The Sounds of Summer
A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Summer Music Festivals Around the World
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
The season is chock full of surprises for the adventurous music lover looking
for innovative programming in jazz, classical, and popular music
can be found in some of the most scenic, imaginative, even unexpected locales.
With The Sounds of Summer, Soundcheck surveys the terrain of summer festivals: How can you get the best bang for your buck in planning a trip around a summer festival? What festivals go beyond the usual fireworks-and-picnics formulas and try something really bold or cutting-edge? Can breathtaking settings inspire great music-making?
During the week, well speak with two impresarios who have forged a daring path in the festival scene: Nigel Redden, director of the Lincoln Center Festival, and Richard Demarco, who has had a long association with Scotlands Edinburgh Festival. Well also survey the jazz and rock festival landscape with the George Wein, the legendary producer behind the Newport and New Orleans Jazz and Folk Festivals. Well talk with the musicians themselves, including conductor James Levine, who, when he isnt on the podium at the Metropolitan Opera, is high up in the Swiss Alps, as music director the Verbier Festival. We then wrap up the week with calls from our listeners about their own favorite places to hear music outdoors around the New York area.
All the Worlds a Stage: Extraordinary Locations
Aired May, 24, 2004 on Soundcheck
Great musicians and extraordinary surroundings are essential to the making of any summer festival. Every year since 1949, the world's most accomplished and promising musicians have made a pilgrimage to the Colorado Rockies for the Aspen Music Festival. We speak with David Zinman, Aspens music director, about what makes this idyllic destination such a destination not only for the rich and famous, but also for top-flight musicians. Then we speak with James Levine, music director of Switzerlands Verbier Festival, about why it is fast becoming one of the hottest tickets in Europe. And we get a report from our European correspondent Mariana Schroeder about the Seville Music Festival in Spain.
» Verbier Festival
» Aspen Music Festival
» Seville International Music Festival
Aired May 25, 2004 on Soundcheck
When youre programming a festival in your own backyard, how do you make it special and unique from your year-round programming? And how, amid the sweltering summer heat and busy city landscape, how do urban programmers make their presentations truly escapist and festive? Today well hear from Nigel Redden, director of the Lincoln Center Festival and Richard Demarco, Edinburgh-based impresario, on their solutions to making summertime in the city a showcase for some truly hot music. Rounding out the show, we speak with Billboard columnist Anastasia Tscioulcas about the Fès Festival of World Sacred Music which takes place in Morocco's spiritual capital
» Lincoln Center Festival
» 2004 Edinburgh International Festival
» Fes Festival of World Sacred Music
Jazz Festivals Wheres the Jazz?
Aired May 26, 2004 on Soundcheck
Jazz festivals have increasingly had to battle the trend toward commercialization triggered by the very real need for economic support. Big name sponsors have often led programming away from purist offerings to acts with broad appeal, turning jazz festivals into stages for the latest ZZ Top reunion tour. How can festivals featuring genres with smaller, but extremely devoted, fans balance their economic needs with interesting programming? George Wein, the legendary impresario behind the Newport and New Orleans Jazz and Folk Festivals, shares his thoughts on the changing landscape of the jazz festival circuit. We also hear from jazz journalist Larry Blumenfeld about the state of European jazz festivals like Montreaux and Umbria, and from correspondent Kim Greene, about a three-day camping and music festival held in Manchester, TN which features an all-star lineup of artists ranging from Wilco and Dave Matthews to the X-ecutioners.
» New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
More than Just Pops: American Orchestras and Austrian Escapes
Aired May 27, 2004 on Soundcheck
In recent years, major American orchestras have faced difficulties ranging from aging, graying audiences to financial strain. But summer is a time when they reach beyond their usual audiences and try something different. Or is it? Today, we get a perspective on American orchestras and their summer seasons with Philadelphia Inquirer music critic David Patrick Stearns. Then, for a comparison abroad we look at Austrias Salzburg Festival, the venerable festival held in Mozarts hometown that has become a destination for the boldest programming anywhere. We hear from our European correspondent Mariana Schroeder.
» Salzburg Festival
The Listener Weighs In
Aired May 28, 2004 on Soundcheck
Were joined by Laurence Barrymore Scherer, music critic of the Wall Street Journal, as we take listener calls. Do you have a secret festival in the New York area that you dont want anyone else to know about? What does it take to get you out of your air-conditioned home and into the muggy, mosquito-infested outdoors for live music? Call in and share your summer highlights.
» New York Philharmonic Summertime Classics
» Met Opera in the Parks
» Central Park SummerStage
Additional festival links:
» Mostly Mozart
» Bard Summerscape
» Bard Music Festival > Shostakovich and His World
» Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival
» Caramoor International Music Festival
» Ravinia Festival