Brevard Music Center Announces 80th Anniversary and 2016 Summer Music Festival

Mike Lawson • News • February 3, 2016

Brevard LakeBrevard, NC—This summer, over a ten-week period spanning June to August, Brevard Music Center (BMC) celebrates a historic 80th Anniversary with over eighty performances in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

More details from Brevard Music Center (

BMC’s 2016 Summer Music Festival features a number of firsts—the operatic world-premiere of Falling Angel, an inaugural Jazz Institute, and a Dvořák in America Festival—in addition to an array of world-class artists including Grammy-winning banjo legend Béla Fleck, acclaimed pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and esteemed BMC alumni.

Brevard Mountain“For eighty years, talented students and distinguished faculty have joined together to perform great musical works at the highest artistic level,” said Brevard Music Center President & CEO Mark Weinstein. “This year, more than any other, we celebrate the thousands of BMC alumni—talented young men and women who have taken the stage here and around the world to raise classical music to new heights. I invite everyone to bring a friend and enjoy a spectacular season of symphony, opera, pops, chamber, and jazz. On the lawn, under the stars, or in an intimate hall…this is the place to witness performances as captivating as the view!”

Opening Weekend: June 24-26, 2016 

BMC’s opening weekend of festivities kicks off with three performances conducted exclusively by Artistic Director Keith Lockhart, also Principal Conductor of the Boston Pops and the BBC Concert Orchestra in London. Lockhart, a BMC alumnus, will also unveil the Music Center’s new acoustic shell at Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium (WPA), a visually stunning stage enhancement that will measurably improve both the sound and quality of any concert experience.

The Friday, June 24th Opening Night will feature the return of French “gentleman, poet, and pianist” Jean-Yves Thibaudet in a performance of Gershwin’s exquisite Piano Concerto in F, as well as the Brevard Music Center Orchestra (BMCO) in a French-inspired evening of compositions by Gershwin (An American in Paris and Variations on I’ve Got Rhythm), Ravel (Bolero) and Debussy (Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune). On Saturday, June 25, Lockhart will lead the BMCO, and a special guest artist, in a BMC Presents 80th Anniversary Spectacular concert. The inspired weekend concludes on Sunday, June 26, with Lockhart leading the Brevard Sinfonia in the evocative Shostakovich Symphony 5 and Sibelius Violin Concerto.

80th Anniversary Inaugural Events 

While Brevard Music Center’s Summer Music Festival has long featured memorable performances by classical superstars and pops legends, the 80th Anniversary Season promises a number of special events designed to celebrate eight decades of music excellence and education.

In early June, prior to its official season opening, BMC will host its inaugural Jazz Institute—an immersive experience for students, faculty, and audiences in the jazz aesthetic. An all-star faculty will lead forty-two talented students through practice and performance with two big band orchestras and a number of ensembles. A special Jazz @ Brevard concert will also be featured on Saturday, June 11.

Joe Horowitz’s groundbreaking Dvořák in America program showcases the master composer in his travels and experience with America at the end of the 19th century, with particular focus on Dvořák’s empathy for the culture of Native Americans and African Americans. In July, his program will make its first visit to BMC in the form of a Dvořák in America Festival. A Saturday July 30th performance of New World Symphony, conducted by BMC Principal Guest Conductor JoAnn Falletta, will serve as the centerpiece among four performances celebrating the Czech composer’s life and work. Festival audiences will also witness a special guest appearance by acclaimed violinist and alumnus Robert McDuffie.

On June 30 and July 2, the world premiere performance of J. Mark Scearce’s Falling Angel will give audiences a first look at this spectacular new opera, based on the classic novel by William Hjortsberg. For BMC Director of Opera Dean Anthony, the opportunity for aspiring students to participate in a world premiere opera is “huge!” Playwright Lucy Thurber has adapted the story for an evening of opera noir with remarkable music, contemporary effects, and a talented young cast that will breathe life into this first-ever partnership between Brevard Music Center and New York City’s Center for Contemporary Opera.

You Can Come Home Again

As a special feature of the Music Center’s 80th Anniversary, a host of celebrated BMC alumni are coming home this summer to delight audiences with unique performances and to inspire the next generation of great musicians. Brevard will welcome back an impressive roster of former students, including noted composer Mason Bates and conductor Robert Moody. The July 16th Alumni Spotlight will reunite these two old friends for a special performance of Bates’s Rusty Air in Carolina, a piece inspired by his time at Brevard Music Center.

Additional Summer Music Festival Highlights 

For opera lovers, Brevard Music Center is pleased to present a dazzling array of three fully staged operas during the 2016 Summer Music Festival. In addition to Falling Angel, BMC’s Janiec Opera Company will present Mozart’s The Magic Flute on July 14 and 16. On July 28 and 30, BMC welcomes back celebrated countertenor and alumnus David Daniels in Benjamin Britten’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Patrons will enjoy additional evenings of operatic music including Opera’s Greatest Hits and Some Enchanted Evening: The Music of Rodgers and Hammerstein. All operas are staged in the Scott Concert Hall at the Porter Center (Brevard College) on Thursdays or Saturdays.

Along with the special Anniversary events, the Brevard Summer Music Festival will also feature a full schedule of unforgettable performances, including appearances by banjo virtuosos Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn on June 28 in collaboration with Mountain Song Productions, the much loved Pendergrast Family Patriotic Pops on July 4, BMC Resident Conductor Ken Lam leading A Night at the Movies on July 9, internationally-acclaimed pianist Conrad Tao and conductor David Effron on July 22, and the 80th Anniversary Season Finale with Keith Lockhart conducting Beethoven 9 on August 7. In addition, BMC is proud to present its popular Chamber Music series with thirteen programs featuring The Shanghai Quartet, the International Contemporary Ensemble, Bill Preucil & Friends, and more.

Subscription and Ticket Information 

Tickets to Brevard Music Center’s Summer Festival range in price from $15 for lawn tickets to $55* for premium seating in Whittington-Pfohl, BMC’s open-air auditorium. Lawn seating is free for children under 17 (with a paying adult) and students 18 and older (with a valid ID). All guest artists, programs, and dates are subject to change.

                                                                                                                                                                 *excludes Opening Night and BMC Presents 

Early Bird subscription sales begin February 1 for BMC donors. On March 15, single tickets are available to the general public. On May 2, the BMC Box Office opens and will remain open for subscription and single ticket sales throughout the summer season.


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