the most epic of my albums. They are the two sides of a coin,” Wainwright says, “or, better, my personality—the male and the female, ecstasy and restraint, glory and doom, decay and creation, the mature and the child. I am excited to bring these songs to a new level with all-new symphonic settings.”

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