2018 Brevard Music Center Summer Festival Season Begins June 21

Following its successful pre-season jazz and classical guitar concerts in early June, Brevard Music Center (BMC) officially kicks off its 2018 season with an extended (and extensive) opening weekend of performances from Thursday, June 21 through Tuesday, June 26. A masterful collection of artists including Artistic Director Keith Lockhart, pianist Olga Kern, jazz legends The Manhattan Transfer, and bluegrass favorites Steep Canyon Rangers will be featured throughout the weekend.

"Opening weekend at the 2018 Brevard Music Center Summer Festival not only represents the diversity of music that will be offered throughout our acclaimed music festival including symphony, opera, chamber, pops, jazz, and bluegrass, but also marks the start of our Leonard Bernstein Festival," said Brevard Music Center President & CEO Mark Weinstein. "At BMC, we always seek to offer 'something for everyone' at a price point that is affordable for all. With ticket prices starting at only $20-and multiple opportunities for free tickets for kids and students throughout the season-everyone can enjoy world-class performances in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains of western North Carolina."

BMC's 2018 season officially launches on Thursday, June 21 at 7:30 PM at Brevard College's Porter Center with Opera's Greatest Hits, featuring audience favorites from Rigoletto, Madama Butterfly, La boheme, La Traviata, and many more.
Opening Night at Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium (WPA) kicks off on Friday, June 22 at 7:30 PM when Artistic Director Keith Lockhart takes center stage with the "mesmerizing" and "dazzling" pianist Olga Kern in Rachmaninoff's beloved and eloquent masterpiece, Piano Concerto No. 2.

On Saturday, June 23 at 7:30 PM at WPA, Brevard audiences will delight in BMC Presents: The Manhattan Transfer. The multi-Grammy Award-winning vocal jazz quartet makes its BMC debut with "some of the finest vocal harmonizing on the planet." Series Sponsor of BMC Presents, the Music Center's non-classical offering of concerts and events, is Hampton Inn-Brevard. Sustaining Sponsor for BMC Presents: The Manhattan Transfer is Moore-Blanchard Funerals & Cremations.

Sunday, June 24 brings the official launch of the 2018 Leonard Bernstein Festival, BMC's "festival within a festival" celebrating the centennial of one of America's most iconic composers. Keith Lockhart returns to the WPA stage for a 3:00 PM matinee performance of Beloved Bernstein, highlighting five of the composer's most vibrant, jazz-tinged scores for Broadway, orchestra, and ballet on a single bill. The 2018 Leonard Bernstein Festival is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. For additional Bernstein Festival details, please visit brevardmusic.org/bernstein.

Opening weekend continues with a program featuring Dvorak's Bass Quintet, performed by Brevard Music Center faculty on Monday, June 25 at 7:30 PM at Brevard College's Ingram Auditorium.

On Tuesday, June 26 at 7:30 PM, Grammy Award-winning favorites Steep Canyon Rangers bring their signature mix of bluegrass, folk rock, pop, and country back home to Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium for one unforgettable evening with the Brevard Festival Orchestra, directed by BMC Resident Conductor Ken Lam. Lead Sponsor for BMC Presents: The Steep Canyon Rangers with Orchestra is Platt Architecture, P.A. This concert is produced in collaboration with Mountain Song Productions.

"For eighty-two years, talented students and distinguished faculty have come together on stage to perform great musical works at the highest artistic level," said Brevard Music Center President & CEO Mark Weinstein. "Bring a picnic and your family...and join the 40,000 attendees who experience 80 unforgettable performances each season at Brevard Music Center. On the lawn, under the stars, or in an intimate hall...this is the place to witness performances as captivating as the view!"

For Media Only: View the "2018 Opening Weekend Artists and WPA" folder in the BMC Digital Press Kit at http://bit.ly/BMCpresskit for images.

BMC 2018 SEASON TICKET INFORMATION Most tickets to Brevard Music Center's 2018 Summer Music Festival start at only $20. Lawn seating at Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium-BMC's 1800-seat, lakeside, open-air auditorium-is free for children under 17* with a paying adult, and students 18 and older* with a valid ID (*some exclusions apply, including Opening Night, Season Finale, and BMC Presents performances).

For tickets to Brevard Music Center's 2018 Summer Music Festival, visit BREVARDMUSIC.ORG, call (828) 862-2105, or visit the Brevard Music Center Box Office at 349 Andante Lane.

Founded 82 years ago, the Brevard Music Center stands as one of this country's premier summer classical music training programs and festivals. Each year, 500 gifted students (ages 14 through post college) come to the Music Center from across the United States and around the world to study with a distinguished faculty and renowned guest artists.
Each summer, students participate in a vigorous program of instruction and performance led by BMC Artistic Director and alumnus Keith Lockhart, the Principal Conductor of the Boston Pops and Chief Guest Conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra in London. Brevard's hallmark is the powerful sense of community that re-emerges every June through August as faculty and students present more than 80 remarkable concerts to summer audiences totaling over 40,000.

For more information on BMC, visit brevardmusic.org, call (828) 862-2100, "like" the Brevard Music Center on Facebook, follow @brevardmusic on Twitter, stream season highlights via SoundCloud, and visit the Brevard Music Center YouTube channel for performance videos from previous festival seasons.

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