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Newport Music Festival Announces Schedule For July 2021

Tickets go on sale April 19, 2021.

Newport Music Festival Announces Schedule For July 2021

Today, the Newport Music Festival announces the complete seventeen-concert schedule for its 53rd season, from July 4-20, 2021. All concerts will be held outdoors at historic mansions and venues in Newport, Rhode Island including The Breakers, Bellevue House, Castle Hill Inn, The Chanler at Cliff Walk, King Park, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, Norman Bird Sanctuary, and Rough Point. The full schedule is included below and available at Tickets will go on sale to the public on April 19.

Highlights of this year's festival include:

  • Opening night with GRAMMY®-nominated, Boston-based chamber orchestra A Far Cry in a striking program celebrating a diverse array of voices in classical music with works by Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-George; Jessie Montgomery; Arvo Pärt; and Teresa Carreño
  • New York-based Harlem Quartet* in a concert combining pieces from the standard string quartet canon with jazz, Latin and contemporary works, including music by William Grant Still, Tomeka Reid, George Walker, Wynton Marsalis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Billy Strayhorn
  • Clarinetist Anthony McGill*, hailed for his "trademark brilliance, penetrating sound and rich character" by The New York Times, in an intimate garden concert reflecting on classical music past and present with music by Brahms, Jessie Montgomery, James Lee III, and Leonard Bernstein
  • The GRAMMY® Award-winning, Chicago-based Third Coast Percussion* in the East coast premiere of a new piece by Danny Elfman, plus music by Clarice Assad, Philip Glass, Devonté Hynes, and Jlin
  • Virtuoso jazz and classical pianist/composer Aaron Diehl* in music by J.S. Bach, William Grant Still, Scott Joplin, Debussy, Massenet, Eubie Blake, Wynton Kelly Stone, James P. Johnson, Timo Andres, and Philip Glass
  • Trailblazing pianist Lara Downes*, a Yamaha Artist, bringing her program An American Tapestry with music by Roy Harris, Florence Price, Morton Gould, Dana Suesse, Joni Mitchell, Amy Beach, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Margaret Bonds, Samuel Coleridge Taylor, George Gershwin, and more
  • The internationally renowned "orchestra of voices" Chanticleer* presenting Awakenings, in a wide-ranging program with music by Monteverdi, Palestrina, Byrd, Villa-Lobos, Augusta Read Thomas III, Burton Lane, Michelle, and more
  • Brooklyn Rider* performing music from the quartet's Grammy-nominated album Healing Modes by Caroline Shaw, Gabriela Lena Frank, Du Yun, Matana Roberts, Reena Esmail, and Beethoven
  • Newport Music Festival favorites the Boston Trio in the world premiere of the Festival's first annual commissioned work by a Black, Indigenous, person of color, or woman composer - this year by composer Stacy Garrop, inspired by Castle Hill's iconic lighthouse and premiering at Castle Hill Inn
  • Flutist Lara Deutsch*, named one of BBC Music Magazine's "Rising Stars," in a concert titled Love Stories, featuring music by Reinecke, Copland, Schumann and Schubert; Deutsch also joins forces with guitarist Rupert Boyd for a Sunrise Concert of music conjuring images of nature, folklore, and history
  • Redline Brass Quintet* in two free Community Concerts at King Park and Rough Point, in music ranging from Monteverdi to André Previn
  • Festival favorites cellist Sergey Antonov and pianist Ilya Kazantsev in a morning concert of Russian Masters including Rachmaninoff's Cello Sonata in G Major
  • Opera Night at The Breakers Lawn with Boston Lyric Opera stars soprano Chelsea Basler*, tenor Omar Najmi, and pianist Brendon Shapiro
  • Plus free Community Concerts at King Park and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center Basketball Courts, and Sunrise Concerts at Norman Bird Sanctuary

*making their Newport Music Festival debut

This is the first festival programmed by new Executive Director Gillian Friedman Fox, who came to Newport in January from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra where she was Director of Contemporary and SOLUNA Programs. Fox says, "Our programming for 2021 celebrates the diversity of expression and artistic interpretation within classical music. This season represents a significant inflection point for the Newport Music Festival as we embrace the genre of classical music as a living artform and invite audiences of all backgrounds to experience the magic of chamber music in unique and intimate settings."

Fox has renewed a commitment by the Festival to both preserving tradition and embracing artistic innovation. She has launched a new commissioning initiative this summer - each year, the Festival will commission a new work by a Black, Indigenous, person of color, or woman composer as a commitment to the future of classical music. The first commissioned work is by Chicago-based composer Stacy Garrop, whose music is centered on dramatic and lyrical storytelling. The piece, titled Beacon of the Bay, is inspired by Castle Hill's iconic lighthouse and its role in keeping Newport safe for over 130 years. It will be premiered by the Boston Trio, which includes Irina Muresanu (a Festival favorite), at Castle Hill Inn on The Chalet Terrace on July 12. This performance will be the first in an annual tradition of world premiere performances of works commissioned to celebrate a historic venue or location in Newport, eventually resulting in a compilation of recordings that tell the unique story of the Festival and the city.

"When the Newport Music Festival commissioned me for a piano trio in honor of their 2021 season, I looked for a topic that would celebrate an aspect of the Newport community," Garrop says. "I became fascinated with the lighthouse on the property of Castle Hill Inn, located at the opening of the East Passage of the Narragansett Bay, erected in 1890 on a very picturesque spot right at the water's edge. Lighthouses link the past with the present, and will endure long into the future, with their beacons serving the same purpose for every generation."

"On behalf of the Board of Directors, we are so thrilled to welcome audiences back to experience live music together this summer," says NMF Board President Suzanna Laramee. "NMF is a central fixture in the cultural fabric of the Newport community, and we are looking forward to a festival that will broaden one's understanding of all that classical music can be."

Tickets on Sale: April 19, 2021 at

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