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 Thursday, March 19, at 8 p.m. In the world of chamber music, there are many masterworks of the idiom - pieces that are continually performed year in and year out at festivals and chamber music series around the world. The piano quintet by Schumann and the D minor trio by Mendelssohn are two such compositions. In this program, we listen to these pieces performed under the musical direction of Associate Artistic Director Daniel Hope. The trio performance includes Simon Crawford-Phillips on piano, cellist Eric Kim and violinist Hope. For the Schumann Quintet, these three are joined by Benny Kim on violin and Carla Maria Rodrigues on viola.

Airs Thursday, February 26, at 8 p.m. Finish the gig around midnight, meet and greet folks after the show, give a quick lesson to some young fans, then hop on the bus and drive to the next city, in search of a few hours of shuteye on the road. Check into the hotel at 4 a.m., grab a bit more sleep before heading to a sound check for the early afternoon set, the first of two long performances that Saturday. Such is a day in the life of Chris Thile, master mandolinist and co-founder of the Punch Brothers. In this episode, we listen to selections from a Chris Thile & Mike Marshall concert followed by a Punch Brothers concert, recorded on the same day at the 2014 Savannah Music Festival.

Airs Thursday, February 12, at 8 p.m. When guitarists Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge formed a collaborative effort using early 20th century Martin Guitars to explore the worlds of improvisation and composition, no one should have been surprised. With Lage's background in jazz and improvised musical styles, and Eldridge's relationship with bluegrass and his membership in the acclaimed band Punch Brothers, the duo was able to blend technical mastery of their instruments with some beautiful vocals, and have a lot of fun playing their hearts out. In this episode, we listen to the duo performing at the Charles H. Morris Center during the 2014 Savannah Music Festival.

Airs Thursday, February 5 at 8 p.m. Many of the most notable achievements in jazz have come through its great composers. Giants such as Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus and many others always kept the music moving forward through the creation and performance of new compositions. In this episode, we listen to the premiere of new work commissioned by SMF by saxophonist Walter Blanding, Jr. entitled "Tick Tock". The ensemble features Blanding, Marcus Printup on trumpet, Lionel Loueke on guitar, Warren Wolf on vibraphone, Carlos Henriquez on bass and Herlin Riley on drums.

Airs Thursday, January 29 at 8 p.m. A recital given by Nikolai Lugansky at the Telfair Academy of Arts & Sciences. Players who win piano competitions don't always become great pianists but, now in his late 30s, Nikolai Lugansky has all the makings of a modern virtuoso. Born in Moscow in 1972 to a couple of research scientists, Mr. Lugansky was just five years old when his innate musicality first appeared. He went to a neighbor's home, sat down at the piano, and played a Beethoven sonata from memory, having learned the music by ear. In this episode, we hear Nikolai Lugansky's interpretations of the Fantasie in F minor by Chopin, followed by Chopin's "Heroic" Polonaise in A-flat Major and Rachmaninoff's Sonata No. 1 in D minor, performed at the Savannah Music Festival.