Founded in 1967 by Violinist and Conductor Francis Fortier, The Bar Harbor Music Festival celebrates its 56th season with performances from June 26 through July 24. Performances in Bar Harbor are solo recitals, chamber music, “Pops,” “New Composers,” opera, jazz, two string orchestra concerts, and a “New Composer” Forum; as well as six free Young Audience Concerts. Performances in Belfast are three piano recitals and a chamber music concert of flute music.

Sunday, June 26, at 4 p.m. The “La Rochelle” Bar Harbor Historical Society mansion will be the setting for the Festival’s Opening Day Tea Concert in which soprano April Martin collaborates with pianist Cara Chowning in a program of “Sweet Dreams, Shining Stars and Sentiments of Love.” Music by Mendelssohn, Liszt, Debussy, Poulenc, Florence Price, and more. April Martin is hailed by Opera News as “a stand out” and the winner of the 2021 WNYC songSlam competition.

Wednesday June 29, at 7:30 p.m. Brass Venture” returns for Opening Night at the Criterion Theater, with special guests composer Eric Ewazen as well as players from the MDIHS music department. The program is full of classical favorites for brass by Bach, Brahms, Bernstein, Sousa, and Puccini, plus the “Acadia” Suite by Eric Ewazen, and the Gabrieli “Canzona” with MDIHS brass.

Friday, July 1, at 7:30 p.m. Pianist Matthew Graybil makes his Festival debut at the Criterion Theatre. “One of the most sensitive, poetic young pianists,” according to Fanfare Magazine. Program of music by Chopin, Liszt, Rameau, Beethoven, and Stravinsky.

Saturday, July 2, at 7:30 p.m. Festival favorite pianist Christopher Johnson will perform a solo piano recital at the Criterion Theatre. Works by Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Gershwin, Chopin, Liszt, and a world premiere by Deborah Fortier. Johnson is the recent winner of the first Josef Lhevinne Award to a pianist “possessing a brilliant technique coupled with a deep musical understanding.”

Tuesday, July 5, at 10:30 a.m. The Festival’s first Young Audience Concert takes place at the Criterion, featuring “Willie was Different,” by Norman Rockwell, and music for flute, clarinet, and piano. Allison Kiger, flute, Eric Thomas, clarinet, Christina Spurling, piano, with narrator Reed Muise of Blue Hill. All Young Audience Concerts are free to the public.

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Tuesday, July 5, at 7:30 p.m. “A lovely flutist,” according to New Jersey Classical, Allison Kiger will take the stage at The 1932 Criterion Theatre for a program of music by Ludwig van Beethoven. She is joined by Beethoven expert Christopher Johnson on piano for Sonata in F Major, Op. 17, National Airs and Variations, Op. 105, movements from Symphonies nos 5 and 7, and the Serenade for Flute, violin, and viola Op. 25 with Concetta Abbate, violin, and Stan Renard, viola. Also on the program is the Bohème Fantasy for flute and piano, giving the audience a preview of Puccini’s melodies for the Festival’s opera production of La Bohème on July 15.

Wednesday, July 6, at 5:30 p.m. The 26th Annual “New Composers” Forum will take place at St. Saviour’s Episcopal Church. Composer Anna-Louise Walton leads the panel on the topic “Composers as Artist of Time,” including a Q & A with the audience. Musicians Daniel Pyle, Eric Thomas, Skip La Plante, and Allison Kiger will also preview the “New Composers” Concert. This one-hour event is free to the public.

Thursday, July 7, at 10:30 a.m. Young Audience Concert No. 2 features award-winning composer and music educator Skip La Plante leading an instrument-making workshop at the Jesup Memorial Library outdoor tent. This event is free to children of all ages.

Friday July 8, at 7:30 p.m. The 38th Annual “New Composers” Concert to be held at St. Saviour’s Episcopal Church will feature organist Daniel Pyle in solo and chamber works including three world premieres by Anna-Louise Walton, Skip La Plante and Eric Thomas, with Allison Kiger, flute and Laurie Bennett, vocals. Alex Ross of The New York Times described La Plante’s music as “Bewitchingly beautiful and complex sounds”. Additional works by Daniel Weaver and David Hurd.

