Eastern Music Festival Announces 2017 Season Highlights

(Last Updated On: April 13, 2017)
Midori Crop Web


GREENSBORO – Eastern Music Festival’s 56th season will feature renowned solo artists, Festival favorites as well as the fresh sounds of familiar artists as they present five weeks full of innovative, enticing and exciting music.

EMF Music Director Maestro Gerard Schwarz and EMF Executive Director Chris Williams announce highlights of the highly acclaimed festival which will run June 24 – July 29, 2017.

“This season at EMF we have so much to celebrate,” explains Schwarz who is in his 10th year as EMF’s music director. “We have over 200 students playing in two orchestra concerts weekly under the guidance of our excellent resident conductors, José-Luis Novo and Grant Cooper. Our great concert master, Jeff Multer will be celebrating his 20th year in this position with numerous solo and chamber music appearances. And our faculty artists will be performing an extraordinarily diverse program of orchestral and chamber works.”

Nadja Crop for Web

Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg

EMF’s 2017 season offers outstanding guest artists, Schwarz continues. “Three of the most extraordinary female violinists will be with us – Midori, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Anne Akiko Meyers. We are honored that pianist Horacio Gutiérrez will be with us and that our artist-faculty pianists, William Wolfram and Awadagin Pratt will be playing prominent roles. Acclaimed clarinetist Jon Manasse will be playing the Copland Clarinet Concerto with the Eastern Festival Orchestra and chamber music with our faculty.  The repertoire that we will be performing will include the great classics and some new works as well.”

Meyers Crop for Web

Anne Akiko Meyers

“There’s a little bit of something for everyone this summer,” says the Festival’s executive director Chris Williams. “Whether you’re an EMF veteran or a newcomer to classical music, we’ve prepared programs that you’ll find intriguing. We’re performing great big pieces like Mahler’s 1st symphony, Bach’s Goldberg Variations and the Tchaikovsky Violin concerto, small and intimate chamber works, familiar works like Copland’s dances from the ballet Rodeo and several rarely heard and infrequently performed works including the world premiere of Samuel Jones’ Violin concerto. With over 60 performances (and 140 pieces of music programmed), there’s a lot to like.”


2017 EMF Season Highlights Include:

  • Wednesday, June 28 The Glory of Brass – Baroque and Beyond – EMF’s brass faculty are featured in performance at the historic and acoustically superb First Presbyterian Church in downtown Greensboro.
  • Thursday, June 29 – Acclaimed violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg returns! Joined by EMF Orchestral Fellowship program participants and members of our artist/faculty, Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg will perform Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and other works for violin and for chamber orchestra.
  • Friday, June 30 – Beethoven and Brahms – EMF’s season-opening Orchestral Celebration features three EMF orchestras under the baton of Maestro Gerard Schwarz. Concertmaster Jeffrey Multer performs Beethoven’s magnificent Violin Concerto with the Eastern Festival Orchestra.
  • The Joseph M. Bryan, Jr. Festival Orchestra Series features renowned soloists Horacio Gutiérrez (piano), Midori (violin), Jon Manasse (clarinet), Anne Akiko Meyers (violin) and Awadagin Pratt (piano) in performance with the Eastern Festival Orchestra. (Saturdays, July 1 – July 29)
  • Wednesday, July 5 – celebrated pianist William Wolfram performs a solo recital at UNCG’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance Recital Hall. J.S. Bach’s virtuosic Goldberg Variations anchors the adventurous recital program.
  • Wednesday, July 19 – We welcome The Mile-End Trio in their first EMF recital. Unfamiliar with the Mile-End Trio? They’re Jeffrey Multer (violin), Julian Schwarz (cello), and Marika Bournaki (piano)… familiar EMF faces banded together in a new year-round artistic venture.
  • Eight Young Artists Orchestra Series performances on Thursday and Friday evenings, led by resident conductors Grant Cooper and José-Luis Novo feature our young musicians and faculty soloists. Thursday, July 27 features our Young Artist Concerto Competition (Thursdays and Fridays, July 6 – 28)
  • Eastern Chamber Players performances on Mondays at the UNCG School of Music, Theatre and Dance Recital Hall and on Tuesdays at Guilford College’s Dana Auditorium. A very special Sunday, July 2 matinee performance will take place in Dana Auditorium, in lieu of a performance on Tuesday, July 4. (ECP Performances begin Tuesday, June 27)
  • And more… including an Opera Celebration (July 12), Open House (July 23), Guitar Summit (July 26), and free Master Classes, Young Artists recitals and outreach performances around town and throughout the Triad.


For details about the Festival’s full five weeks of over 60 performances, visit Season subscription and package renewals are underway now. Single seat tickets will go on sale May 1, 2016, through Triad Stage Box Office. For more information about purchasing tickets, call 336-272-0160 or visit

About Eastern Music Festival – Eastern Music Festival, which was begun in 1961 in Greensboro, stands among the nation’s premier summer music educational programs and most imaginative performance festivals. For the 2016 season, EMF presented over 65 performances in venues throughout the Triad such as Temple Emanuel, Greensboro’s First Presbyterian Church, Greensboro’s public libraries as well as concerts at Guilford College, UNC Greensboro, High Point University and Appalachian State University. EMF attracts artists, students and audiences from around the globe to Greensboro each summer during its five-week festival.

Eastern Music Festival returns June 24- July 29, 2017, for its 56th season.

For more information about Eastern Music Festival, visit