By John W. Lambert
An Appalachian Summer Festival began as a summer chamber music series, growing over time to offer a wide range of music, theatre, dance and art in Boone, home of Appalachian State University. Now in its 29th years, the festival still prominently features music performed by large and small ensembles.
The festival this summer marks the first performances in the newly renovated Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, formerly Farthing Auditorium. The renovations have focused on enhancing the performance experience for the audience, with major improvements in accessibility, acoustics and visibility of the stage.
Things get underway, musically, with Idina Menzel (Rent, Wicked) and the Eastern Festival Orchestra (the professional ensemble of Greensboro’s Eastern Music Festival [LINK to EMF Preview]) on Thursday, July 18.
Otherwise, chamber music remains a key ingredient in festival programming as the Broyhill Chamber Ensemble gives a series of four concerts (July 8, 10, 22 & 24) in Rosen Concert Hall.
Of particular note is an augmented father-and-son evening with Gerard Schwarz, conductor, Julian Schwarz, cello, and André Watts, piano, appearing with the Eastern Festival Orchestra (July 21).
Other highlights include the EMF Young Artists Orchestra in Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and Griffes’ Poem for Flute and Orchestra, the latter featuring Julian Rose, winner of the 2012 Rosen-Schaffel Competition for Young and Emerging Artists (July 14); and this year’s Rosen-Schaffel Competition for Young and Emerging Artists (July 28).
John W. Lambert is the former Executive Editor of Classical Voice North Carolina.