Eastern Music Festival
The Eastern Music Festival and School, founded in 1961 in Greensboro, North Carolina, is a nationally renowned classical music festival of the performing arts and institute for young musicians that runs for five weeks during the summer. The institute accepts gifted students of ages 14 through 22 at an exclusive enrollment of 200. In 2009, there were over 800 applicants from around the world for the 200 spots. 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. The music director and principal conductor for the Festival is Gerard Schwarz, who also serves as music director of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.
The music festival comprises a performing arts series that attracts over 60,000 audience members to more than 100 concerts and music-related events. Participating artists for the 2013 season included Joshua Bell, Lynn Harrell, Augustin Hadelich, William Wolfram, André Watts, and Ignat Solzhenitsyn among others. These renowned artists are accompanied by the Eastern Music Festival Orchestra, which is composed of faculty members of the school who originate from many of the top music institutions and orchestras around the world. Other recent artists include Yo-Yo Ma,Sarah Chang, Peter Serkin, Midori, Bruce Hornsby, Bela Fleck, Chick Corea, and The Steel Wheels.
For music students ages 14 to 22, the five-week program provides a combination of classroom and performance experiences. A broad curriculum includes playing in an orchestra, individual lessons, master classes, and recitals. Guest artists in residence teach two master classes each week. Students have many performance opportunities in orchestra and chamber concerts, alongside faculty, and in piano recitals. The festival boasts a student to faculty ratio of 2:1 and is the Triad’s longest-standing Music Festival and School that offers the best educational programming to over 200 pre-professional musicians.
Beginning in 2002, the festival introduced the highly popular and critically acclaimed EMFfringe series offering the best of Americana, bluegrass, jazz, rock, blues, alt country, world music and more. The series begins immediately following the five week classical music series.
Through its interactive summer camps and musical programming, EMFkids camps, including EMFdiscovery a camp for children with High Functioning Autism/Asperger's Syndrome, Eastern Music Festival introduces young children ages four to eleven to musical experiences of the highest quality.
During the 2014 season, Eastern Music Festival will continue to offer lifelong learning programs including Road Scholar and Carolina Band Blast and free opportunities for community members such as, open rehearsals and a pre-concert lecture series, Musically Speaking as well as Family Nights every Thursday and Friday night with $10 tickets for adults and $5 tickets for children.
Alumni of the EMF include many notable musicians from around the country, including Wynton Marsalis, who refers to his studies there as "one of the greatest musical experiences of my life.". The upcoming 2014 season will be EMF's 53rd year! The festival will take place June 21 – July 26 featuring guest artists James Galway, James Ehnes, Elmar Oliveira, Robert Vernon, Lynn Harrell, and Jon Kimura Parker.