BMC Summer Music Festival Concludes in Dramatic Fashion

Sun and all planets of the Solar System. From left to right: Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto. / Photo by PARI

The 82nd season of Brevard Music Center’s (BMC) summer festival comes to its dramatic conclusion with a four-day Season Finale Weekend spanning Aug. 2-5.

Artistic Director Keith Lockhart returns to Brevard to unite BMC faculty and students, guest artists, and community partners around a powerful collection of performances highlighted by the Tony Award-winning Sondheim on Sondheim, classical masterworks including The Planets and Pictures at an Exhibition, and the tour de force Bernstein’s Mass.

“The 2018 Summer Music Festival has been one of the most extraordinary seasons in our history,” said Brevard Music Center President & CEO Mark Weinstein. “More people than ever before have come to Brevard Music Center to enjoy a distinct mix of acclaimed performances including symphony, opera, chamber, jazz, blues, bluegrass, pops, and dance. Plus, thousands of individuals have saluted the centennial of celebrated composer Leonard Bernstein through our multi-faceted “Festival Within a Festival.” It has been thrilling to share our musical journey with so many old and new friends this summer…and present some of the world’s most celebrated performers alongside the next generation of classical luminaries.”

The season finale weekend officially kicks off on Thursday, Aug. 2 at 7:30 p.m.. when the Janiec Opera Company of Brevard Music Center presents Sondheim on Sondheim at Brevard College’s Porter Center. Hailed as “a revelatory revue full of wonderful moments,” this Tony Award-winning, affectionate and revealing tribute of one of musical theatre’s most iconic talents is an intimate portrait of the famed songwriter in his own words and music.

On Friday, Aug. 3 at 7:30 p.m., BMC Artistic Director Keith Lockhart returns to Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium (WPA) to lead BMC’s Brevard Concert Orchestra in Holst’s celestial masterpiece, The Planets. The truly magical evening under the stars (and the planets!) will be performed with multi-media visuals provided by Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI). Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor complements a captivating program that also includes Maslanka’s O Earth, O Stars for Solo Cello and Winds, featuring BMC’s BrevardSymphonic Winds led by Kraig Alan Williams.

On Saturday, Aug. 4 at 7:30 p.m., Resident Conductor Ken Lam takes center stage at WPA with BMC’s Brevard Sinfonia for Pictures at an Exhibition—the symphonic masterpiece by Mussorgsky depicting each of ten distinctively different paintings. The evening’s program will also include Dzubay’s Ra! and Lees’s Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra.

Imagined by Leonard Bernstein “not as a concert, but a fully staged dramatic pageant,” Brevard Music Center will proudly present Bernstein’s Mass as its 2018 season finale on Sunday, Aug. 5 at 3 p.m. Led by Artistic Director Keith Lockhart, this multi-faceted theatre piece for musicians, singers, and dancers will bring hundreds of artists to the WPA stage in tribute to Bernstein’s enduring legacy. Bernstein’s Mass will officially conclude BMC’s 2018 Leonard Bernstein Festival, one of more than 2,000 other events on six continents celebrating the composer’s centennial.

“Bernstein’s Mass is something that transcends the normal concert experience. It is an epic work. A big, noisy, very 20th century struggle. A piece that addresses, without being specifically political, the lack of any higher power steering us to a better place,” noted Brevard Music Center Artistic Director Keith Lockhart. “It is very timely right now…and I am delighted to be able to be in the position to share it with our audiences and our students.”

Tickets start at only $20 and lawn seating at Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium – BMC’s 1800-seat, open-air auditorium – is free for children under 17 with a paying adult, and students 18 and older.

Tickets can be ordered online at or by calling the BMC Box Office at 828-862-2105.

About Shelby Harrell
Shelby Harrell is the editor of the Biltmore Beacon, editor of The Guide arts and entertainment publication and is a staff writer for Mountaineer Publishing. Originally from Asheville, she has worked in journalism for seven years and currently lives in Clyde, NC.