Maestro’s Leadership Solidifies Festival’s International Reputation
"(GREENSBORO) – Eastern Music Festival is delighted to announce a three-year extension of Gerard Schwarz’s contract as EMF’s Music Director.
“Securing Maestro Schwarz’s leadership through the end of this decade is one of my proudest achievements for EMF,” said Fred Starr, chairman of the board of directors for Eastern Music Festival.
“Jerry (Schwarz) brings more than 40 years of highly acclaimed accomplishments to EMF, and the renewal of his contract not only secures continuity for the Festival’s short- and long-term planning, it strengthens our international reputation to both emerging and highly celebrated artists,” explained Starr.
“Schwarz’s exemplary reputation has helped EMF attract world-renowned guest artists and composers and has certainly contributed greatly to our reputation as one of the leading classical music festivals in the country,” said EMF Executive Director Chris Williams.
Each summer the 55-year-old Eastern Music Festival draws over 200 young artists ages 14 to 23 to study at its famed program and nearly 80 professional musicians to both teach and perform during EMF’s five-week season.
Schwarz joined EMF as music advisor in 2005. In 2006 he became the Festival’s principal conductor and rose to the role of music director in 2008. The 2017 EMF season will mark his 10th anniversary as music director.
As EMF music director, Schwarz initiated the Bonnie McElveen-Hunter Commissioning Project that has thus far commissioned four original orchestral works by John Corigliano, Richard Danielpour, Lowell Liebermann and Sir André Previn.
“My work with Eastern Music Festival is invigorating,” Schwarz said from his home in New York City. “EMF offers both an acclaimed teaching environment for emerging artists and world-class performances through our professional musicians so I have the opportunity to be immersed in both elements as music director.
“It is an honor to continue my work with EMF as we enhance the education of hundreds of EMF’s young artists and bring great music to thousands of classical music lovers,” Schwarz added. “I treasure the opportunity to continue in this role for the next three years.”
About Gerard Schwarz
Born in America to Viennese parents, Schwarz began studying music at the age of 5 and soon focused on the trumpet. A graduate of both New York City's High School of Performing Arts and The Juilliard School, he joined the New York Philharmonic in 1972 as co-principal trumpet, a position he held until 1977.
During his distinguished career, Schwarz has won five Emmy awards, received 14 Grammy nominations, six American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) awards and has been awarded seven honorary degrees including one from The Juilliard School, his alma mater, as well as numerous and awards.
Schwarz serves as music director of The All-Star Orchestra, an ensemble of top musicians that, in addition to airing live TV shows worldwide, provides the basis for their Khan Academy education platform already reaching over four million students.
Schwarz’s previous positions include 26 years as music director of the Seattle Symphony, music director of New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and New York Chamber Symphony. In addition he served as artistic advisor to the Tokyo Philharmonic. Schwarz also serves as music director of the All-Star Orchestra.
About Eastern Music Festival
Eastern Music Festival, which was begun in 1961 in Greensboro, stands among the nation’s premier summer music educational programs and most imaginative performance festivals. For the 2016 season, EMF presented over 65 performances in venues throughout the Triad such as Temple Emanuel, Greensboro’s First Presbyterian Church, Greensboro’s public libraries as well as concerts at Guilford College, UNC Greensboro, High Point University and Appalachian State University. EMF attracts artists, students and audiences from around the globe to Greensboro each summer during its five-week festival. Beyond the Festival, EMF produces and presents Fringe series and other programming through the year.
Planning for Eastern Music Festival’s 56th season is well underway so mark your calendars for June 24 – July 29, 2017!
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- A Press Release