Brevard Music Center Opens 2015 Season with Pianist Andre Watts in All-Beethoven Program Tonight

The Brevard Music Center (BMC) will open its 2015 season tonight, June 20, with superstar pianist André Watts and BMC Principal Guest Conductor JoAnn Falletta in an all-Beethoven program.

Watts burst upon the music world at the age of 16 when Leonard Bernstein chose him to make his debut with the New York Philharmonic. He has since enjoyed a celebrated 50 year career that has taken him across the globe to concertize with major orchestras and perform in the world's musical capitals.

Watts has played before European royalty and international heads of government and has received the Avery Fisher Prize, the National Medal of Arts, and was the youngest person ever to receive an Honorary Doctorate from Yale University. André Watts will perform Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto with Maestra Falletta and the Brevard Music Center Orchestra on a program to include Leonore Overture No. 3 and the Seventh Symphony. The season concludes on Sunday, August 2, as Maestro Lockhart and the BMCO perform Mahler's powerful Symphony No. 1 - "The Titan."


The 2015 season features more than 80 performances, including 20 different orchestra programs, four opera productions, wind ensemble, chamber music, new music, recitals and more. In addition to the full range of classical offerings, the 2015 season will include concerts appealing to a range of tastes. More than 30 performances will be presented free of charge. These include concerts by the Brevard Symphonic Winds, opera scenes, student piano recitals, new music concerts, student chamber concerts and recitals, and other special events.


2015 subscription packages go on sale December 8, with single tickets scheduled to go on sale April 1. Lawn tickets for most events start at only $15. For more information on 2015 concerts and subscription packages, please or call (828) 862-2105.

"Our 2015 season has something for everyone - world-class soloists and conductors, great pieces from Beethoven to Tchaikovsky to Mahler, old friends and new faces, and so much more," said Mark Weinstein, BMC President. "For me, the most exciting element is that each and every concert will serve as a spotlight on our mission - teaching and mentoring the most gifted and talented young musicians in the country. I invite everyone to bring a picnic, a bottle of wine, and come experience the beauty of the setting, the majesty of the music, and the thrill and inspiration of our wonderful students."


In addition to Mr. Lockhart and Ms. Falletta, conductors will include: the legendary Swiss conductor Matthias Bamert; Christoph König, Music Director of the Solistes Européens Luxembourg; the exciting young Norwegian conductor Rune Bergmann; and BMC Resident Conductor and recently appointed Music Director of the Charleston Symphony, Ken Lam. Orchestral repertoire includes Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty, Shostakovich's Sixth Symphony, Strauss's Don Juan, Rachmaninoff's Second Symphony, Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony, and "A London Symphony" by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Other guest soloists appearing this season include world-renowned pianist Yefim Bronfman performing Bartok's Third Piano Concerto, violinist Arnaud Sussmann performing Tchaikovsky's inimitable Violin Concerto, acclaimed cellist Johannes Moser performing Richard Strauss's Don Quixote, and Berlin Philharmonic concertmaster and Asheville, NC native Noah Bendix-Balgley performing the Korngold Violin Concerto. All of the orchestra programs occur in BMC's open-sided Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium, which creates a special open-air experience for listeners while retaining the sound quality of a concert hall.


In 2015 BMC will stage four operas at the Porter Center for Performing Arts on the campus of Brevard College. Three mainstage opera productions will be presented in the Scott Concert Hall: W.A. Mozart's Così fan tutte; Douglas Moore's The Ballad of Baby Doe; and Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto. The production of Rigoletto represents the inauguration of an exciting new partnership between BMC and the Asheville Lyric Opera (ALO). Performances will take place in both Brevard, at the Porter Center on the campus of Brevard College, and Asheville, at the ALO's home at the Diana Wortham Theatre, and utilize the forces and talents of both organizations. The 2015 season will also feature BMC's "Opera in a Box" performances in the Morrison Playhouse black box theater. BMC opera students, in collaboration with New York's Center for Contemporary Opera, will perform a premiere of North Carolina composer J. Mark Searce's new opera Falling Angel.


The 2015 festival includes 12 chamber music concerts, including a performance by the renowned International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the return of the internationally-acclaimed Shanghai Quartet, a special performance by the Brevard Camerata, the world premiere of a work by prize-winning composer Reza Vali for trumpet and chamber orchestra, and an array of performances by BMC Artist Faculty members that will please music lovers of any taste.


The annual Pendergrast Family Patriotic Pops concert is a beloved Brevard tradition, and it goes off at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 4. Maestro Kraig Alan Williams will lead the Brevard Symphonic Winds in marches, patriotic songs and other favorites, concluding with the 1812 Overture, complete with live cannon. On Friday, July 10, the Brevard Sinfonia will perform an evening of music from the movies. Film buffs and music lovers alike will enjoy hearing the themes from their favorite films. On Sunday, July 12, BMC will present Peter Schickele as P.D.Q. Bach, celebrating 50 years of thrilling audiences worldwide with a special family-friendly show - P.D.Q. Bach at 50: As Good As He Ever Was. Concerts are still being added to the 2015 schedule.

Check for the most up-to-date listing of performances.


The Brevard Music Center originated in 1936 as a summer music camp at Davidson College. James Christian Pfohl, the Music Center's founder and first Artistic Director, moved his operation to Queens College in Charlotte for the summer of 1943, then to the current location in 1944. Pfohl added a festival of concerts at the end of the 1946 session. Over time the camp became an institute, and the festival came to run the entire summer season. In 2015 Brevard Music Center will enroll more than 400 students from nearly every state in the U.S., plus students from Europe, Asia, and South America. Sixty-five professional musicians, representing major orchestras and distinguished music schools, comprise the artist faculty. Students, faculty and staff all reside on the 180-acre wooded campus in Western North Carolina. The Brevard Music Center has emerged as one of America's premier summer training programs for young musicians.

For more information on festival performances visit, "like" the Brevard Music Center on Facebook, follow @brevardmusic on Twitter, and visit the Brevard Music Center YouTube channel for performance videos from previous festival seasons.

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