For 44 years, the Manchester Music Festival has made it a mission to bring the joy and beauty of chamber music to the local community. In that spirit, this summer is chock-full of complimentary events that people of all ages are invited to attend.

MMF is known for its premier festival concerts on Thursday and Saturday evenings at Southern Vermont Arts Center’s Arkell Pavilion. Artistic Director Adam Neiman enhances these experiences and invites the community to Q&A sessions and Pre-Concert Talks that are free to the public. At 4:30pm, the doors of Arkell Pavilion open at Southern Vermont Arts Center as the sound of guest artist Pre-Concert Recitals fill the summer air. Each featured musician plays a selection of solo pieces, followed by a Q&A curated by Neiman. For those interested in an in-depth exploration of the music to be presented at that evening's main concert, Neiman presents short Pre-Concert Talks at 6:45pm in SVAC's Yester House exploring the musical and socio-historical context that influenced the creation of those works. Dates of the Pre-Concert Recitals and Talks are July 12, July 19, July 26, August 2, and August 9. Please note, there is no Pre-Concert Recital on August 11, only a Pre-Concert Talk.

On Saturdays, MMF masterclasses provide an insightful forum for the audience to witness a master teacher working closely with participants in the MMF Young Artists Program. Each participating young artist, aged 18-26, will perform solo selections, and the guest teacher will guide the student through a thorough process of improving all aspects of that performance. The class will aim to address technical challenges, strengthen interpretive decisions, and provide inspiration for the student to attain his/her optimum level of performance. After each class, Neiman will briefly interview the masterclass instructor so as to provide an even deeper glimpse into his/her astonishing life and career. Masterclasses take place at 11:30am and 1:00pm on July 14, July 21, July 28, and August 4. Locations vary.

On July 14, the Manchester Community Library will host a special program at 1:00pm featuring acclaimed cellist and MMF performer Amit Peled who will present a delightful reading of his children’s book, “A Cello Named Pablo.” Peled currently performs on the historic 1733 Gofriller Pablo Casals cello, one of the most famous string instruments of all time. His book tells the story of the cello and how Peled went from the basketball courts of rural Israel to grand symphony halls. The reading is open to children of all ages.

At Burr and Burton Academy’s Riley Center for the Arts, at 2:00pm on Saturday, July 28, school-aged children and their families are cordially invited to join the Manchester Music Festival for a free Family Concert and Ice Cream Celebration. This concert will provide an interactive experience for attending children to be involved with a performance on solo marimba and mixed percussion, as guided by master performer Pius Cheung. Select young artists from the MMF Young Artists Program will also perform string chamber music selections, and the event will be narrated by Adam Neiman. The concert will be followed by an ice cream social, generously sponsored by the James H. and Irene Hunter Charitable Trust, with additional funding from the Kenneth L. Robbins Educational Outreach Fund and W.H. Shaw Insurance.

No tickets are required for any of MMF's community events. More information is available at, or at 802-362-1856.