Savannah Music Festival

Thursday's at 8:00 p.m.
  • Hosted by Rob Gibson

The Savannah Music Festival is dedicated to presenting a world-class celebration of the musical arts by creating timeless and adventurous productions that stimulate arts education, foster economic growth, and unite artists and audiences in Savannah. It is Georgia's largest musical arts event and one of the most distinctive cross-genre music festivals in the world. In addition to an array of musical performances that includes dance, film, and narrative programs, the festival operates year-round to produce youth concerts, lectures, in-school touring programs, recordings, a weekly radio series, an annual high school jazz band competition and festival, and interactive websites.
     The Savannah Music Festival   stages original, one-time only productions, premieres and double-bills, including commissioned works and unique series. The Savannah Music Festival  has made collaboration a priority and works with organizations including the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD), Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah Tour of Homes & Gardens, The King-Tisdell Cottage/Beach Institute, The Savannah Garden Exposition, Georgia Historical Society, and a variety of the City's houses of worship, all of which have helped to draw record numbers of tourists and locals alike.

Airs Friday, January 1, at 12 noon. Beethoven is generally acknowledged as one of the greatest and most dynamic keyboard virtuosos of his time but Beethoven also took a great interest in the violin, composing ten sonatas for violin and piano. These enduring works have influenced generations of performers and composers and they remain as profound today as when they were premiered in the 19th century. On this edition of the Savannah music festival we take a concert from the spring of 2011 when the festival showcased the complete cycle of sonatas by Beethoven.

Airs Thursday, December 17, at 8 p.m. That high lonesome sound known as bluegrass is a music steeped in tradition. Inspired by the music of Appalachia with roots in Irish, Scottish, Welsh and English traditional music, it first emerged in the 1930s when Kentucky native Bill Monroe formed his famous bluegrass boys. One of bluegrass music's modern day masters is tenor and mandolin player Ricky Skaggs, who is featured on this episode from a SMF performance with his band Kentucky Thunder.

Airs Thursday, December 10, at 8 p.m. It's always interesting when an outstanding artist decides to recreate an existing work. It opens up our understanding of both the original and the new version. So when banjoist Noam Pikelny re-imagined one of the standard-bearers for instrumental bluegrass, the 1976 recording entitled Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe, he wanted to be true to its roots while assigning the banjo to Kenny's fiddle parts.

Airs Thursday, December 3, at 8 p.m. Beginning in the Renaissance period, the European guitar generally had four courses, each strung with two gut strings, and the pair of strings within each course tuned in unison. By the early 18th century, six double-strung courses had become common, and the changing number of courses in these early guitars reflected the ongoing desire on behalf of players to increase the range of the instrument.

Airs Thursday, November 19, at 8 p.m. Guitarist, composer and arranger Julian Lage is often categorized as a jazz musician, though his music is also rooted in traditional and acoustic forms. In addition to five prior SMF performances both solo and with a variety of collaborators including Mark O'Connor, Martin Taylor, Mike Marshall and Casey Driessen, Julian Lage has served on the faculty of SMF's Acoustic Music Seminar since its inception in 2012.