Destination Festivals 2020: For The Classical Music Lovers

Seeking a perfect music destination gift for yourself or the classical music expert in your life?  Consider a summer retreat to a 2020 classical music festival.   It is early enough to make travel plans and reserve concert tickets since many of the sites have not released their online ticket sales. 

Music Festivals, in general, have become a massive phenomenon as cities around the world have capitalized on tourism dollars and/or created mechanisms to benefit local charitable causes.  These festivals scheduled for either 1-day, a couple of weeks or, in some cases, several months with live performances consisting of different genres (i.e., jazz, country, rock, hip-hop, electronica, etc).   Music festivals have the capability of developing into huge brands such as South by South West (SWSX) celebrating film, interactive media, and music over a nine days spread in Austin Texas.

Similarly, classical music festivals serve as a platform for promoting specific genres or themes while incorporating strong educational components to benefit the community from the local level to an international reach.   Events such as speaker workshops, year-long classes for young and emerging artists, and performance competitions are designed.   

Classical festivals are hosted at diverse venues, perhaps to capitalize on the acoustics of an indoor concert hall, or create an intimate setting for chamber music ensembles or being one with nature under the stars while enjoying the symphonic sounds from an outdoor amphitheater.  Although most festival attire is more casual, there are some classical music festivals that require traditional formal attire to respect long-held festival rituals. 

Needless to say, classical music festivals are hosted all over the world.  For your consideration here are several suggestions:

Colorado adores orchestral music!  Known to host a number of different events throughout the year, two are featured below:

Bravo! Vail – 2020 season will showcase four world-renowned orchestras: Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic.   Small ensemble events, children’s concerts, and other educational programs for all ages are also scheduled.  Vail, Colorado is picture-perfect as the Rocky Mountains serve as a remarkable backdrop. 

The upscale resort town is on the map for both its exceptional ski and snowboard season,  yet offers as many summer outdoor activities that one can enjoy during your visit.  Vail’s lodging options for the luxury traveler consist of resorts and lodges with European Alp-like designed villages while providing top-notch dining, shopping, and amenities galore.

Colorado Music Festival – The non-profit organization’s mission is to provide a broad spectrum of music education opportunities and world-class performances to citizens throughout Boulder County and beyond.   Boulder, Colorado will host its own 6-weeks (June 25 – August 1, 2020) classic music festival under the leadership of Music Director, Peter Ounjian.    

Email sign up is available for schedule updates announcements. Boulder ‘s lifestyle is more hip and urban; perhaps somewhat influenced by the University of Colorado campus.   Denver International Airport is the closest major airport with an approximate 45 minutes drive time.  Downtown Boulder is home to a number of brand resorts and hotels with suites accommodations, dining, and other cultural offerings.  

Tanglewood Music Festival – hosted annually on the Tanglewood estate in Stockbridge and Lenox, Massachusetts.  This Festival satisfies classic cultural enthusiasts by offering an assortment of symphonic music, chamber, choral, musical theatre, contemporary music, jazz, and pop music.

Tanglewood’s prominence has been elevated with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in residence during the festival.   The city of Lenox offers exceptional luxury accommodations and it is advised to book early to reserve premier lodging for your stay during the Festival. 

Mostly Mozart Festival based in New York City at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; festival growth over the years has allowed expansion to other performance venues to accommodate additional art forms including dance and theater.  The festival originated in 1966 giving annual homage to the works of Mozart.  The season runs from Mid-July to Mid-August and as of this blog date, the 2020 season had not been announced.   New York City’s accommodations are so vast and wide that it deserves its own blog.  But for now, here’s the link to its’ official tourism site

Ojai Music Festival – Tapped as Music Director, Matthias Pintscher, will head the 74th festival in Ojai, California as he brings his own musical creativity to shape the Festival’s theme and direction.   The festival allows its annual rotating directors to invite a range of artists (soloist, chamber ensembles and orchestras) to connect classical and contemporary by incorporating other forms of artistry including electronics, computers, dance, theatre, experimental staging to reflect social and political issues, etc.    Ojai provides a variety of quaint Bed &Breakfasts, luxury hotels, and resorts with decadent suites and spa services to handle your every whim while visiting this city surrounded by beautiful landscapes.

Stratford Music Festival –  The same region that offers an amazing annual theatre festival to embrace Shakespeare’s masterpieces, also prides itself on its ability to host a quality annual music festival.  Located 2 hours west of Toronto, Stratford Ontario hosts 6 weeks (July 20-August 23, 2020) of classical music heaven!  Be forewarned, this Festival schedules not just classical Canadian local and international artists but extends into jazz and pop.  Its website hadn’t updated their upcoming schedule as of the publishing of our blog.    

Ottawa Chamber Fest Ottawa Canada – Boasts to be the largest Chamber festival (with over 120 concerts) in the world, takes place for two weeks from late July through early August.  This event is held in various downtown venues featuring chamber ensemble and solo musical performers.

Edinburg International Music Festival –  Edinburg, Scotland 2020 dates August 7-31st.  Details for performers are still being hashed out, however the Festival did announce the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra agreed to perform.  Note that Edinburg hosts several coinciding festivals, Military Tattoo Festival, Festival Fringe, Art Festival, Jazz & Blues, offering visitors a wide range of activities and performances.  

Three Choirs Festival Worchester England  – the oldest non-competitive classical music festival which celebrated its 300thanniversary in 2013.   The week-long festival consists of choral and orchestral concerts, cathedral services, solo and chamber music recitals, masterclasses, talks, theatre, exhibitions, and tours.    It rotates each summer between the three cities of Hereford, Gloucester, and Worcester.  The concerts feature the Three Choirs Festival Chorus and the Philharmonia Orchestra.

The Sphinx Organization

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a worthy non-profit organization that enhances the classical music scene not only in Detroit and Southeast Michigan but has a national and international presence in showcasing young talented classical artists of color.  Since 1997,  The Sphinx Organization who calls Detroit home has transformed the lives of young musicians who are historically underrepresented in classical music through programs of education, development, performance and leadership development.    I have been fortunate to attend a number of Sphinx’s national annual competitions and would invite local readers of Beau Satchelle’s blogs who would love to be inspired and uplifted by future masters of classical music to make plans to attend February 7-8, 2020 at Detroit’s famed Orchestra Hall.    – AJ

Have you attended and or have any suggestions for Classical Music Festivals?  Share your experience or comments below or on Twitter!

Thank you to the following site for providing source content:

NTA Courier

Hat Tip to the Unsplash and Pixabay Photographers:

Manuel Nägeli – photo of Double Bass

Funki50 – outdoor concert

TravelCoffeeBook – Argentina Concert Hall

HeungSoon – Violin

Congerdesign – woman’s hands with trumpet


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