The National Music Festival will celebrate its 10th Anniversary August 1-14, 2021 in Chestertown, Md. NMF will feature music to suit virtually every taste – from symphonies and chamber music to hints of jazz. More than 30 concerts and over 200 open rehearsals are scheduled throughout the festival.
In its first nine seasons, the Festival has provided almost 1,000 tuition-free apprenticeships to gifted young professional musicians, hailing from every U.S. state and six continents.
“We are thrilled to be able to mark our 10th Anniversary Season with our friends, audiences, and music lovers of all ages,” said Executive Director Caitlin Patton. Out of concern about the COVID-19 pandemic, arts organizations worldwide had to cancel events in 2020. In 2022, the festival will resume its normal annual June schedule.
Patton and her husband, conductor Richard Rosenberg, founded the festival in 2011 in rural Floyd, Va. The couple moved the festival to Chestertown the following year to take advantage of its more accessible location.
“The Festival has been magical from the start,” said Rosenberg, the Festival’s artistic director and principal conductor. “It’s magical that the community embraced it so wholeheartedly. Magical that bonds have been formed that endure, and that so many of our musicians are winning important jobs, in great part because of what they have taken with them from their time in Chestertown.”
There’s perhaps no better example of this than the return in 2021 of two NMF alumni in prominent professional roles: Marzena Diakun, a conducting apprentice in 2012 and 2103, will be the guest conductor this year. Olivia Hunt, a cello apprentice in 2019, will return as the soloist in Saint-Saëns Concerto for Violoncello No. 1 in A minor. She is a recent graduate of the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University.
On Aug. 1, a gala opening night concert will feature the original 1924 jazz band version of Gershwin’s “A Rhapsody in Blue” with piano mentor David Brooks as soloist.
Other festival highlights will include Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3, “The Scottish,” on Aug. 7 and his Violin Concerto in E Minor, a cornerstone of the violin repertoire, with mentor Emily Daggett Smith as soloist. Earlier that day brings the return of a popular festival feature, the free One Big Happy Family Concert featuring light classics, and a Musical Instrument Petting Zoo, where anyone can try out various instruments.
Igor Stravisnky’s Firebird Suite No. 2, a dazzling orchestral spectacular, will anchor the Aug. 11 concert.
Brazilian guitarist Camilo Carrara will return to the festival, after a two-year absence, to mentor students and as soloist in Vivaldi’s Concerto for Lute in D. His popular Camilo & Friends concerts have become audience favorites over the years.
Music by Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Bartok, and Kodaly will also be featured throughout the festival fortnight.
Earlybird festival season passes are on sale now for $225 through Dec. 31, increasing to $250 beginning Jan. 1, 2021. Passes guarantee admission and preferred seating at ticketed Music Festival concerts, a Festival Guide, and invitations to special events. They can be purchased online at https://nationalmusic.us/events-and-tickets/tickets/.
Contact: Caitlin Patton, Executive Director