2018-07-12 / Around Town

Golden Year for the Music Festival

By Mark Gorman


A free family-friendly concert at the Newport Art Museum begins at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17. Romanian violinist Irina Muresanu will perform as part of Four Strings around the World at 4 p.m. A free family-friendly concert at the Newport Art Museum begins at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17. Romanian violinist Irina Muresanu will perform as part of Four Strings around the World at 4 p.m. The Newport Music Festival has 42 performances scheduled into a variety of settings and venues for its 50th year celebration this summer from July 4 through July 22.

“We want to honor the legacy of the past while looking to the future,” festival director Pamela Pantos said.

Regarding what this golden year’s festival will bring, she continued, “We looked at all 49 years and picked one piece from each season to be played [this year].”

The program kicked off with a free concert at King Park on July 4, prior to the city’s annual fireworks display.

As in previous years, most of the concerts will be held in some of Newport’s beautiful churches and mansions. But this year, Pantos has added a fascinating twist that breaks the mold, with a concert of pop and rock music on Tuesday, July 19, at Newport Vineyards. Summer Strings, a quartet assembled for this one-time event, will perform popular music by well-known artists.

“They'll be playing everything from Led Zeppelin to Michael Jackson to Brahms that evening. It really is fascinating to hear classical instruments playing popular music,” Pantos said.

Famed violinist Gabriela Diaz, a member of the Summer Strings quartet, is looking forward to playing this unique event. “Many of music’s greatest rock stars had a classical background, and many rock songs borrow from the classical canon, like music by The Beatles, David Bowie and The Doors,” she said. “Summer Strings is a chance for people to hear great music played on classical instruments and to bridge the gap between rock and classical music.”

“We’re excited to be hosting Summer Strings,” said Cassandra Earle, director of marketing at Newport Vineyards. “We’re proud to support the arts and the local music scene in all genres and this program is a perfect pairing to our summer vineyard setting.”

In addition to Summer Strings and many other events, there will be a free, family friendly concert on the lawn of the Newport Art Museum at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17, as well as a free performance for kids attending the MLK Center’s summer camp.

For the complete Newport Music Festival schedule, visit newportmusic.org.

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