Newport Music Festival 2021

53rd Season From July 4-20

By: - Apr 19, 2021

Newport, RI – Today, the Newport Music Festival announces the complete seventeen-concert schedule for its 53rd season, from July 4-20, 2021. All concerts will be held outdoors at historic mansions and venues in Newport, Rhode Island including The Breakers, Bellevue House, Castle Hill Inn, The Chanler at Cliff Walk, King Park, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, Norman Bird Sanctuary, and Rough Point. The full schedule is included below and available at Tickets will go on sale to the public on April 19.


Highlights of this year’s festival include:

  • Opening night with GRAMMY®-nominated, Boston-based chamber orchestra A Far Cry in a striking program celebrating a diverse array of voices in classical music with works by Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-George; Jessie Montgomery; Arvo Pärt; and Teresa Carreño
  • New York-based Harlem Quartet* in a concert combining pieces from the standard string quartet canon with jazz, Latin and contemporary works, including music by William Grant Still, Tomeka Reid, George Walker, Wynton Marsalis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Billy Strayhorn
  • Clarinetist Anthony McGill*, hailed for his “trademark brilliance, penetrating sound and rich character” by The New York Times, in an intimate garden concert reflecting on classical music past and present with music by Brahms, Jessie Montgomery, James Lee III, and Leonard Bernstein
  • The GRAMMY® Award-winning, Chicago-based Third Coast Percussion* in the East coast premiere of a new piece by Danny Elfman, plus music by Clarice Assad, Philip Glass, Devonté Hynes, and Jlin
  • Virtuoso jazz and classical pianist/composer Aaron Diehl* in music by J.S. Bach, William Grant Still, Scott Joplin, Debussy, Massenet, Eubie Blake, Wynton Kelly Stone, James P. Johnson, Timo Andres, and Philip Glass
  • Trailblazing pianist Lara Downes*, a Yamaha Artist, bringing her program An American Tapestry with music by Roy Harris, Florence Price, Morton Gould, Dana Suesse, Joni Mitchell, Amy Beach, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Margaret Bonds, Samuel Coleridge Taylor, George Gershwin, and more
  • The internationally renowned “orchestra of voices” Chanticleer* presenting Awakenings, in a wide-ranging program with music by Monteverdi, Palestrina, Byrd, Villa-Lobos, Augusta Read Thomas III, Burton Lane, Michelle, and more
  • Brooklyn Rider* performing music from the quartet's Grammy-nominated album Healing Modes by Caroline Shaw, Gabriela Lena Frank, Du Yun, Matana Roberts, Reena Esmail, and Beethoven
  • Newport Music Festival favorites the Boston Trio in the world premiere of the Festival's first annual commissioned work by a Black, Indigenous, person of color, or woman composer – this year by composer Stacy Garrop, inspired by Castle Hill’s iconic lighthouse and premiering at Castle Hill Inn
  • Flutist Lara Deutsch*, named one of BBC Music Magazine’s “Rising Stars,” in a concert titled Love Stories, featuring music by Reinecke, Copland, Schumann and Schubert; Deutsch also joins forces with guitarist Rupert Boyd for a Sunrise Concert of music conjuring images of nature, folklore, and history
  • Redline Brass Quintet* in two free Community Concerts at King Park and Rough Point, in music ranging from Monteverdi to André Previn
  • Festival favorites cellist Sergey Antonov and pianist Ilya Kazantsev in a morning concert of Russian Masters including Rachmaninoff’s Cello Sonata in G Major
  • Opera Night at The Breakers Lawn with Boston Lyric Opera stars soprano Chelsea Basler*, tenor Omar Najmi, and pianist Brendon Shapiro
  • Plus free Community Concerts at King Park and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center Basketball Courts, and Sunrise Concerts at Norman Bird Sanctuary

*making their Newport Music Festival debut


This is the first festival programmed by new Executive Director Gillian Friedman Fox, who came to Newport in January from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra where she was Director of Contemporary and SOLUNA Programs. Fox says, “Our programming for 2021 celebrates the diversity of expression and artistic interpretation within classical music. This season represents a significant inflection point for the Newport Music Festival as we embrace the genre of classical music as a living artform and invite audiences of all backgrounds to experience the magic of chamber music in unique and intimate settings.”


