Eastern Music Festival
North Carolina's Musical Treasure
Greenboro NC Vacation Guide: Top 10 Things to Do | Shopping | Performing Arts & Movies | Historic & Cultural Sites | Art Galleries | Outdoors | Festivals & Annual Events | Sports | Wineries | Children's Fun Stuff | International Civil Rights Museum | Eastern Music Festival | 17Days Festival
The Eastern Music Festival is a Greensboro tradition that we are proud to support.
“Eastern Music Festival, under the artistic leadership of Maestro Gerard Schwarz, brings three orchestras and a chamber music program, as well as choral, guitar and conducting institutes together for a magical, music-making summer each year in Greensboro. The festival is an inspiring musical celebration that features performances by 100+ renowned artists and over 200 students (age 14-23) from 39 states and eight countries.
EMF is North Carolina’s musical treasure, and we invite you to join us – and celebrate the classics.” –Chris Williams
Now in its 55th year, Eastern Music Festival is a nationally renowned festival of the performing arts and an institution for young musicians running five weeks during the summer. The festival is comprised of 200 gifted young artists and 80 professional faculty from across the country and abroad. The faculty consists of outstanding musicians selected from leading orchestras and music schools with world-class performing artists serving as both faculty instructors and performers. Faculty members participate in the students' curricula in a variety of ways, including teaching private lessons and music theory, coaching chamber music, and conducting master classes. Many of the festival's guest artists also assist in educating students through their performances and by participating in master classes.
Spearheading the festival as the music director and principal conductor, Gerard Schwarz brings 26 years of experience as the Seattle Symphony’s music director. Maestro Schwarz now serves as that orchestra's conductor laureate, as well as the conductor emeritus of Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival.
EMF attracts an audience of more than 60,00 people and consists of four different performing arts series, as well as a multitude of other musical events such as master classes, kids' camps, and more. The 2016 season will feature internationally distinguished guest artists, who in the past have included Stefan Jackiw, violin; Lynn Harrell, cello; André Watts, piano; Anne Akiko Meyers, violin; and Awadagin Pratt, piano; among many others. These talented artists are accompanied by the Eastern Festival Orchestra, which is composed of the EMF faculty members. Other recent artists have included Yo-Yo Ma, Sarah Chang, Peter Serkin, Midori, Bruce Hornsby, Bela Fleck, Chick Corea, and The Steel Wheels.
The Eastern Chamber Players, the performance ensemble of the Faculty Chamber Series, performs every Monday and Tuesday, and allows a more personal, intimate listening experience. The evenings feature works by Mozart, Dvořák, and Tchaikovsky. Monday performances are held in the acoustically captivating Recital Hall at the UNCG School of Music, Theatre and Dance, while Tuesday performances take place in the beautiful, historic Dana Auditorium (Guilford College).
The Friends & Great Performers Series creates musical collaborations every Wednesday among EMF artists and other talent-filled groups and programs from around the Triad.
The Joseph M. Bryan, Jr. Festival Orchestra Series features a new guest artist for each concert, holding performances every Saturday. The Eastern MusicFestival Orchestra, along with eight String Scholars, showcases both masterworks and lesser known composers. Artist bios for the different series can be found on EMF’s Festival Artists page.
Click here for the complete EMF Schedule.
The Young Artists Orchestra Series, for music students ages 14 to 23, provides a combination of classroom and performance experiences. The broad curriculum includes playing in one of two orchestras, individual lessons, master classes, and recitals. Led by Grant Cooper and Eric Garcia the 200+ students rehearse six times a week and present a full-length concert of standard orchestral repertoire. The two Young Artists Orchestras are of equal ability; seating assignments change weekly, and students generally perform with both orchestras during the course of the festival. Students are held to the same professional standards as our faculty regarding performance, attendance, and punctuality. Additionally, young artists gain experience performing with faculty soloists and visiting artists. Due to the commitment of maintaining a student to faculty ration of 3:1, EMF is the only summer music festival that can boast these privileges.
The nationally recognized piano program offers piano students the opportunity to work with the country’s finest teachers and performers. Accepting up to twenty-one qualified students for enrollment, the program features formal instruction through private lessons, master classes, chamber music studies, and a variety of interesting classes focusing on everything from technique to the history of the instrument. As an added perk, students receive the chance to perform in various piano recitals, a piano competition, and the Concerto Competition.
Open to classical guitarists ages 14 and up, EMF’s new musical program includes in-depth summer study with top instructors in an outstanding music environment. The program pushes classical guitar to new limits through collaborating and engaging with other instrumentalists, and delving into new territories of chamber music, pedagogy, technique, and performance. Students also have the ability to participate in the EMF Guitar Competition. Guitar faculty include Jason Vieaux, Julian Gray, and Kami Rowan.
The conducting program accepts 9 gifted conductors (18 and older) as Conducting Fellows. EMF's intensive conducting training program lends itself to career and professional development through an accelerated learning process in a technically challenging and positive environment. Each Conducting Fellow receives an average of 45 minutes podium time per week culminating in 2 to 3 public performances during the five-week festival with both student and faculty ensembles. In addition to working with the three resident orchestras, participants conduct weekly string and wind repertoire sessions as well as work with instrumental faculty in student sectionals. Fellows also receive private lessons, group sessions and seminars from the three conducting faculty—Gerard Schwarz, Grant Cooper, and Eric Garcia.
In 2015 as a branch of the summer study program, EMFintroduced a choral program, including the EMF Choral Institute and Festival Chorus led by UNCG professor Carole Ott and Maestro Gerard Schwarz. EMF’s Choral Institute was an opportunity for choral musicians 18 and above who are passionate about rehearsing and performing major works for choir and orchestra. Over the course of one intense week the Choral Program presented two concerts featuring Missa Brevis in F major, K.192 and Requiem in D minor, K.626 on July 29, and Beethoven’s Concerto for Piano No. 1 in C major, op.15 and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (Resurrection) on August 1.
OTHER FESTIVAL EVENTS
In 2002, the festival introduced the highly popular and critically acclaimed Fringe Series offering the best of Americana, bluegrass, jazz, rock, blues, alternative country, world music and more. The series begins immediately following the five-week classical music series with other events interspersed throughout.
During the 2015 season, EMF continued to offer lifelong learning programs including Carolina Band Blast and Family Nights every Thursday and Friday. Among these programs EMF offers many free opportunities, such as, open rehearsals, Musically Speaking (a pre-concert lecture series), and more. New to the 2015 season is the EMF Open House, a free day-long mini-festival on Sunday, July 26. The day will begin at noon with a special concert in Dana Auditorium featuring the Eastern Festival Orchestra and Conducting Fellows performing nine famous overtures. Last year master classes, student piano and chamber recitals, and the fun and popular Pianopalooza & Percussion Ensemble concert were free!