Held in New York City and on the grounds of Music Mountain, the oldest continuous chamber music festival in the country, the Next Festival of Emerging Artists is an immersive residency for young (20-30 years old) professional string players focused on musical exploration, entrepreneurial thinking, and contemporary performance practice. Combining intense musical study and performance at the highest level, the festival brings together young artists aged 20-30, from the best music schools and conservatories in the country, to work in a highly individualized and inspirational atmosphere.
Our 2017 season included performances with Jennifer Koh (Musical America 2016 Instrumentalist of the Year) and a Composer Workshop led by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis. The Composer Workshop is an innovative program connecting composers and performers in a unique collaboration, resulting in artistic partnerships and the creation of new works. The 2017 season also marked the first Choreographer/Composer/Performer workshop, led by Aaron Jay Kernis and Tony Award-nominee Christopher D’Amboise.
The Next Festival is deeply committed to helping the artists of tomorrow progress to the next step in their careers and to forge their own unique musical identities. Generous scholarships enable students to attend, regardless of financial circumstances.
Conductor/composer/educator Peter Askim (Conductor, Raleigh Civic Symphony and Chamber Orchestra; Former Music Director, Composer-in-Residence, Idyllwild Arts) works closely with the students to tailor a program focused on their individual goals, and a spirit of imagination and exploration is cultivated.
The Next Festival emphasizes Contemporary Music and entrepreneurial thinking in imagining a career in today’s musical landscape, culminating in an orchestral performance of 20th-Century works and the music of our time. The 2015 season marked the Festival’s New York debut at the prestigious (le)poisson rouge, in a program of all living composers. The concert was recorded by WQXR/Q2 and featured on the program New York Now. The Festival is the recipient of the 2016 Ernst Bacon Memorial Award in the Performance of American Music and has been recognized for innovative programming by Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award in Orchestral Programming.
Each year the festival features Guest Artists who are making major contributions to the contemporary repertoire and who have fashioned their own unique approaches to their careers. The Guest Artists serve as examples of non-traditional career paths and perform alongside the Festival musicians. Past Guest Artists included Matt Haimovitz, ETHEL and Jeffrey Zeigler (former cellist, Kronos Quartet). The 2016 festival featured Peabody Award-winning violist Nadia Sirota (yMusic, host of Q2’s Meet the Composer) and guitar legend Richard Thompson.
Read what festival alumni have to say their experiences at the Festival.