July 10 – 16, 2015Vol. 17, No. 6

What Sweeter Music: Atlantic Music Festival Offers Three Weeks of Free Concerts

by Gregor Smith

Now in its seventh summer, the Atlantic Music Festival will again bring the finest undergraduate and postgraduate classical musicians to Colby College for four weeks, July6 to August2, of private lessons, master classes, rehearsals, and performances. Starting on the festival's first Friday, there will be nearly two dozen performances, all free and open to the public.

Similar to last year's enrollment, at least 150 striving musicians, both tuition-paying students and scholarship-receiving fellows, are expected to attend. A majority will come from the U.S., but over 40 are expected from other parts of the world, including Canada, Central America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. There will also be around 40 faculty.

The festival's series of performances will begin a with concert by the prize-winning, Manhattan-based Cassatt String Quartet on Friday, July10. This all-woman ensemble also opened last year's festival. This year, they will perform works by Franz Schubert and the festival's special guest John Corigliano, a popularly and critically acclaimed composer who has won a Pulitzer, an Oscar, and five Grammys.

The next night, David Amado, music director of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, will lead the AMF Orchestra in performances of Corigliano's "Elegy," Maurice Ravel's Le Tombeau de Couperin, and, after the intermission, Schubert's Symphony No. 9. The festival will have two additional orchestral concerts, on July25 and August1.

The next concert is on Wednesday, July15, when the Institute's pianists will perform solo works for keyboard. From this point on, there will be a performance nearly every night until the festival's close, including a second piano recital, on Tuesday, July28.

Thursday nights will dedicated to vocal music. On Thursday, July16, aspiring opera singers will perform art songs, and the following Thursday, it will be opera arias. On the final Thursday, July30, they will present full scenes from famous operas with costumes and some props and set pieces. This performance will take place in Strider Theater in Runnals Union.

Friday, July17 will see the first of the first of six evening chamber music recitals. At the recital, a succession of small ensembles will perform varied instrumental works. Similar recitals will be held on the remaining Wednesdays and Fridays during the festival, as well as on Saturday, July18. Except for the July24 recital in Given Auditorium, all be held in Lorimer Chapel.

New this year, the festival will be also present Sunday chamber music matinees in the lobby of the Colby College Museum of Art. These concerts will be held at 2:00p.m. on July19 and 26.

On these same two Sundays, at 7:00p.m., festival performers will bring back the popular Salon concerts, which feature soloists and small groups performing anything from baroque to folk, including new works that the performers themselves have composed. Programs are not announced in advance, but are always eclectic. The performances are informal, and patrons may come and go as they please. The first concert will be held in the Marchese Blue Light Pub and the second, in Lorimer Chapel.

While admission to all AMF concerts is free, donations are encouraged. Each year, AMF selects a nonprofit organization to benefit from its audiences' largesse. Past beneficiaries include the Maine Children's Home and UNICEF's Achieving Zero Campaign. This year, the money will go to the Atlantic Music Festival Visionary Fellowship and Grant, which enables AMF to "discover and support individual musicians who possess extraordinary dedication to their community."

Except where otherwise noted, concerts take place in Lorimer Chapel and begin at 7:00p.m. The schedule is subject to changes and additions, however. For the latest information, visit the festival's website or call (888) 704-1311.