Brevard Music Center Announces 2020 Summer Festival Season

Musicians in a symphony performance.

For more than ten weeks this summer, from May until August, Brevard Music Center (BMC) will bring 40,000 music lovers to its scenic campus in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Audiences of all ages will delight in a dazzling array of concerts and events, experience the inaugural season of BMC’s new Parker Concert Hall, be immersed in Beethoven and a 250th birthday celebration, and support the 500 gifted young musicians who will redefine the future of classical music alongside an acclaimed roster of guest artists and faculty. Jacquelyn and Bruce Rogow are the Season Sponsors of BMC’s 2020 Summer Festival Season.

BMC Artistic Director and alumnus Keith Lockhart, Principal Conductor of the Boston Pops and Chief Guest Conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra, will oversee an inspiring festival program of 100 performances and events — many free to the public — in a wide variety of styles and genres. The 2020 season highlights include symphony, chamber, and opera masterpieces by Beethoven, Mahler, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Dvořák, and Strauss, among many others. World-renowned classical virtuosi — Garrick Ohlsson, Gil Shaham, The Shanghai Quartet, and Ray Chen — will be featured among an equally legendary BMC Presents line-up of non-classical artists including Judy Collins, Béla Fleck, and Bryan Sutton.

BMC will also take part in the worldwide celebration of [email protected], honoring the great composer with a season-long “Festival Within A Festival” and exploration of his masterworks. Families will enjoy exciting special performances such as the explosive Fourth of July Patriotic Pops, and encourage a new generation of classical music fans with Disney in Concert: The Lion King (Live Action) on the big screen with live orchestra.

“For decades, Brevard Music Center has been recognized as one of the premier summer training programs and music festivals in the United States,” said Brevard Music Center President & CEO Mark Weinstein. “This summer, our enormously talented students will continue to exceed all expectations, resulting in marvelous audience experiences for both new and veteran visitors. With world-class faculty, thrilling guest artists, and ticket prices starting at $20, it’s a remarkable opportunity to enjoy great music lakeside, under the stars, in our open-air auditorium or in our incredible new Parker Concert Hall for what promises to be a truly unforgettable season.”

PRE-SEASON: MAY 30 – JUNE 18

The 2020 Season gets going early this year with acclaimed acoustic guitarist Bryan Sutton, who will host the inaugural Blue Ridge Guitar Camp at BMC, May 27 – 30, culminating with a North Carolina Guitar Celebration concert on May 30 (produced in collaboration with Mountain Song Productions). Pre-Season continues on June 11 with an Evening of Classical Guitar, a tribute to the First Lady of Jazz with Jane Monheit Sings Ella on June 12, and the rich, lively sounds of [email protected] on June 18.

OPENING WEEKEND, FRIDAY, JUNE 26 – TUESDAY, JUNE 30

Opening weekend at BMC always includes a grand and expansive series of world-class music! On Friday, June 26, Artistic Director Keith Lockhart officially launches the [email protected] Festival when he takes center stage at Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium (WPA) for a spectacular All-Beethoven Celebration, featuring the joyful Symphony No. 7 and the return of renowned pianist Garrick Ohlsson for the 4th Piano Concerto.

Saturdays at BMC never disappoint, and June 27 promises an all-star opener to the 2020 BMC Presents series of non-classical music. Save the date now for what is sure to be an unmissable event with a soon to be announced guest artist.

Resident Conductor Ken Lam will lead one of classical music’s most beloved works, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concert No. 1, featuring the superb talents of pianist Anna Tsybuleva on Sunday, June 28. And to cap off an extraordinary first weekend, the BMC Orchestra will join iconic, Grammy®-Award winning singer-songwriter Judy Collins for a brand new symphonic arrangement of her landmark 1967 record, Wildflowers.

BEETHOVEN @ 250: A SEASON-LONG “FESTIVAL WITHIN A FESTIVAL”

In 2020, BMC is thrilled to be part of a global celebration of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday with a season-long exploration of masterworks created or influenced by the master composer. Audiences will experience a “Festival Within A Festival” like no other, as BMC pays tribute to Beethoven’s legacy with symphony, chamber, piano, and even opera with Season Finale: Fidelio in Concert on August 9—the powerful and inspiring concert version of Beethoven’s singular opera, featuring conductor Sebastian Lang-Lessing and hundreds of artists on the WPA stage.

LIGHTS UP ON A NEW VENUE: PARKER CONCERT HALL

This summer, BMC audiences will be the first to attend special classical and contemporary piano and chamber concerts at the beautiful new Parker Concert Hall. This intimate lakeside venue, named for lead sponsors Drs. Tom and Joanne Parker, officially opens its doors with a grand opening VIP gala featuring pianist Garrick Ohlsson on June 23. Throughout the season, Parker Concert Hall will feature extraordinary performances by BMC Faculty and special guests including Johannes Moser and The Shanghai Quartet, as they conclude their exquisite Beethoven Cycle. And on July 28, Steep Canyon Rangers’ Woody Platt and singer-songwriter Shannon Whitworth will appear together in a very special BMC Presents concert (produced in collaboration with Mountain Song Productions).

The $6 million, 400-seat Parker Concert Hall represents the first-ever year-round venue on the Music Center campus. Beginning in Fall 2020, patrons can look forward to a special series of BMC concerts throughout the year. A unique multi-purpose venue, designed by Brevard’s Platt Architecture, P.A., the Parker Concert Hall will also be available for retreats, weddings, and other special events outside of the summer music festival season.

GYPSIES, STRINGS & LION KINGS: SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE

BMC’s gorgeous, scenic venues play host to a wide variety of extraordinary programming throughout the summer. Symphonic fans will find much to delight in a season rich in masterworks, including Beethoven Symphonies 3, 5, and 7, Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben, Dvořák’s New World Symphony, Tchaikovsky’s Suite from Sleeping Beauty, Mahler Symphony No. 7, and much more.

Two perennial audience favorites return to BMC’s Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium in 2020: the rousing Fourth of July concert with live cannon, Pendergrast Patriotic Pops, and a very special night at the movies featuring Walt Disney Studios’ thrilling, 2019 live-action remake of The Lion King, with live symphony performing Hans Zimmer’s stunning score.

Throughout much of its 84-year history, opera has been an integral part of BMC programming. This summer, opera lovers will enjoy a dazzling selection of three fully staged operas — Bizet’s Carmen, Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio, and Leigh-Wasserman’s Man of La Mancha — plus a recital of Opera’s Greatest Hits and a very special Evening of Cole Porter. All operas are staged in the Scott Concert Hall at the Porter Center (on the Brevard College campus) and complemented by English supertitles above the stage.

Additional non-classical guest artists (to be announced in the coming weeks) will take the stage at the Music Center throughout the season as part of the popular BMC Presents series. This year, BMC is thrilled to welcome back Béla Fleck, who headlines his third Blue Ridge Banjo Camp Concert on August 17 (produced in collaboration with Mountain Song Productions).

For a complete 2020 summer music festival schedule including dates, times, and locations of all performances and events, please visit brevardmusic.org.

SUBSCRIPTION AND TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets to most Brevard Music Center Summer Festival performances 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.

BMC donors can enjoy Early Bird ticket purchase benefits beginning February 3 with season tickets becoming available for renewal and purchase on February 25. Single tickets will be available online to the general public beginning April 1. In early May, the BMC Box Office opens and remains open throughout the 2020 summer season.

For more information about BMC’s Summer Music Festival and to purchase tickets for the 2020 season, visit brevardmusic.org, contact BMC’s subscription line at 828-862-2130, or email [email protected].

*Excludes Opening Night, Season Finale & BMC Presents