Fox has renewed a commitment by the Festival to both preserving tradition and embracing artistic innovation. She has launched a new commissioning initiative this summer – each year, the Festival will commission a new work by a Black, Indigenous, person of color, or woman composer as a commitment to the future of classical music. The first commissioned work is by Chicago-based composer Stacy Garrop, whose music is centered on dramatic and lyrical storytelling. The piece, titled Beacon of the Bay, is inspired by Castle Hill’s iconic lighthouse and its role in keeping Newport safe for over 130 years. It will be premiered by the Boston Trio, which includes Irina Muresanu (a Festival favorite), at Castle Hill Inn on The Chalet Terrace on July 12. This performance will be the first in an annual tradition of world premiere performances of works commissioned to celebrate a historic venue or location in Newport, eventually resulting in a compilation of recordings that tell the unique story of the Festival and the city.


“When the Newport Music Festival commissioned me for a piano trio in honor of their 2021 season, I looked for a topic that would celebrate an aspect of the Newport community,” Garrop says. “I became fascinated with the lighthouse on the property of Castle Hill Inn, located at the opening of the East Passage of the Narragansett Bay, erected in 1890 on a very picturesque spot right at the water’s edge. Lighthouses link the past with the present, and will endure long into the future, with their beacons serving the same purpose for every generation.”


“On behalf of the Board of Directors, we are so thrilled to welcome audiences back to experience live music together this summer,” says NMF Board President Suzanna Laramee. “NMF is a central fixture in the cultural fabric of the Newport community, and we are looking forward to a festival that will broaden one’s understanding of all that classical music can be.”


Newport Music Festival Schedule


Tickets will go on sale on April 19, 2021. Patrons may purchase tickets at or by calling the Box Office at 401-849-0700.


Concerts will have limited total capacity and appropriate social distancing between patrons; mask wearing will be required at all times and performances will be 60-75 minutes long without intermission. NMF will determine concert capacities in accordance with current governmental guidelines and safety recommendations. For venue addresses and parking and accessibility information, visit


Redline Brass Quintet: A Salute to America
Sunday, July 4, 2021 | 7:30 pm | King Park | FREE

Support provided by BankNewport and NewportFed Charitable Foundation

After a hiatus in 2020, the tradition continues. Join one of the Boston area’s most talented ensembles in a special open-air concert at King Park to kick-off the Fourth of July celebration. Repertoire for this concert will be announced from stage. This free concert requires advanced registration and seating will be provided.


Redline Brass Quintet at Rough Point
Tuesday, July 6, 2021 | 6:00 pm | Rough Point | FREE

Support provided by BankNewport and NewportFed Charitable Foundation
Special thanks to the Newport Restoration Foundation


PREVIN Four Outings for Brass

MAURER Three Pieces

BERNSTEIN Westside Story Suite (arr. Gale)

MONTEVERDI Madrigals (arr. Mase) - Si ch’io verrei morire; Non piu Guerra, pietate; Ah, dolente partita; Quel augellin che canta

JONES Four Movements for Five Brass

EWALD Brass Quintet No. 1


Enjoy a beautiful summer evening of music with exquisite seaside views from the lawn at historic Rough Point. Boston’s own Redline Brass Quintet will perform a varied program ranging from early classical works to well-known favorites. Perfect for both families and couples seeking a unique concert experience. This free concert requires advanced registration and seating will be provided.


A Far Cry: Opening Night

Thursday, July 8, 2021 | 7:30 pm | The Breakers Lawn


GRIEG Holberg Suite



ARVO PÄRT Silouan’s Song

TERESA CARREÑO Serenade for Strings in Eb Major


Experience “world-wide phenomenon” and Festival favorite, A Far Cry, while taking in the endless natural beauty of Newport’s coastline. This GRAMMY®-nominated Boston-based chamber orchestra will present a striking program that celebrates a diverse array of voices within classical music, for a truly memorable opening night performance.


Sunrise Concert with Members of A Far Cry
Friday, July 9, 2021 | 5:15 am | Norman Bird Sanctuary

This concert is made possible thanks to the generous support of Robert Connell and Michelle Duffy


JOSEPH BOLOGNE, CHEVALIER DE SAINT-GEORGES Six Concertante Quartets, No. 4 in F Major

BARTOK String Quartet No. 3

BEETHOVEN String Quartet Op.18 #5 in A Major


Experience the stunning seaside sunrise during this inspiring and joyful concert with members of GRAMMY®-nominated, Boston-based chamber orchestra A Far Cry. Following the performance, you are invited to explore Norman Bird Sanctuary on a self-guided tour through the nature preserve.


