First, Ravinia is the CSO’s summer home, and since 1999, the Mexican-born artist has resided in Highland Park. That proximity has strengthened his bond with the festival and its north suburban base.
But most of all, observes Osorio in an interview with the site the Latin Post, “It was always my dream to play with the Chicago Symphony.” Among the works he has performed with the CSO at Ravinia are the five Beethoven Piano Concertos, several Mozart Piano Concertos and Brahms’ First Concerto, which he will revisit July 29. “I have been playing with this festival for a number of years, and I have a special relationship with it.”
He’s especially close to James Conlon, now in his final season as Ravinia’s music director. “He has always been my conductor in Ravinia,” Osorio said. “It is so special because you get to know him so well and develop a great relationship after so many years.
“What has always been exciting to play with Jimmy is that he is spontaneous. I remember the first time we played the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 and the way he began the tutti with the orchestra. It was volcanic and surprising. He gives me so much liberty to express, and he is always with me. We make music together with so much energy and passion. And there is a lot of respect.”