" /> ACSO Annual Festivals Guide: Music Festivals Return to Live Performance in California and Nevada

ACSO Annual Festivals Guide: Music Festivals Return to Live Performance in California and Nevada

Festival season has returned in 2021! As vaccination rates continue to climb and COVID cases continue to fall, our festival members are getting back to work producing safe live events in beautiful places. From June into the fall months, the western United States is once again alive with festivals. Artists from all over the world are coming back to picturesque California and Nevada communities to experience a unique blend of music-making, camaraderie, and fun. The Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) is pleased to announce this summer's live offerings from our festival members, highlighting a vital and vibrant way for artists and audiences alike to deeply engage in classical music.

No two are exactly alike, yet each share one common thread: a love and respect for composers, musicians, and the communities in which they are rooted. There are many opportunities to experience world-class performances and connect with the artists who bring these great works of art to life.

The thirteen festivals below (listed in alphabetical order) showcase a rich and impressive spectrum of live music in delightful destinations. The content below has been sourced directly from information released by each organization.

Bear Valley Music Festival, Bear Valley, In-Person, July 23-August 1: The Bear Valley Music Festival is a 53-year-old icon in the community, and only a pandemic could make them miss a year. Maestro Michael Morgan leads the orchestral portion of the fesival that includes pieces by Strauss, Handel, Mendelssohn, Vivaldi, Grieg, and many more. Non-classical concerts include tributes to Santana and Linda Ronstadt, Crawdad Republic, and internationally renowned harpist and violinist Carlos Reyes. www.bearvalleymusic.org; (209) 813-0554

Carmel Bach Festival, Carmel-by-the-Sea, In-Person, October 23-November 5: The Carmel Bach Festival is thrilled to announce its live and in-person 2021 Festival at the Sunset Cultural Center. Highlights of the repertoire include Bach’s Mass in B-Minor, Brandenburg Concerti, Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, Handel’s Ode to St. Cecilia, and the traditional and unique Chorale concert, among others. Accordingly, more specific information and ticket availability will be announced at a later date, but patrons can look forward to a jubilant program celebrating the resumption of one of our area’s cultural treasures. www.bachfestival.org; (831) 624-1521

Festival Mozaic, San Luis Obispo, In-Person, July 24-31: Join Music Director Scott Yoo for eight exciting days of live music in beautiful venues throughout San Luis Obispo County. They’ve assembled programs ranging from Baroque composers J. S. Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel, to Romantic works by Clara Schumann and Fanny Mendelssohn. Enjoy the soulful singing of Latin Grammy-winning Guatemalan songwriter Gaby Moreno. Explore classical remixes and modern tango with Grand Orquesta Navarre. And let them take you through pieces by celebrated women composers, over dinners at Tolosa Winery and Halter Ranch Vineyard. It's been a tough year-plus. Let's gather together for unparalleled performances in unforgettable places. It's time to make music with applause at the end! www.festivalmozaic.com; (805) 781-3009

Mainly Mozart Festival, San Diego, In-Person, June 11-19: For 30 years, the Mainly Mozart All-Star Orchestra has been home to the largest gathering of Concertmasters and Principal Players in the United States. In 2020, Mainly Mozart became the first arts organization in the United States to produce a live orchestral concert series in front of live audiences since quarantine. In June 2021, the All-Star Festival Orchestra caps off the unprecedented Mainly Mozart Festival of Orchestras. This year's repertoire highlights include Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto; Bruch’s Violin Concerto; and Beethoven's Symphony No. 7. www.mainlymozart.org; (619) 239-0100

Mendocino Music Festival, Mendocino, In-Person and Virtual, July 16-25: Our mission is to bring musicians and music lovers together for two weeks each July, with classical music as the centerpiece, in a magnificent setting here on the edge of the world. This year we move temporarily from our Tent Concert Hall to the lovely Cotton Auditorium in Fort Bragg, for a ten-day celebration of glorious live music. Join us for a wide range of offerings which include the Festival String Orchestra led by Maestro Allan Pollack, the enormously popular Big Band, pianist Stephen Prutsman, Pine Leaf Boys, Brazilian guitarist Diego Figueiredo, a tribute to the songs of Kurt Weill, Alexander String Quartet and more. www.mendocinomusic.org; (707) 937-2044

Midsummer Mozart Festival, Bay Area, In-Person, July 10-11: The Midsummer Mozart Festival is pleased to announce the 2021 summer festival with two outdoor orchestral concerts. Saturday, July 10 we will perform at Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma. On Sunday, July 11 we will perform at Mountain Winery in Saratoga. Both concerts will be a wonderful evening of Mozart presenting Paul Schrage in Piano Concerto No. 14 in F and Stacey Pelinka in Andante for Flute in C along with the fabulous Midsummer Mozart Orchestra. www.midsummermozart.org 

