The Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival, which begins July 6 in Highlands, North Carolina, promises a repertoire of internationally acclaimed artists performing the best of chamber music in the North Carolina mountain resort towns. Over six weeks, the festival, a two hours’ drive from Atlanta, will present 27 concerts ranging from solo performances to large chamber ensemble pieces.
Forty-eight artists are scheduled to perform, including violinist William Preucil, trumpeter Christopher Martin and many other Atlanta favorites. On opening day, Preucil will perform alongside William Ransom, the festival’s artistic director and the founder of Atlanta’s Emory Chamber Music Society, in “Musical Fireworks.” On August 12, Martin will join the Festival Chamber Orchestra in closing the festival with a Gala Concert.
Atlanta’s own Vega String Quartet will salute Russia with a performance in an all-Russian program dubbed “From Russia With Love.” The roster includes pianist Bertrand Giraud, who’ll join the festival from Paris in “The French Connection,” as well as a rare performance by Italian guitar sensation Edoardo Catemario.
The most unusual program of the festival, “The Eroica Trio — A La Carte,” will allow the audience to choose, by applause, which pieces from a musical menu the trio will perform. Audiences will also have a chance to dine with the renowned group at one of several feasts.
Some festival favorites will return, including the “Battle of the Bands,” with dueling performances by the Linden and Attacca String Quartets, while other events, such as “All in the Family,” featuring musicians from three different families, will debut this year.
In addition, two pre-festival programs are scheduled for June. On June 13, the Gary Motley Trio, with vocalist Veronica Tate, will perform jazz standards and new jazz written by Motley; proceeds will go toward the festival. And on June 27, the annual Picnic Concert, which is free, will feature music from the Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet.
Concerts will take place Fridays through Mondays, at either 5 or 6 p.m., in both Highlands and Cashiers. Attendees can also look forward to educational lectures, an exhibit of work from 14 festival program cover artists, and “Feasts of the Festival,” an annual fund-raising gala series.