Summer festivals are upon us. In the Triangle, Summerfest continues with three concerts involving all of the N.C. Symphony's artistic leaders--Music Director Grant Llewellyn on July 1, soon-to-depart Assistant Conductor Carolyn Kuan on Independence Day, and Summerfest Artistic Director William Henry Curry on July 8. Llewellyn's program features the second performance of a new work by NCS bass trombonist Terry Mizesko, premiered the previous day in Beaufort. Kuan's concert, her farewell appearance here before she heads out to Seattle, involves Curry as narrator of "A Lincoln Portrait." And Curry's own concert features baritone Jason McKinney in music by operatic composers.
Duke's summer concerts continue with one of the best mariachi bands on the East Coast on July 2.
The ADF is going full tilt--although dance is the primary focus, there's lots of music in these programs, including Mozart in the Emanual Gat program starting June 29 and Steve Reich in the Shen Wei program starting July 3. For thorough coverage; see Independent critic Byron Woods' regular dance columns, and Kate Dobbs Ariail's reviews online in CVNC.
And then there's the Eastern Music Festival, which got underway in Greensboro on June 24 with the premiere of a piano concerto based on songs by Billy Joel, played by Jeffery Biegel and conducted by former Greensboro Symphony Music Director Stuart Malina. We'll be highlighting things to hear at the EMF in the music section of the Independent, starting this week and continuing through the end of the festival on July 29. For now, suffice it to say that the EMF has come back from the brink, thanks to strong leadership from President and CEO Tom Philion and Principal Conductor Gerard Schwarz; that the Eastern Philharmonic has long been considered one of the finest orchestras in N.C.; and that this ought to be one of the prime destinations of music lovers in the Piedmont and beyond this summer. For this week's schedule, see our column in the Indy or the EMF Web site.
Saturday, July 1
Summerfest: Paul Randall, trumpet, and the N.C. Symphony, Grant Llewellyn, conductor. "Tall Ships": Berlioz: Le Corsaire: Overture; Jean Baptiste Arban: Fantasy, Theme, and Variations on "Carnival of Venice"; Khachaturian: Spartacus: Adagio; Britten: Peter Grimes:  Sea Interludes: Storm; Terry Mizesko: Last Voyage of the Currituck; Rodgers/Bennett: South Pacific: Symphonic Scenario; Jobim/Matthews: The Music of Antonio Carlos Jobim; Henry Wood: Fantasia on British Sea Songs: Jack's the Lad; and Wagner: The Flying Dutchman: Overture. Amphitheatre, Regency Park, Cary. 7:30 p.m. Advance $20, at the gate $22. 733-2750 or ncsymphony.org.
Sunday, July 2
Duke Summer Music: Mariachi los Viajeros, Hector Varel, leader. Angle Amphitheater, Doris Duke Center, Duke Gardens, Durham. 7 p.m. Free. 684-4444 or duke.edu/web/dukeperfs.
Tuesday, July 4
Summerfest: William Henry Curry, speaker, and N.C. Symphony, Carolyn Kuan, conductor. 4th of July Spectacular with music by Williams, Gould, Dvorák, Gershwin, Sousa, Copland's "A Lincoln Portrait" and fireworks. Amphitheatre, Regency Park, Cary. 7:30 p.m. Free. 733-2750 or ncsymphony.org.
Saturday, July 8
Summerfest: Jason McKinney, baritone, and NC Symphony, William Henry Curry, Summerfest Artistic Director. "Fright Night": Berlioz: The Damnation of Faust: "Song of the Flea," and Rakoczy March; Rossini: The Siege of Corinth: Overture; Gounod: Faust: "Le veau d'or," Antique Dance, and Dance of the Phryne; Offenbach: Orpheus in the Underworld: Overture; Gounod: Funeral March of a Marionette; Puccini: Le Villi: Witches' Sabbath; Schubert/Berlioz: Der Erlkönig; and Mussorgsky/Ravel: Pictures at an Exhibition: Promenade, Gnomus, Bydlo, Catacombs, Cum mortuis in lingua mortua, Baba Yaga (The Hut on Fowl's Legs), and The Great Gate of Kiev. Amphitheatre, Regency Park, Cary. 7:30 p.m. Advance $20, at the gate $22. 733-2750 or ncsymphony.org.
Ensemble Vermillian Bends the Rules, by John W. Lambert
Cozying Up to the Piano (Heid and Hollis Duo), by Elizabeth and Joe Kahn