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Ruth Bader Ginsburg will present an award to Chicago philanthropist Joan Harris. 0

Ruth Bader Ginsburg taking the stage for Chicago nonprofit

August 30th, 2016

Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be in Chicago in a few weeks to present an award to Chicago philanthropist Joan Harris at the annual gala for Cedille Records, the nonprofit classical music label.

No, the U.S. Supreme Court justice won’t be talking politics, says her son, Jim Ginsburg, who founded the record company. “She’s just presenting,” he said, chuckling in reference to the brouhaha his mom created by giving her two cents about a certain Republican presidential candidate.

Jim Ginsburg, founder of Cedille./photo by Shia Kapos

The younger Ginsburg spoke from the North Side offices of Cedille (pronounced say-dee). He had just returned from a long vacation with his mom. They saw five operas in five days in Santa Fe, N.M., and four operas in three nights at the Glimmerglass opera festival in New York.

Jim Ginsburg was a collector of classical music and a student at University of Chicago law school when he founded Cedille in 1989. He later made it a nonprofit that today has about a $1.2 million operating budget. It’s focus: recording classical music of Chicago-area performers.

“My parents were always music lovers and my mom used to take me to concerts when I was young,” he says, ticking off the many visits to see New York Philharmonic, New York City Opera and Metropolitan Opera.

Music has remained a part of his personal life. His wife is soprano Patrice Michaels. They live in Chicago in the shadow of the Andersonville business district and are a Brady Bunch family–each with two children from previous marriages.

Ginsburg’s late father, tax attorney Martin Ginsburg, was a fund-raiser for Cedille until his death six years ago. The organization has since beefed up its board and added the gala in honor of him.

Price for the Sept. 11 event at Spertus Institute ranges from $125 to $6,000.

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