Third Coast Percussion: MLK Center Family Concert
Friday, July 9, 2021 | 4:15 pm | Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center | FREE

Sponsored by: Betsy Blair and Jim Van Winkle
with additional support provided by BankNewport and NewportFed Charitable Foundation



DEVONTÉ HYNES "Press" from For All Its Fury (arr. by TCP)

JLIN Derivative, Duality

DAVID SKIDMORE Ritual Music and Torched and Wrecked

STEVE REICH Music for Pieces of Wood


Newport Music Festival welcomes the community to redefine the classical music experience with GRAMMY® Award-winning Chicago-based quartet Third Coast Percussion at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center. This extraordinary performance is a dynamic celebration of energy that is not to be missed. This free concert requires advanced registration and seating will be provided.


Harlem Quartet

Friday, July 9, 2021 | 7:30 pm | The Breakers Lawn



TOMEKA REID Prospective Dwellers

GEORGE WALKER String Quartet No. 1, Molto Adagio, Lyric for Strings
WYNTON MARSALIS At the Octoroon Balls – String Quartet No. 1; “Rampart Street Rowhouse Rag;” “Mating Calls and Delta Rhythms;” “Creole Contradanzas;” “Hellbound Highball”

JOHN BIRKS “DIZZY” GILLESPIE A Night in Tunisia (arr. Dave Glenn and Harlem Quartet)

BILLY STRAYHORN Take the “A” Train (arr. Paul Chihara and Harlem Quartet)


New York-based Harlem Quartet makes their highly anticipated NMF debut at The Breakers. The evening’s program advances diversity in classical music while bringing excitement to the repertoire. This eclectic concert celebrates the legacy of the string quartet, and broadens the genre.


Third Coast Percussion: Perspectives

Saturday, July 10, 2021 | 7:30 pm | The Breakers Lawn

Sponsored by: Leslie Hogan | Kathy and Doug O’Brien | Jackie Savoie and Dr. Dennis McCool


DEVONTÉ HYNES "Press" from For All Its Fury (arr. by TCP)
PHILIP GLASS Metamorphosis I (arr. by Peter Martin)
CLARICE ASSAD Hero (arr. by Robert Dillon)
JLIN “Duality” from Perspective
DANNY ELFMAN Percussion Quartet


GRAMMY® Award-winning, Chicago-based Third Coast Percussion is known for virtuosic and energetic performances that celebrate the extraordinary depth and breadth of possibilities in classical music with an “inspirational sense of fun and curiosity” (Minnesota Star-Tribune). This program includes the regional premiere of a new piece by renowned film composer Danny Elfman alongside works by some of today’s leading composers and music creators.


Aaron Diehl

Sunday, July 11, 2021 | 6:00 pm | The Breakers Lawn


BACH Prelude and Fugue in D minor, BWV 851


SCOTT JOPLIN Easy Winners & Solace (A Mexican Serenade)

DEBUSSY Passepied from Suite bergamasue

MASSENET Elegie (Arr. Art Tatum)

EUBIE BLAKE The Charleston Rag


JAMES P. JOHNSON Keep Off the Grass




Trained in the classical canon, Aaron Diehl is celebrated for his elite standard of playing across genres and his joyous approach to interpretation. In this solo recital, Diehl performs an opulent program that reflects an exciting collection of twentieth century music from the classical and jazz idioms. This is the perfect concert for long-time classical music lovers and the classically curious.


Boston Trio: A World Premiere

Monday, July 12, 2021 | 7:00 pm | Castle Hill Inn

Sponsored by: Suzanna and John Laramee | Patricia and Torre Peterson | Maureen and Bruce Holland


FAURÉ Piano Trio in D minor

STACY GARROP Beacon of the Bay (World Premiere, NMF Commission)

BRAHMS Piano Trio No. 1 in B Major


Castle Hill, a quintessential landmark in the City-by-the-Sea with its breathtaking views, is the backdrop for this year’s exciting world premiere of Newport Music Festival’s first annual commissioned work, performed by Festival favorite violinist Irina Muresanu along with fellow Boston Trio musicians - cellist Jonah Ellsworth and pianist Heng-Jin Park. This historic piece by Stacy Garrop, whose music is centered on dramatic and lyrical storytelling, is inspired by Castle Hill’s iconic lighthouse and its role in keeping Newport safe for over 130 years. The new work is complemented by two stunning Piano Trios from Fauré and Brahms.


