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Celebrating 63 Years of Inspired Music Making!

June 22 – July 27, 2024

EASTERN MUSIC FESTIVAL PRESENTS AN UNFORGETTABLE EVENING OF MASTERPIECES FEATURING 28-YEAR-OLD RENOWNED PIANIST DREW PETERSEN AND A WORLD PREMIERE PIECE ON JULY 22

The Eastern Music Festival (EMF) delights in presenting a captivating concert on July 22 at 8:00 PM, taking place in the esteemed Dana Auditorium on the Guilford College campus. This extraordinary musical event will showcase the talents of guest artist pianist Drew Petersen playing music by Ravel, and a world premiere by Paul Frucht featuring EMF’s concertmaster and violinist Jeff Multer, and EMF’s Associate Principal cello player Julian Schwarz playing with the Eastern Festival Orchestra.

The concert will open with the stirring and vibrant “Excerpts from Act III of Die Meistersinger” by Richard Wagner. This operatic masterpiece, known for its melodic richness and intricate orchestration, will set the tone for an evening of awe-inspiring musical expressions.

Pianist Drew Petersen, winner of the prestigious American Pianists Awards, will then take the stage to perform Maurice Ravel’s dazzling “Piano Concerto in G major.” Petersen’s virtuosic talent and profound artistry will shine through as he brings Ravel’s enchanting melodies to life.

“I am so excited to be making music with the outstanding pianist Drew Petersen,” said EMF’s Music Director, Gerard Schwarz. “I first met Drew when I conducted for him when he won the prestigious American Pianists Association top prize in 2017. His career has continued to grow with his wonderful interpretive skills and remarkable technique. I feel sure that our wonderful EMF audience will be as excited by him as I am.”

Following this captivating performance, the orchestra will take on one of Ravel’s most iconic and beloved compositions, “Bolero.” This hypnotic masterpiece, characterized by its gradual crescendo and rhythmic intensity, promises to captivate the audience from the first note to the grand finale.

The concert will continue with Joan Tower’s “Sixth Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman.” This contemporary composition pays homage to the extraordinary achievements and resilience of women throughout history. Tower’s work is a powerful testament to the strength and spirit of the uncommon woman, igniting a sense of empowerment and inspiration.

As a highlight of the evening, the concert will also include the world premiere of Paul Frucht’s mesmerizing composition, “Finding Religion.” This eagerly anticipated piece is inspired by an art song composed by Charles Ives called “Religion”, and by Frucht’s lifelong journey to make sense of religion as a concept. This piece showcases Frucht’s unique musical talents and promises to be a groundbreaking addition to the repertoire.

Under the baton of the esteemed conductor Gerard Schwarz, the Eastern Festival Orchestra will unite their exceptional talents with the guest artists to create a truly unforgettable evening. The collective passion and artistry on stage will undoubtedly create a transformative experience for all attendees. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness a musical event of unparalleled beauty and artistic brilliance.