The National Music Festival returns to Maryland’s Eastern Shore June 5 – 18 after a two-year hiatus — with 29 concerts, five lectures, and over 200 free open rehearsals in historic Chestertown and the surrounding area.
Back in full swing for its 10th anniversary season, the Festival brings together world-class professional musicians — from major orchestras, chamber ensembles and conservatory faculties — and gifted student musicians on the verge of launching their careers. Apprentice musicians from throughout the United States and abroad attend tuition-free.
“Out of the ashes of a brutal, tragic and ongoing pandemic, we find ourselves changed and in a changed world,” said Richard Rosenberg, the Festival’s artistic director and conductor. “We are vaccinated, boosted, masked, and hungry for the inspiration of live music, expertly performed.”
The Festival had planned and abandoned five versions of its season before making the difficult decision to cancel in 2020 and 2021.
“In the meantime, musicians continued to hone their craft and plan for their futures in music,” Rosenberg added. “Our NMF supporters kept faith with our mission, and we are finally ready to take up where we left off. The Festival’s 10th anniversary season will finally happen, but with careful safety precautions in place.”
To ensure the health and security of patrons, staff and artists, NMF requires verifiable proof of full vaccination against Covid-19 and that masks (fully covering the nose and mouth) be worn in order to attend all events.
Many of this year’s events — including four symphony masterworks concerts and pre-concert talks — will be at Washington College’s Gibson Center for the Arts. The Festival’s chamber music concerts will feature exciting repertoire at venues including The Mainstay in Rock Hall, local churches, and Chestertown’s Fountain Park.
“Our musicians and audience are making their preparations for a fully-fledged season of great music and artistic exploration. The spectrum of our musical offerings ranges from dynamic to joyous to reflective,” Rosenberg continued. “I am particularly looking forward to our performances of music by Richard Strauss, his Four Last Songs for soprano and orchestra, and Metamorphosen
This year’s repertoire will also include Gershwin’s American classic, Rhapsody in Blue, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10, and Kodály’s Dances of Galánta. Other highlights include Ravel’s La Valse, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, and Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphoses.
“The works we are presenting by Gershwin, Kodály, Tchaikovsky and Hindemith will make us smile,” said Rosenberg. “The greatest aspect of making music again, however, is that a living, breathing audience reacts and breathes with the performer — and the feeling of being at one with our fellow artists and our cherished audience is priceless.”
The full concert schedule is available at https://nationalmusic.us/
Returning in celebration of the Festival’s 10th season is A Night at the Opera, showcasing the Vocal and Collaborative Piano apprentices, as well as Forest Music in Adkins Arboretum. Join our musicians in the Arboretum’s beautiful natural setting combined with an immersive musical experience.
A $250 Festival Pass guarantees admission and preferred seating to all ticketed events, as well as special benefits including a souvenir Festival Guide and invitation to the Opening Night Concert on June 5.
Pre-purchased passes and tickets will be held for pickup at the 2022 Festival. Single-ticket prices for concerts range from $10 to $25. And student tickets are available for all concerts at $5 each (please, bring children under 5 years old to an open rehearsal rather than a concert).
Rehearsal and performance schedules, individual tickets and Festival Passes are available on the Festival’s website, www.nationalmusic.us.