Newport Music Festival appoints Pamela A. Pantos new executive director in preparation for 50th anniversary season and beyond

The board of directors of the Newport Music Festival announced on June 7th via a press release that they have appointed Pamela A. Pantos as their new executive director. Pantos’

Pantos’ extensive experience from a two-decade career in arts, finance, festival and nonprofit management will usher in a new era for the festival as it enters its 50th anniversary season in 2018.

“We are delighted to welcome Pamela as we head toward a major milestone and pivotal time for the festival,” said Virginia Gambale, Board President, in the release.“We are looking forward to seeing her vision for the festival come to life — one that honors the festival’s rich history and leverages the endless opportunities from a classical music landscape that continues to evolve in bold and unexpected ways.”

Pantos is recognized as an award-winning visionary and entrepreneurial leader in the nonprofit arts and culture and for-profit industry. Her experience on the stage and in the boardroom has transformed organizations by creating new revenues streams, facilitating strategic partnerships and reducing costs.

As vice president at Arts Consulting Group, Pantos led executive search and transformed the division to become both an international and national competitor. When Pantos was executive director at Opera North, she revitalized the company, bringing it firmly into the black by creating and executing a robust strategic plan and designing a marketing plan to increase subscriber base. She also set a new standard for artistic excellence. Prior to Opera North, Pantos was a finance manager for Mergers & Acquisitions (North America) for W.R. Grace.

As an internationally acclaimed opera singer and fluent in five languages, Pantos has performed in many of the world’s most prestigious concert venues, including Rotterdam AHOY Arena, Lyric Opera of Athens, and State Theater of Munich. Pantos earned an MBA at the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College, completed a Masters in Musicology from the University of Hamburg in Germany, and attained a bachelor of arts
from Wellesley College, receiving all degrees with honors.

“It is a true honor to join the festival at such an auspicious juncture. The 50th anniversary season provides us an opportunity to celebrate our rich legacy and introduce our audiences, who journey to Newport each summer from around the globe, to a broad spectrum of world-class artists and ensembles,” said Pantos. “I am looking forward to opening a new chapter for the Newport Music Festival, one that will engage our diverse community and the next generation of classical music fans as well as traditional enthusiasts.”

Mark Malkovich IV, the current artistic director, will remain through the end of the 2017 festival. The Malkovich family has been at the core of all festival activities since 1975. Mark Malkovich III is credited with elevating the festival from a local music event to an internationally renowned two-week festival that has presented over 130 North American debuts of musicians from around the world. After his passing in 2010, Mark Malkovich IV continued his outstanding work. Wife and mother Joan Malkovich, who has been at their sides as an integral part of the festival team for four decades, will also end her tenure at the end of the 2017 festival.

“It’s hard in a few words to express what this extraordinary festival has meant to me,” said Mark Malkovich IV. “Assuming the role of artistic director in 2010 after my father’s unexpected passing, and so soon after I had become the general manager, really tested me. That I was able to guide this festival we all love so much to produce seven seasons of exceptional programs makes me proud beyond words. And it’s why I feel, now that my mother is retiring, that it’s time for me to take on new challenges in the music world.”

The 49th season of the Newport Music Festival will take place July 7-23 with 57 performances in 11 venues in and around Newport, including the celebrated Newport Mansions, such as The Breakers, Chateau-sur-Mer, The Chinese Tea House at the Marble House, Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum, and The Elms. The festival will include over 80 musicians from around the world.

Tickets and more information are available at

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).