Manchester Music Festival Announces Impressive Season

The Green Mountains will come alive with glorious classical music on July 12 when the Manchester Music Festival raises the curtain on its highly-anticipated 44th season at the Southern Vermont Arts Center. Artistic Director Adam Neiman expressed his enthusiasm for what he called, “a summer of world-class music.”

“I am so looking forward to it,” he said. “We have booked the greatest musicians in the world to headline every concert. The music will be sumptuous, lush, powerful, deeply moving, and exhilarating.” 

The headliners will include such virtuoso favorites as violinist Stefan Milenkovich, pianist Vassily Primakov, and violist Ara Gregorian.  On the MMF stage for the first time will be the Escher String Quartet who serve as Season Artists with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Maestro Michael Stern (son of Isaac Stern) as the conductor for the Orchestral Evening, flutist Helen Tara O’Connor, and violinist Jennifer Frautschi, a two-time Grammy Award nominee and Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient. 

“We are absolutely delighted to welcome them and many other world-class guest artists,” Neiman said.  

The season kicks off on July 12 with a presentation of works by composers Beethoven and Tchaikovsky and Neiman who will present his own Piano Trio No. 2 for Clarinet, Violin and Piano. On stage with Neiman will be Milenkovich, hailed by The New York Times as “a world-class talent,” cellist Amit Peled, member of the famed Tempest Trio, and clarinetist Vadim Lando, who was praised by The Times for his “consistently distinguished, vibrant and virtuosic playing.” 

The five-week concert series runs from July 12 to August 11 and is packed with an extraordinary schedule of events that includes five Thursday night concerts, two Saturday night concerts, four Sunday afternoon Young Artists concerts, an afternoon Family Concert that stars an exciting marimba player, an operatic young artists recital on Stratton Mountain, free pre-concert programs, and masterclasses.

“I predict that the 2018 season will be remembered as a true banner year for MMF, and I feel privileged to be a part of this magnificent organization,” Neiman continued.

The two Saturday night concerts are on July 28 and August 11. Both are perennial, sold-out favorites. The first, A Night At The Opera, welcomes four singers from the Metropolitan Opera alongside famed pianist and coach Warren Jones; the second is the ever-popular Orchestral Evening performance. 

 Bion Tsang at MMF 2017

Bion Tsang at MMF 2017

The Saturday night Orchestral Evening features Maestro Michael Stern, conductor for the past 20 years of the Kansas City Symphony, and is the MMF season finale. The featured soloist of the evening is cellist Bion Tsang who will perform Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 33. Tsang was nominated for a GRAMMY Award in 2010, won an Avery Fisher Career Grant to support his career, and also won a Bronze Medal in the IX International Tchaikovsky Competition.

Curtain for the Thursday and Saturday evening performances is 7:30 p.m. at the Southern Vermont Arts Center’s Arkell Pavilion. The Thursday night pre-concert programs begin at 4:30 p.m. for the recital portion and 6:45 p.m. for the talk; the public is welcome to attend both free-of-charge. The Young Artists concerts are at 2 p.m., also at the Arkell. These concerts feature first-class young musicians from conservatories around the world who are awarded summer scholarships to study and perform chamber music in Manchester.

Tickets for the evening concerts range from $33 to $45 plus tax. Tickets for the Young Artists concerts are $10 plus tax. For more information on the more than 30 presentations from MMF this summer, visit www.mmfvt.org. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling 802-362-1956.