America's Music Festival

Airs Monday, May 21 at 11:00 p.m.  Despite the nickname “Stumptown,” Portland is known for being one of the greenest cities in the nation. Portland offers a pro-biking attitude, excellent fair-trade coffee, lots of organic produce and many opportunities to explore the outdoors through hiking or even kiteboarding. It should come as no surprise that the love of the outdoors combines with a local long-lived passion for classical music every summer for the Chamber Music Northwest Summer Music Festival. Pre-concert picnicking creates a festive atmosphere for concerts which take place on the lush campus of Reed College and other locations throughout the city. In 2011, the festival celebrates its 41st year of incredible musicmaking with exciting new programming, including performances by Anne-Marie McDermott and the Emerson String Quartet.

Airs Monday, May 7 at 11:00 a.m.  President Teddy Roosevelt once described the programs at Chatauqua Lake as “the most American thing about America.” What began in the early 1870s as an experimental school on the banks of pristine Chautauqua Lake in upstate New York has now blossomed into a 750-acre education center which offers an incredible summer music festival. Music floats over the grounds, coming from the practice cabins where musicians spend seven weeks honing their crafts in preparation for concerts.

Airs Monday, April 30 at 11:00 a.m.  Surrounded on three sides by beaches, La Jolla, California is incredibly picturesque. Waves crash against the shore, seals bask in the sun and residents enjoy some beautiful sunsets. As seaside town with a passion for the arts, La Jolla also boasts some of the best music in the country during the La Jolla Music Society Summerfest. The Los Angeles Times writes of the festival – “perhaps the first thing to be praised about SummerFest is the exceptionally high quality of performances.” With performances from over 70 ensembles and musicians, the festival brings first rate concerts to what is essentially a small seaside town.

Airs Monday, April 23 at 11:00 a.m. The sleepy town of Marlboro, Vermont has a population just under 980 people, but it bursts into life each summer when the world’s leading musicians come together to play music and learn from each other in the Marlboro Music Festival. The festival prides itself on fostering a true sense of community among artists and invites them to spend up to seven weeks to rehearse, exchange ideas and share meals. The result: a festival that showcases nearly 240 works each summer.

Airs Monday, April 16 at 11:00 a.m.  The most interesting story of the festival itself is the Canandaigua Lake Music Festival’s commitment to demystifying classical music for audiences – the festival includes family performances, a master class open to the public and a series of concerts entitled “Classical Blue Jeans,” which allows artists and audiences to meet, dine together and listen to some incredible pieces of classical music.