This summer, over a ten-week period spanning June to August, Brevard Music Center (BMC) offers more than eighty performances and events amid the scenic beauty of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains.
Led by Artistic Director Keith Lockhart, the 2018 BMC Summer Music Festival provides audiences an exceptional array of symphony, opera, chamber, pops, jazz, bluegrass, dance, and folk performances including symphonic masterpieces by Mozart, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky; piano virtuosos Olga Kern and Conrad Tao; bluegrass legends Steep Canyon Rangers and Béla Fleck; BMC Presents artists including The Manhattan Transfer and Asheville dance troupe Terpsicorps; a season-long Festival Within a Festival celebrating the centennial of Leonard Bernstein; a Rock Violin Concerto featuring R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, and a family-friendly night at the movies with West Side Story on the big screen, accompanied by a live symphony.
Brevard Music Center continues to stand as one of this country’s premier summer training programs and music festivals,” said Brevard Music Center President & CEO Mark Weinstein. “Each season, our esteemed faculty and gifted student musicians collaborate on stage, alongside internationally-acclaimed artists and musical legends, to present over eighty concerts to an enthusiastic audience of 40,000 attendees. This summer, tens of thousands of music-lovers will convene with friends by the lake, under the stars, or in an intimate concert hall to experience an unprecedented variety of classical and non-classical offerings. Please join us as we celebrate our 82nd season and performances as captivating as the view!”
Opening Weekend of Festivities: June 22 – 26
The festivities officially commence on Opening Night, Friday, June 22nd, when BMC Artistic Director Keith Lockhart returns to lead Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, featuring the “mesmerizing and dazzling” pianist Olga Kern. The Music Center’s non-classical series, BMC Presents, kicks off the new season on Saturday, June 23 with the acclaimed Grammy® Award-winning quartet The Manhattan Transfer and a swinging evening of “some of the finest vocal harmonizing on the planet.” On Sunday, June 24, Maestro Lockhart launches BMC’s 2018 Bernstein Festival with “Beloved Bernstein”—a distinct collection of beloved pieces including “Overture to Candide,” “Fancy Free,” “On the Town,” “Divertimento,” and “On the Waterfront.”
The 2018 opening weekend celebration continues through Tuesday, June 26th, with yet another Grammy® Award-winning group—local favorite Steep Canyon Rangers. Produced in collaboration with Mountain Song Productions, the sextet takes center stage alongside BMC Resident Conductor Ken Lam and the Brevard Sinfonia for an unforgettable evening of bluegrass, folk rock, pop, and country.
A Festival Within a Festival Celebrating the Centennial of Leonard Bernstein
For its third Festival Within a Festival, BMC joins arts organizations across the nation in saluting the centennial of celebrated composer, Leonard Bernstein. One of the most prominent and widely published writers on topics in American music, Joseph Horowitz, returns to Brevard to participate in a season-long series of events and free lectures providing rich context around the influential composer’s music. BMC’s Leonard Bernstein Festival includes a series of classical and Broadway concerts featuring beloved works such as “Chichester Psalms,” Symphony No. 2 (“Age of Anxiety”), and the “Mass” (Season Finale), among others. Two fully staged performances of the opera “Candide” and the movie “West Side Story” (with live symphony) complete BMC’s rich and varied festival programming.
New York City’s WQXR Young Artists Showcase Comes to Brevard
Now in its 40th year on WQXR, New York City’s only classical music radio station, Young Artists Showcase is a weekly radio show that seeks out and displays the talents of young emerging artists. On July 19, long-time host Robert Sherman brings his much-admired show to Brevard to highlight BMC student musicians. The July performance will be taped for subsequent national broadcast on WQXR, as well as regional broadcasts on WCQS (Asheville) and WDAV (Charlotte). WQXR’s Young Artists Showcase is supported by The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Family Foundation.