Lara Downes: American Tapestry

Tuesday, July 13, 2021 | 11:00 am | The Chanler at Cliff Walk, Meadow Lawn

Sponsored by: Sue Klau


ROY HARRIS American Ballads

AMY BEACH From Blackbird Hills, Op. 83

FLORENCE PRICE Fantasie Negre No. 1

MORTON GOULD American Caprice

DANA SUESSE American Nocturne

JONI MITCHELL My Favorite Color

R. NATHANIEL DETT The Place Where the Rainbow Ends

HAROLD ARLEN Over the Rainbow




MANCINI Moon River

GERSHWIN I Loves You, Porgy (arr. Nina Simone)

GERSHWIN Rhapsody in Blue


Yamaha Artist Lara Downes is among the foremost American pianists of her generation, a trailblazer on and off stage whose musical roadmap seeks inspiration from the legacies of history, family, and collective memory, and explores her own mixed-race heritage as an interpreter of diverse American traditions.


Sergey Antonov & Ilya Kazantsev: Russian Masters

Wednesday, July 14, 2021 | 11:00 am | The Chanler at Cliff Walk, Meadow Lawn

Sponsored by: Marilyn and Donald Malpass


VIELGORSKY Theme and Variations

ASAFIEV Scene from the ballet “The Fountain of Bakhchisaray”

DAVIDOV At the Fountain

RACHMANINOFF Cello Sonata in G Major, Op. 19


Gifted Russian instrumentalists and Festival favorites, cellist Sergey Antonov and pianist Ilya Kazantsev return to Newport for a concert of exceptional musicianship. This beautiful morning program explores Russian repertoire both familiar and unexpected.


Lara Deutsch: Love Stories

Thursday, July 15, 2021 | 7:30 pm | The Breakers Lawn


REINECKE Sonata for Flute and Piano, "Undine", Op. 167

COPLAND Duo for Flute and Piano

SCHUMANN Three Romances for Flute and Piano, Op. 94

SCHUBERT Introduction and Variations on "Trockne Blumen", D. 802


This program features repertoire written to express life’s most complicated emotion: love. Often unrequited, love has played a central role in the creation of each of these works, whether inspired by poetry, mythology, or the experiences of the composers themselves. Lara Deutsch, named one of 2020's “Rising Stars” by BBC Music Magazine, is sure to dazzle in this romantic duo program with Esther Ning Yau on piano.


Sunrise Concert with Lara Deutsch and Rupert Boyd

Friday, July 16, 2021 | 5:15 am | Norman Bird Sanctuary


BARTÓK Romanian Folk Dances

TAKEMITSU Toward the Sea

PIAZZOLLA Histoire du Tango

RAVI SHANKAR, ed. Pierre-André Valade L’Aube Enchantée sur le Raga “Todi”


Experience the stunning seaside sunrise during this inspiring and joyful concert. Evoking musical portraits of 20th-century life around the world, this program of flute and guitar conjures images of natural landscapes, historical events, and folklore across the continents. Following the performance, you are invited to explore Norman Bird Sanctuary on a self-guided tour through the nature preserve.


Opera Night

Friday, July 16, 2021 | 7:30 pm | The Breakers Lawn | Tickets $90/$75

MOZART Overture from Cosi Fan Tutti
MOZART Se il tuo duol from Idomeneo
ROSSINI Sventurata mi credea from La Cenerentola
VERDI Questa o quella from Rigoletto
PUCCINI Signore ascolta from Turandot
MASSENET Overture from Werther
GOUNOD L’amour...Ah! Lève toi soleil from Romeo and Juliet
MASSENET Toi! Vous!...N’est ce plus ma main from Manon
BIZET Je dis que rien ne m’epouvante from Carmen
LEHAR Dein ist mein ganzes herz from Das Land des Lächelns
LEHAR Lippen Schweigan from Die lustige Witwe
HEGGIE Overture from Moby Dick
HEGGIE I see from Moby Dick
FLOYD Aint it a pretty night from Susannah


A stunning evening of opera arias and duets that will inspire and excite performed by three dazzling stars from the Boston Lyric Opera: GRAMMY® Award-nominated soprano Chelsea Basler, tenor Omar Najmi, recipient of Opera Colorado's Harold Norblom Award, and pianist Brendon Shapiro.