Sunday, July 10, at 7:30 p.m. The Annual “Pops” Concert takes place at the Criterion with “Golden Songs from the Golden Era.” Downeast artists Celine Mogielnicki and Isaac Bray perform songs of Richards Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein with Cara Chowing, pianist. A special pre-concert buffet dinner is available at the Fogtown Brewery in Bar Harbor, starting at 5:30 p.m.

Monday, July 11, at 10:30 a.m. Young Audience Concert No. 3 takes place at the Criterion Theater. “Peter and the Wolf” will be performed by Antonio Galera, piano and Deborah Fortier, narrator. This event is free to children of all ages.

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Tuesday, July 12, at 7:30 p.m. Festival favorite Antonio Galera, pianist, returns to Bar Harbor to perform at the Criterion. He will perform a solo piano recital of all Spanish music by Albeniz, Asenio, De Falla, Sánchez Benimeli, Coli, and Ginastera. Critics rave Galera is “an especially refined tone poet on the piano.”

Friday, July 15, at 7:30 p.m. Fully staged “La Bohème,” Puccini’s beloved love story, will be presented by the Bar Harbor Music Festival’s Opera Theatre at The 1932 Criterion Theatre. Directed by Joseph DeSota, the cast includes some of the country’s top young operatic talent, with piano accompaniment by Music Director Cara Chowning.

Saturday, July 16, at 7:30 p.m. The beloved Ardelia Trio will return to the Criterion Theater performing music by Mozart, Smetana, Frank Bridge and Sophia Serghi, who will join the trio for special Q & A with the audience. The members of the Trio, Janey Choi, Violinist, Clara Yang, Cellist, and Jihea Hong Park, Pianist have been playing together since their early student years in Seoul, Korea. Korea’s EBS Network Evening News said it well: “…There is something very special and unique about the way they present classical music.”

Sunday July 17, at 1 p.m. Young Audience Concert No. 4 with the Wolverine Jazz Band trio at the Criterion. This event is free to children of all ages.

Sunday, July 17, at 7:30 p.m. The Wolverine Jazz Band, one of Boston’s top Dixieland and traditional jazz and swing bands, appears for the 17th consecutive season with Jazz Night at The 1932 Criterion Theatre. John Clark, clarinet/sax, and Jimmy Mazzy, banjo, lead the band.

Monday, July 18, at 7:30 p.m. Pianist Kayoung An performs music by Handel, Mozart, Bolcom, and Brahms at the Criterion Theatre.

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Wednesday, July 20, at 11 a.m. Young Audience Concert No. 5 offers an open rehearsal with Maestro Francis Fortier and the Bar Harbor Festival String Orchestra at the Criterion featuring Mozart, Vivaldi, and more with pianist Kayoung An.

Thursday, July 21, at 10:30 a.m. Young Audience Concert No. 6 presents Hawk Henries with his Native American flutes at the Jesup Memorial Library outdoor tent.

Friday, July 22, at 7:30 p.m. The Sixteenth Annual Bob Noonan Memorial Concert is scheduled at the Criterion Theatre. Francis Fortier will conduct the Bar Harbor Festival String Orchestra with Kayoung An, Piano Soloist. Music by Mozart, Vivaldi, Mendelssohn, and Dvorak.

Sunday, July 24, at 7:30 p.m. The Festival Gala will bring down the curtain on the 2022 season at The 1932 Criterion Theatre. Francis Fortier leads the Festival String Orchestra with an extraordinary program of music by J.S. Bach, Elgar, and more. Violin soloists Janey Choi and Erika Atchley. Pre-concert buffet dinner available at the Fogtown Brewery for $45.

Tickets are $30 and student tickets are $15. Pops, Jazz, and Gala tickets are $45, with additional Pre-Concert Buffet available before the Pops and Gala at Fogtown Brewery for $45. Opera tickets are $35, $50, and $80. All tickets entitle the purchaser to a reserved seat. A Season Subscription for $350 saves 20% off the single reserved ticket price, and gives you the best seats in the house, as well as entrée to rehearsals. For tickets and information, visit barharbormusicfestival.org or contact Bar Harbor Music Festival in person at The Rodick Building located at 59 Cottage St., Bar Harbor, or by telephone at 207-288-5744, or email at [email protected]


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