Pianists Blair McMillen and Pam Goldberg announce the first annual Rite of SummerMusic Festival, taking place Summer 2011 on Governors Island, New York City. This will be the first classical-contemporary concert series on Governors Island, a place the New York Times has called a “Playground for the Arts.” The aim of the Festival is simple: to present the highest quality live performances, and to bring free contemporary classical music to as many people as possible in a relaxed, fun, outdoor setting.
The festival’s opening concert, a blowout performance of Terry Riley’s infamous minimalist manifesto “In C,” will be performed July 2.* Led by keyboardist/conductor/musical impresario Jed Distler, the show will feature over 40 of New York’s top freelance musicians. The second concert on August 13* will feature the plugged-in, genre-bending, rock/electronica-inspired string quartet ETHEL. The final Rite of Summer concert, featuring the two pianist/co-directors McMillen and Goldberg, will take place September 4,* and will include rollicking chamber violin/piano duos byJohn Adams, JS Bach and others.
“Governors Island is home to an array of exhibits and performances; however it has never before had the opportunity to host classical concerts,” said Leslie Koch, President of the Trust for Governors Island. “We are thrilled that, for the first time, the Rite of Summer Music Festival will bring renowned artists to perform free concerts for Island visitors.”
Each Rite of Summer show will be presented twice the same day, at 1pm and 3pm, for each respective date. Audiences should feel free to walk by, stop and listen, lay down a picnic blanket and relax, eat lunch, intermingle, and take in these exciting live performances.
Governor’s Island is a short 7-minute ferry ride from South Ferry, in lower Manhattan and a three minute ride from Brooklyn. Ferries and concerts are free. For a full ferry schedule please visit www.govisland.com.
* rain dates/times for each scheduled concert will be the following day, also at 1 and 3pm.