Gillian Friedman Fox
Gillian Friedman Fox

Gillian Friedman Fox, the newly appointed executive director of the Newport Music Festival, joins WhatsUpNewp for a videocast on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 11 a.m. 

The Festival Board chose Fox to lead the festival in its 53rd season. She comes to Rhode Island from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, where she was Director of Contemporary & SOLUNA Programs. Fox has received national attention for curating programs featuring cutting-edge visual and performing artists in critically acclaimed world premieres. 

Her genre-defying programming has received rave reviews for “bridging the gap between classical music and contemporary culture,” according to, and “admirably erasing borders between artistic disciplines as well as between notions of high and low culture,” as The Daily Beast noted.

In its introduction of Fox, the Festival, on its website said that “Under Fox’s leadership, SOLUNA expanded from a Dallas-based event to a nationally recognized festival, and attendance grew each year, bringing classical music to a broader and more diverse audience. In her time at the helm, the festival presented 31 world premieres, nine Texas premieres and commissioned 25 new works. She has curated and produced works by Bang on a Can All-Stars, Terence Blanchard, Du Yun, Kronos Quartet, Sō Percussion and Julia Wolfe.”

Before joining the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Fox worked with management companies, including Columbia Artists Music. She is a graduate of the University of Rochester, a member of the APAP Emerging Leadership Institute and served on the Western Arts Alliance 35Below committee.

The Newport Music Festival has a storied history, bringing classical artists from throughout the world – some well-known, while also discovering new talent — showcasing them in Newport’s mansions.

Watch our conversation live below as it happens, or anytime afterward.

YouTube video