What do you get when you combine 60 concerts, 17 days and 13 different venues? The Newport Music Festival, of course! Visitors to Newport won’t want to miss this euphonious event, which brings the city’s rich musical heritage to center stage. Read on to learn more about this eagerly awaited annual festival occurring July 8th through July 24th, along with highlights of the upcoming season.
A Half-Century of Musical Magic
Now in its 48th year, the Newport Music Festival has played a critical cultural role since its inaugural 1969 event. While Woodstock was raging some 250 miles south, Newport was initiating a tradition based on the city’s long history of presenting classical music to the community. This dates all the way back to the sophisticated summer festivals of the Gilded Age.
Since that time, the Preservation Society of Newport County’s renowned Newport Mansions have played host to more than 2,000 concerts throughout the Newport region. Many of the 1,000-plus artists, including 130 debuting American artists, who have graced the festival stages have gone on to brilliant careers. Who knows which of this year’s performers will one day make history-making music of their own?
The Newport Music Festival Today
While the Romantic era is still alive and well in Newport, the Newport Music Festival has grown to comprise everything from Bach to Bernstein. In fact, one of the things that makes the Newport Music Festival so unique is its dynamic interplay between new works of emerging composers and recent discoveries of forgotten minor masterpieces. Where else are you going to find the likes of the world premiere of a long-lost, four-hand Andante Cantabile by Claude Debussy or an unknown Rachmaninoff prelude?
2016 Season Highlights
So which of this year’s Newport Music Festival performances constitute “must-do” music? Boston-based, Grammy-nominated, and self-conducted chamber orchestra A Far Cry -- described as “radically inventive” -- kicks things off on July 8th at The Breakers. They’ll be joined by pianist Bernadene Blaha and cellist Sergey Antonov for Mendelssohn's exuberant "Piano and Violin Concerto."
And while we can hardly list everything that has us abuzz with anticipation, we’re also looking forward to Gergely Boganyi’s premiere of the Boganyi Grand Piano at The Breakers on the 9th, as well as French violinist Diego Tosi’s long-anticipated Newport debut on the 19th. (Click here for the full concert listing.)
Can’t wait until the 8th to get your Newport Music Festival on? Get in the musical mindset now by downloading the all-new NewportMusic app, which features everything from concert listing to artist information. The best part is, buying tickets is as simple as a tap!