Summer Festivals: Scenic N.C. Resorts Extend Tradition Of Chamber Music

By John W. Lambert

The Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival, now in its 32nd season, offers pairs of concerts in the nearby communities of Highlands and Cashiers, NC, spread across four days each weekend, starting June 28. The region is one of the state’s loveliest, and Highlands, in particular, has long been celebrated as a scenic resort, in summer, drawing visitors from throughout the southeast for great music performed by internationally-known artists.

Members of the Vega String Quartet with Charles Wadworth (center) and William Ransom and Eric Pritchard (right) - Photo provided by HCCMF
Members of the Vega String Quartet with Charles Wadworth (center) and William Ransom and Eric Pritchard (right) – Photo provided by HCCMF

The season begins June 28 with an all-star cast led by violinist William Preucil performing Mozart, Brahms and Mendelssohn.

There is a break over the July 4 weekend, but things pick up again July 12 with the Eroica Trio. In addition to their own program, they also perform “Eroica Plus” with guest friends.

“The Magic Flute” welcomes Anthony Reiss (Germany) and clarinetist Roeland Hendrikx (Belgium), both debuting on July 19-20 in concerts with the Vega String Quartet.

Artistic Director William Ransom offers a solo piano recital on July 26-27, performing music by Chopin, Beethoven, and Gershwin, followed by “Jazz Meets Classics” on July 28-29, presenting “The Joy of Sax” with Dwight Andrews, Leo Saguiguit, Gary Motley and Elena Cholakova.

The Parker Quartet, recent winners of a Grammy Award for Chamber Music, comes to the Festival for the first time, playing Mozart, Shostakovich and Beethoven on Aug. 2-5.

HCCMF LogoThe Festival Chamber Orchestra offers a gala concert (with dinner after)  Aug. 11, featuring Bach’s Concerto for Oboe and Violin with Eugene Izotov, principal oboe of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and David Coucheron, concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony, who will join violist Yinzi Kong for Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante to conclude the season.

Performances in Highlands are given in the Highlands Performing Arts Center and in Cashiers, at the  Albert Carlton Library.

And also of note: The Brevard Music Festival is in the neighborhood; for details, click here.

For complete details of HCCMF, click here.

For more information, call the box office at 828-526-9060 or write to

John W. Lambert is the former Executive Editor of Classical Voice North Carolina.