Chanticleer: Awakenings

Saturday, July 17, 2021 | 7:30 pm | The Breakers Lawn

Sponsored by: Mr. and Mrs. Richard I. Burnham | Jennie and Stephen B. Huttler


MONTEVERDI Lauda Jerusalem from Vespers of 1610

LUSITANO Regina caeli – Et resurrexit

VECCHI Vidi civitatem

AGRICOLA Regina caeli

MACMILLAN O Radiant Dawn from The Strathclyde Motets


ANYA WOODS close[r], now (New Commission)

ULYSSES KAY Music from Triumvirate

DE LASSUS Surge propera amica mea

PALESTRINA La ver l’aurora

PALESTRINA Surge illuminare

BYRD Laudibus in sanctis

HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS Chôros No. 3, “Pica-pau”

AUGUSTA READ THOMAS III. The bird her punctual music from Purple Syllables

JANEQUIN Le chant des oiseaux

STEVEN SAMETZ Birds of Paradise

BURTON LANE On a Clear Day (arr. Gene Puerling)

MICHELLE Sunrise (arr. Tim Keeler)

RICHARD EVANS & NORMAN GIMBEL Journey to Recife (arr. Joseph H. Jennings)


The GRAMMY® Award-winning vocal ensemble Chanticleer has been hailed as “the world’s reigning male chorus” by The New Yorker. Their NMF debut will be an evening to remember as the “orchestra of voices” dazzles with a program of early music vocal repertoire juxtaposed with 21st century compositions that stir the soul.


Brooklyn Rider: Healing Modes

Sunday, July 18, 2021 | 6:00 pm | The Breakers Lawn

Sponsored by: James H. and Marilyn J. Woloohojian Family Foundation – in loving memory of James H. Woloohojian




DU YUN i am my own achilles’ heel

MANTANA ROBERTS borderlands...

REENA ESMAIL Zeher (Poison)

BEETHOVEN String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132


Hailed as “the future of chamber music” (Strings), the GRAMMY®-nominated veteran string quartet Brooklyn Rider presents a thematic program about the healing properties of music, recognized from ancient Greek civilization to the field of modern neuroscience and expressed in countless global traditions. Among the most profound expressions of healing in the string quartet repertoire is the slow movement of Beethoven’s Opus 132, a “Song of Holy Thanksgiving from a Convalescent to the Deity in the Lydian mode.” This autumnal masterwork is presented in its entirety alongside five compact new commissions which explore the subject of healing from a wide range of historical and cultural perspectives. The New Yorker praised the program, writing, “juxtapositions are illuminating, the playing persuasive, and the timing almost impossibly serendipitous.”


Anthony McGill

Tuesday, July 20, 2021 | 6:00 pm | Bellevue House

(Rain Date: Wednesday, July 21, 2021 | 6:00 pm)


BERNSTEIN Sonata for Clarinet and Piano


BRAHMS Clarinet Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 120, No. 2


Clarinetist Anthony McGill is one of classical music’s most recognizable and brilliantly multifaceted figures. In addition to holding the Principal Clarinet chair at the New York Philharmonic, McGill enjoys an equally impressive international solo and chamber music career. This intimate garden concert features a compelling mix of repertoire that will leave you reflecting on the past and celebrating the future. 


Photo Credits L-R: Lara Deutsch by Brent Calis; Harlem Quartet by Amy Schroeder; Boston Trio courtesy of the artist; Stacy Garrop by Darrell Hoemann; A Far Cry by Yoon S. Byun; The Breakers courtesy of The Preservation Society of Newport County; Chanticleer by Lisa Kohler; Brooklyn Rider by Erin Baiano; Lara Downes by Max Barrett; Anthony McGill by Eric Rudd Photography; Castle Hill Inn courtesy of Castle Hill Inn; Third Coast Percussion by Saverio Truglia; Aaron Diehl by Maria Jarzyna


# # #