Music Academy of the West Summer School and Festival, Santa Barbara, In-Person and Virtual, June 28-August 7: The Music Academy of the West will welcome fellows, faculty, guest artists, and audiences in Santa Barbara for the 2021 Summer School and Festival. More than 100 fellows on full scholarship will join more than 65 esteemed teaching artists on the Academy’s oceanside campus, Miraflores. Seventy live, public events are scheduled at Hahn Hall, Lehmann Hall, and the Granada Theatre. Several events will be recorded and streamed online free of charge, offering worldwide access. www.musicacademy.org; (805) 969-4726 

Music@Menlo Chamber Music Festival and Institute, Menlo Park, In-Person and Virtual, July 16-August 1: Smaller in size than its 18 previous seasons, but as ambitious and star-studded as ever, Music@Menlo is launching a live/streamed 2021 season between July 16 and August 1. Artistic directors Wu Han and David Finckel have announced a season called “Gather” in and around the festival’s new home, the Spieker Center for the Arts. The first weekend will feature favorite works by Schubert and Brahms together with more modern works by composers Janácek and Ligeti. The second weekend will feature works from Beethoven, Shostakovich, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Dvorák. The third weekend will feature the great 19th-century quintets for piano and strings by Schumann, Brahms and Dvorák, with other works by Beethoven, Bizet, Ysaÿe and Fauré. www.musicatmenlo.org; (650) 330-2030

Music in the Mountains SummerFest, Grass Valley, In-Person and Virtual, June 11-July 9: Let’s party like it’s 1982! That’s right, it’s our 40th SummerFest and we’re celebrating all year. Join us and kick off this milestone with our first live concert since 2019! Live festival highlights include opera classics, jazz favorites, and works by Haydn, Mozart, Florence Price, Amy Beach, and much more. In case you can’t make the live performances, Virtual Encores will be available for free or pay-what-you-can. www.musicinthemountains.org; (530) 265-6124

Music in the VineyardsNapa, In-Person and Virtual, August 4- 22: Now celebrating its 27th anniversary season, Music in the Vineyards is a nationally-acclaimed chamber music festival held each summer in the Napa Valley. Twilight concerts showcase world-class artists performing in intimate winery settings with witty commentary, wine tasting, and breathtaking views of California's wine country. We are eager to present live chamber music once again, and will include virtual concert options for those who cannot join us in person. This season's lineup includes individual artists and ensembles including the Escher Quartet, Miró Quartet, and Solideo String Quartet. www.musicinthevineyards.org(707) 258-5559

Nevada Chamber Music Festival, Reno, Nevada, In-Person, June 10-13: Hosted by the Reno Chamber Orchestra, the Nevada Chamber Music Festival returns for a summer edition! Catch five concerts, special dance and acrobatics performances, and an outdoor street party - it's an artistic experience you don't want to miss! Festival highlights include pieces by William Grant Still, Astor Piazolla, Zoltán Kodály, Edward Elgar, Maurice Ravel, and many more. www.renochamberorchestra.org; (775) 348-9413

Ojai Music Festival, Ojai, In-Person, September 16-19: John Adams, who is both curator and conductor for the 2021 Festival, focuses on composers of today whose music will be threaded throughout the Festival. Featured composers include Samuel Adams, Timo Andres, Laurie Anderson, Donnacha Dennehy, plus many more. Mr. Adams will conduct two concerts that will include works by Debussy, Mozart, Carlos Simon, Gabriela Ortiz, Timo Andres, Gabriella Smith, Ingram Marshall, Esa-Pekka Salonen, the West Coast Premiere of Samuel Adams’ Chamber Concerto, featuring violinist Miranda Cuckson, and two of his own works featuring Rhiannon Giddens as soloist. www.ojaifestival.org; (805) 646-2053

Redlands BowlRedlands, In-Person and Virtual, June 25-August 13: Live performances will begin on with “An Evening Under the Stars” with Giada Valenti and conclude on Aug. 13 with From the Heart Featuring Lana Love and the Cool Classics Ensemble directed by Frank Paul Fetta. TAIKOPROJECT and Rhythm India will take us on adventurous musical journeys. Jay White’s outstanding Neil Diamond tribute will get us singing along to “the songs of our lives.” Balsam Range beckons us to smile and tap to chart-topping bluegrass. And the Young Artists Concerto Competition finals will allow us to experience performances by five of the classical world’s rising stars, including a featured piece by sought-after soloist and Young Artists alum, pianist Vijay Venkatesh. All Programs start at 8 p.m. No admission is charged. www.redlandsbowl.org(909) 793-7316


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