Additional Season Highlights Feature Something for Everyone
On July 4, BMC celebrates Independence Day with its annual Pendergrast Patriotic Pops concert, featuring the rousing 1812 Overture with live cannon. Only days later on July 7, BMC welcomes R.E.M.’s Mike Mills on keyboard/guitar and BMC alumnus Robert McDuffie on violin for Mills’ “Concerto for Violin, Rock Band, and String Orchestra.” On July 20, the virtuosic pianist “with staggering technique…and emotional range,” Conrad Tao, returns to Brevard to perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Throughout June and July, a series of seven BMC Student Spotlights illuminate the many talents of the Music Center’s exceptional students.
Additional symphonic highlights include Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony on June 29, and a dramatic season finale weekend featuring Holst’s “The Planets” on August 3, Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” on August 4, and the “tour de force”—Bernstein’s “Mass”—on August 5. Artistic Director Keith Lockhart returns to Brevard for his final season appearances to conduct both “The Planets” (which also features visuals from the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute/PARI) and Bernstein’s “Mass.”
On July 14, BMC proudly presents “West Side Story”— with live symphony performing Leonard Bernstein’s classic score — marking the second union of movie and live music on the Music Center’s Whittington-Pfohl stage and following the acclaimed 2017 season presentation of “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial in Concert.”
This summer, opera lovers enjoy a dazzling array of three fully staged operas and two operatic concerts. In addition to Bernstein’s “Candide” on July 26 and 28, BMC’s Opera Company proudly presents Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” on June 28 and 30, and Rossini’s “La Cenerentola” (Cinderella) on July 12 and 14. “Opera’s Greatest Hits” and “Sondheim on Sondheim” complete the season’s extensive opera schedule on June 21 and August 2. All operas are staged in the Scott Concert Hall at the Porter Center (on the Brevard College campus) on Thursdays or Saturdays and complemented by English subtitles above the stage.
Brevard’s 82nd season also includes the return of Adam Holzman and the Texas Guitar Quartet on June 7, the BMC debuts of Grammy® Award-winning jazz trumpeter Randy Brecker on June 8 and Asheville dance troupe Terpsicorps on July 17, and a special post-season concert by the Grammy® Award-winning banjo legend Béla Fleck on August 18. BMC Presents: Béla Fleck in Concert is produced in collaboration with Mountain Song Productions and in conjunction with Béla Fleck’s first ever banjo camp held at Brevard Music Center from August 15-19.
From June through August, chamber music enthusiasts will be equally delighted by a season filled with world-acclaimed musicians including The Shanghai Quartet (“Beethoven Cycle I and II”), Sō Percussion, and the return of Noah Bendix-Balgley, Principal Concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic, in a very special performance with friends. BMC’s esteemed faculty also take center stage in a series of chamber performances featuring works by Dvořák, Mozart, Brahms, Schumann, and Bernstein. All chamber concerts are staged in the Scott Concert Hall at the Porter Center or Ingram Auditorium (on the Brevard College campus).
Subscription and Ticket Information
Tickets to Brevard Music Center’s Summer Festival start at $20. Lawn seating at Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium, BMC’s 1800-seat, open-air auditorium, is free for children under 17* (with a paying adult) and students 18 and older* (with a valid ID). All guest artists, programs, pricing, and dates are subject to change.
*excludes Opening Night, Season Finale & BMC Presents
Early Bird subscription and single ticket sales begin February 5 for BMC donors. Subscription renewals and single ticket sales for non-donor/subscribers begin on February 15. On March 15, single tickets become available to the general public. On May 14, the BMC Box Office opens and remains open for subscription and single ticket sales throughout the summer season.
For more information about BMC’s 2018 Summer Music Festival, a comprehensive performance schedule, and to purchase tickets: visit brevardmusic.org, contact BMC’s subscription line at (828) 862-2130, or email [email protected].
Brevard Music Center gratefully acknowledges 2018 Season Sponsors, Jacquelyn and Bruce Rogow.