2020 Summer Season
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Music Director Alasdair Neale opens the season with a surprise twist. Assistant Concertmaster Juliana Athayde and guest artist Orion Weiss follow with Massenet’s famous Meditation from his opera Thaïs. Once a humble tune to cover a scene change, it has become one of classical music’s most captivating episodes. Also on the menu, noted gourmet and virtuoso William VerMeulen leads a quartet of horn players in excerpts from Bizet’s endlessly tuneful Carmen. And finally, the orchestra will raise the roof with the triumphant finale of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.Find out more »
Milana Elise Reiche and Rebecca Corruccini play Jean-Marie Leclair’s elegant Sonata in E Minor for Two Violins. A leading musical light in mid-18th-century Paris, Lecair’s fame today rests on virtuoso works for his own instrument: the violin. Beethoven’s music inhabits the opposite end of the emotional spectrum, and nowhere is his temperament more apparent than in the turbulent “Appassionata” piano sonata. Acclaimed American pianist Orion Weiss explores Beethoven’s dark night of the soul.Find out more »
A quintet of the orchestra’s acclaimed brass players kicks off a musical journey with music of the Renaissance. Then, Amos Yang delves into the baroque with the last of Johann Sebastian Bach’s iconic Cello Suites. Heading into the 1950s, Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story gets the brass treatment, while celebrated violinist Leila Josefowicz brings you into the 21st century with an excerpt from Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Lachen Verlernt (Laughing Unlearnt), a modern work in the form of a chaconne that neatly lends a nod back to Bach.Find out more »
Festival mainstays Kristin Ahlstrom, Bjorn Ranheim, and Peter Henderson will be your guides through Beethoven’s Piano Trio in B-flat Major. Better known as the “Archduke,” its dedicatee was Archduke Rudolph of Austria, a musical dilettante and gifted amateur pianist. Full of originality, the 45-minute work was Beethoven’s final full-scale piano trio and ranges from joy to sadness with outbursts of bluff good humor. The work’s first performances with the increasingly deaf composer, accompanied by Ignaz Schuppanzigh on violin and Josef Linke on cello, would mark Beethoven’s last public appearance as a pianist.Find out more »
Award-winning artists Audra McDonald, Kelli O’Hara, and Brian Stokes Mitchell present a special, once-in-a-lifetime performance for the 2020 Gala. In a typical year, tickets sold for the annual fundraising concert help keep the rest of the year’s performances free. But this summer’s Gala will be different. Now, these musical superstars will craft a unique program, for you, broadcast live from the East Coast. It will be presented admission-free for all as a thank-you from the Music Festival to the community.Find out more »
Sit back and enjoy a quartet of cellists led by Amos Yang playing cleverly arranged versions of Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro; Handel’s “Ombra mai fu,” the famous aria from Xerxes sung in appreciation of a plane tree; and even a hit song by the Beatles. Keeping things contemporary, Si-Yan Darren Li and Marc Damoulakis play Osvaldo Golijov’s haunting Mariel for Cello and Marimba before a quartet of percussionists round things off with Steve Reich’s hypnotic Mallet Quartet for Marimbas and Vibraphones.Find out more »
Violinist Juliana Athayde and pianist Orion Weiss perform Beethoven’s effervescent “Spring” Sonata. Published in 1801, the work finds the composer in game-changing mode as he anticipates the Romantic-era gestures of Mendelssohn and Schumann. From the innocence of the opening Allegro to the joyous Rondo Finale, you can almost smell the Austrian countryside. In Mothership—a dancing scherzo where improvising soloists “dock” with the orchestral mothership—Music Director Alasdair Neale and the full orchestra will demonstrate why Mason Bates is one of America’s most popular and performed contemporary composers.Find out more »
Enjoy some positive family dynamics in this survey of Festival orchestra musicians and their talented offspring. From their homes to yours, members of the orchestra team up with their kids to perform selections of their choosing. Like most family gatherings, expect some cute moments and perhaps some surprises—one musician’s son has already soloed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony!Find out more »
Grammy Award-winning pianist and 2019 Musical America Artist of the Year, Russian-born Daniil Trifonov brings his vibrant musical talent to bear on a pair of colorful masterpieces. First up is Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 18, known as “The Hunt,” thanks to a buoyant horn-call motif in the finale. In it, you’ll notice playful high spirits are to the fore, yet there’s room for tenderness, too. Then, nothing conjures images quite like Pictures at an Exhibition. A gallery guide in musical form, the half-hour work—originally written for and played tonight by solo piano—paints a series of vivid musical canvases connected by Mussorgsky’s famous “Promenade” theme.Find out more »
A musical smorgasbord opens with harpist Julia Coronelli playing Debussy’s shimmering “Arabesque No. 1” (you’ll recognize it) followed by Schumann’s dreamy “Romance” for Oboe and Piano played by Erik Behr and guest artist Orion Weiss. Clarinetist Jason Shafer finesses Gershwin’s jazz-inflected Three Preludes before Polina Sedukh performs a 21st-century masterwork: Missy Mazzoli’s evocative Vespers for amplified violin and electronic soundtrack. Concluding the concert in martial style, Music Director Alasdair Neale conducts the orchestra in the colorful third movement from Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, the “Pathétique.”Find out more »
“It’s where we all gather: it’s the center of town life
With picnic basket, folding chairs, blanket, and our two kids in tow, we find ‘our spot’ on the lawn and settle in for what we know will be a wonderful evening of music, fine dining, and chatting with friends old and new. As the glorious music wafts over us and the mountains start to change color in the background, we enjoy a wonderful family night out. And it’s free!"
Pre-Concert Chats (on hiatus, will return in 2021)
Located on the lawn next to the Paver Bar, these 30-minute chats offer insightful, entertaining introductions to the concerts 45 minutes before every performance at the Pavilion, except the Gala. Join in person or stream on your phone from the Festival website.
For more information, visit watch and listen
Kids’ Music Tent (on hiatus, will return in 2021)
Held in the canopy at the back of the Pavilion lawn during summer performances, children ages 4-8 can explore music with local music educator Lisa Pettit through hands-on projects and activities for FREE while you attend the concerts. It’s free—of course—but reservations are required.
For more information, visit attending a concert
Festival Store (open in 2020, with health precautions)
The Festival Store is open every concert day during the Summer Concert Series from 1:00 PM through 1/2 hour after the performance. It is closed during the concert. The Store is your source for information, Festival swag and CDs, picnic supplies, and lost and found.
For more information, visit Festival Store
“Everything comes together here to create truly moving musical experiences—whether you're a devoted classical music fan, or just out for a great evening.
The elevation, mountains, trees, endless sky—combined with the most welcoming of communities—inspires me and all our musicians to bring the ideas and passions of composers from across the centuries to life."