Stellar Program Chosen For Brevard Music Center Season - TribPapers

Stellar Program Chosen For Brevard Music Center Season

The recent acoutiscally improved Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium protects the listeners from rain yet allows them to feel a breeze as the air flows through. Photo courtesy of Platt Architecture-PA.

Brevard – The upcoming summer programs being offered by the Brevard Music Center reflect a high caliber of musical ability and leadership. Many distinguished and highly acclaimed artists are coming to this area to perform. Opening night is Friday, June 23, with a performance of the dramatic cantata Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. The Greenville Chorale, with JoAnn Falletta as conductor, will undoubtedly bring many of their 150 singers to the Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium to bellow out the powerful rhythmical melodies and dazzle the audience. Keith Lockhart, as Artistic Director, together with Mark Weinstein, President and CEO, have reached out to outstanding performers in all fields to bring the best of the best to Brevard for this year’s festival.

Every musical genre will be there to suit individual musical preferences for one or more evenings of enjoyment throughout the summer. The Fourth of July will once again be celebrated with Sousa Marches and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture as the Pendergrast Family Patriotic Pops commemorate Independence Day and enliven the 1812 Overture with the sound of cannons. You will be able to find Broadway legends such as Patti LuPone and Audra McDonald, a number of chamber ensembles and symphony orchestras performing, Bela Fleck with a Blue Ridge Banjo Concert, the Janiec Opera Company singing Verdi’s La Traviata or Sondheim’s Into the Woods, a Brahms or Grieg piano concerto, as well as Keith Lockhart conducting Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, “Titan,” or The Moldau. The diversity and quality of music at the Brevard Music Center Summer Festival make choosing which evenings to attend a difficult task. For more specifics, the 2023 Performance Calendar can be found by going to and searching under “Festival.”

There is a wide range of ticket prices, starting at $24, depending on where the performance will be held. Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium, Parker Concert Hall, and the Scott Concert Hall Porter Center at Brevard College all require reservations. Subscriptions are still available for the 2023 season. Contact the box office at (828) 862-2105 or for more information or reserve your tickets online at Tickets are available for children between the ages of 6 and 17 for $15 (although some exclusions apply here). In addition, lawn ticketing seating is available for performances outside of Whittington-Pfohl. There are many free student concerts featuring piano, opera, guitar, saxophone, and new music throughout the 2023 season, both on BMC’s campus and at Transylvania County Library (TCL).

The Campus of Brevard Music Center

Brevard Music Center has grown from a small summer camp for Davidson College in 1936 to a highly recognized music training school and summer music festival. This year, there will be over 700 gifted students from all over the world attending and living in the residences on the lovely 180-acre campus. The age range is from high school through post-college, approximately 14 years old to late 20s. The summer season runs from June 5 through August 6. These students study and work with a distinguished faculty of over 80 artists from the nation’s leading orchestras, colleges, and conservatories. They learn by sitting in the orchestra with principal players from major symphonies, attending seminars with Grammy-winning composers, working with masterful conductors and soloists, and attending the nearly 80 performances presented each season. This prepares them as they study and learn the repertoire needed to become professional performers.

Keith Lockhart, the conductor of the Boston Pops since 1995, became artistic director of the Music Center in 2007. In 1974 and 1975, he attended the summer institute as a student. He has hosted a number of renowned artists, such as YoYo Ma, Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Conrad Tao, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Renee Fleming. These are just a few of the renowned artists who have graced the 1800-seat open-air stage. He says, The goal here is for the students to be the best musicians they can be.” “Our job is not to tell the students, they are not good enough; our job is to tell them, how good they can be.” Lockhart mentors the students during rehersals and on stage, as well as conducts–when he can break away from his other obligations throughout the summer.

Together with Mark Weinstein, President and CEO, the Brevard Music Center has become a leading musical entity in the United States. Under Weinstein’s leadership, Brevard Music Center has achieved unprecedented stability and growth. The number of donors to BMC has nearly tripled, and annual contributions to BMC have more than doubled. Additionally, Mark has led two successful capital campaigns and generated operating surpluses totaling close to $30 million. In addition to record sales at the box office almost every year, the student body has grown from 400 to over 700 talented young musicians. Plus, Mark has significantly increased legacy gift commitments (contributions in wills and estates), securing another $30 million in bequest intentions over the last three years alone.

Alas, Mark Weinstein is retiring effective October 2023 and handing the reins over to Jason Posnock, who has been a part of the team at Brevard for the last fifteen years. Recent accomplishments by him include serving on the lead team responsible for the $2.5 million acoustical renovation to Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium, the development of BMC’s Legendary Artist Series, and the building of the new $6.5 million, 400-seat Parker Concert Hall, the first year-round performance venue on the BMC campus.

Indeed, the Brevard Music Center has grown tremendously in the last 25 years, with its lovely manicured grounds surrounded by mountains and overlooking serene lakes. There is nothing more fun than to walk to the box office during the day for your tickets and hear the musicians in various locations practicing on various instruments. The musical sounds carry from all directions. There is now an amazing array of acoustically perfected buildings for the musicians to present their pieces, with graveled or paved paths leading from building to building. It is no longer a small, struggling institute seeking students but a thriving institute with highly qualified professors teaching daily. Be sure to sign up for a performance to remember this summer before it is sold out.