Quintet commissioned for Manchester Music Festival 2019 opening night


MANCHESTER — The Manchester Music Festival has commissioned an original clarinet quintet by critically acclaimed composer Christopher Theofanidis for its opening night concert next summer.

Theofanidis' work will premiere on July 11, 2019, at the festival's opening night concert at Southern Vermont Arts Center's Arkell Pavilion. Theofanidis is expected to attend the premiere and will participate in outreach events leading up to the concert.

Underwriting for the commission has been provided by the James H. and Irene M. Hunter Charitable Trust, MMF said in a news release.

"We are extremely grateful for the generosity of the Hunter Charitable Trust," MMF artistic director Adam Neiman said in the release. "Contributing to the music of our time is a moral imperative for any world-class festival. A commission by one of America's most celebrated contemporary composers truly embodies the legacy of MMF as a leading American music festival."

Theofanidis, a Yale School of Music faculty composer and composer-in-residence at the Aspen Music Festival, received a 2017 Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Composition. The nomination was for his Bassoon Concerto, recorded by bassoonist Martin Kuuskmann and the Northwest Sinfonia under the direction of Barry Jekowsky.

Theofanidis' original works have been performed by major orchestras including the London Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and Philadelphia Orchestra. Past commissions include the American Ballet Theatre, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the San Francisco and Houston Grand Opera companies. Theofanidis is composer-in-residence at the Aspen Music Festival and serves on the faculty of Yale University.

The 2019 opening night of the festival will also feastre works by Brahms, Schubert, and Schumann, and boasting a lineup of virtuoso artists including pianist Jon Nakamatsu (1997 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Gold Medalist), violist Toby Appel (The Juilliard School), clarinetist Alex Fiterstein (2001 Carl Nielsen International Clarinet Competition Winner), and The Ariel Quartet (2006 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition Winner.)

Manchester Music Festival is currently offering pre-season discount prices through December 31, 2018. Ticket information is available at www.mmfvt.org and by calling the festival office at




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