Plans are underway for this summer’s 50th anniversary edition of the Newport Music Festival. The upcoming season (July 4-22, 2018) will feature a broadening of the festival’s musical landscape, celebrating the anniversaries of Rossini, Debussy and Bernstein, as well as works by living composers.
From July 4-22, this golden anniversary season of the Newport Music Festival will feature Joshua Bell, A Far Cry, Imani Winds, Jake Heggie, Charlie Albright and Frederica von Stade, to name just a few artists who will perform in the 40-plus concert festival. Concerts will take place in the Newport Mansions, including The Breakers, The Elms, The Chinese Tea House and Belcourt Castle as well as other nearby locations.
The festival will continue to honor its legacy by presenting the Mark P. Malkovich III Memorial Concert, the highly regarded French Opera Night and three Sunrise Concerts at the Chinese Tea House. It will also renew its pledge to the local community and visitors to Newport by presenting free public concerts and strengthening its commitment to local artists and music programs.
Since 1969 the Newport Music Festival has presented world-renowned and emerging classical music artists. In its 49 seasons, the Rhode Island festival has hosted over 2,500 concerts featuring 130 artists making their American debuts.
Highlights of the 50th anniversary festival include:
- Fourth of July Opening Festival Concert Celebration with Boston Brass
- Sunrise Concerts at the Chinese Tea House on July 6, 13 and 20
- An evening with legendary mezzo soprano Frederica von Stade and composer and pianist
Jake Heggie on July 7
- The highly anticipated return of A Far Cry, who will perform Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 and Philip Glass’ Symphony No. 3 on July 8
- Free “From the Porch” concerts at the Newport Art Museum on July 10 and 17
- Bernstein Centennial Concert with excerpts from “West Side Story” and “Anniversaries” and featuring pianist Jeffrey Siegel on July 12
- The Newport debut of South Korean pianist Yekwon Sunwoo, the gold medalist of the 2017 Van Cliburn Competition, on July 12
- Grammy-nominated Imani Winds make their Newport debut at The Breakers on July 13
- Young Persons’ Concert featuring pianist Jeffrey Siegel on July 14
- Joshua Bell headlines the Newport Music Festival Gala on July 15
- Festival Ensemble-in-Residence Summer Strings performs everything from Led Zeppelin to Michael Jackson to Brahms at Newport Vineyards on July 19
- The Newport debut of pianist, composer and improviser Charlie Albright on July 21
“In looking through 49 years of programming, we have discovered fascinating information on programming, events, artists and the trends of the festival over time,” said Festival Executive Director Pamela A. Pantos. “For the Newport Music Festival devotee and for those who have yet to join us, our festival will feature revelations, not only on the genesis and forgotten history of the festival, but where we are headed as an organization.”
Over the decades the festival has gained a loyal fan base that journeys to Newport each July from around the globe to take in the sights and sounds. For those who love the festival, they will be delighted with the return of many past performers, including legendary mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade who performed during the festival’s second season, directly before her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1970. The festival will also feature many internationally renowned resident festival artists, some of whom have been performing at the festival for decades, such as cellist Sergey Antonov, flautist Göran Marcusson, and violinist Irina Muresanu.
Historic venues like The Breakers and The Elms that have played an equally important role in making the festival a must-attend event will host dozens of concerts throughout the 2 1/2 weeks. Other venues such as The Chinese Tea House at the Marble House will continue to host the in-demand sunrise concerts, which have been expanded from one concert to three concerts this season. Belcourt Castle will also make a long-awaited return as a festival venue, including hosting a Friday the 13th themed cocktail party.
Tickets are now on sale for all concerts and can be purchased at www.NewportMusic.org.