2015 Festival and Academy press release

WPA logo-green-jpg.jpg

Erin Freeman, Artistic Director



Erin Freeman, WPA Artistic Director

Erin Freeman, WPA Artistic Director

WINTERGREEN, VA (May 20, 2015) – Wintergreen Performing Arts (WPA) celebrates its 20th anniversary throughout 2015! From July 6 through August 2, the spotlight will be on the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival and Academy. This year’s theme – “Cheers! Toast 20 Years of Music in the Mountains” – honors WPA’s evolution and growth as an organization and debuts new artistic and management leadership. Music enthusiasts from across the country flock to Virginia’s premier Blue Ridge Mountain destination, located southwest of Charlottesville, to take in the musical performances, breathtaking scenery, and hospitable accommodations. Wintergreen Resort is also celebrating its 40th anniversary and serves as the host site for the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival.

Opening Night July 8 will begin the 2015 season with a “Surprise Birthday Party” concert, featuring some of the most memorable Festival performances of the past 20 years. As in previous years, this summer's Festival will feature national and international artists. Events and performances fall into six categories: Experience the Orchestra, Enjoy Chamber and Solo, Discover Out of the Ordinary, Explore the Elements, Applaud the Academy, and Savor Food and Spirits.

Experience the power, virtuosity, and excitement of the Wintergreen Festival Orchestra (WFO), our fully professional orchestra. Four different guest conductors will lead the orchestra and guest artists over the four weekends of the Festival: Victor Yampolsky, WPA’s artistic director Erin Freeman, Alfred Savia, and Josep Caballé-Domenech.  A few repertoire highlights of these Classics concerts include Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20; Schubert’s Symphony No. 8, “Unfinished”; Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, with acclaimed soprano Arianna Zukerman; and Haydn’s Cello Concerto in D Major, with distinguished cellist Zuill Bailey. The last weekend’s presentation of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 celebrates and embodies the spirit of WPA’s journey over the last two decades.

Harpist Lynette Wardle

Harpist Lynette Wardle

Chamber music and solo concerts throughout the Festival showcase both our orchestra members and guest artists performing such works as Nielsen’s Woodwind Quintet and Brahms’ epic Second Sextet for Strings. Elisabeth Adkins, former Associate Concertmaster of the National Symphony Orchestra and Wintergreen Festival Orchestra Concertmaster this summer, will perform in recital with award-winning pianist Edward Newman. Lynette Wardle, Principal Harp of the Richmond and Albany symphonies, will perform French chamber and solo music. This Festival’s Fellowship String Quartet, invoke, promises a special treat for audiences as its music combines fretted instruments such as mandolin, banjo, and dulcimer with the standard quartet complement of violins, viola, and cello.

Vocalist Desiree Roots

Vocalist Desiree Roots

Discover “Out of the Ordinary” with Wild Wednesdays featuring John Winn and Desirée Roots celebrating Sinatra and Holiday; singer-songwriter Susan Greenbaum taking us back to 1975, the year of the founding of Wintergreen Resort; and the Rootstone Jug Band presenting music from 1865, the end of the Civil War. Spend a Friday night at Bold Rock Cidery for an evening of Bach, including the popular “Brandenburg” Concerto No. 6. Enjoy an evening of Rossini with the Richmond Symphony Chamber Chorus, conducted by WPA artistic director Erin Freeman.

Juilliard professor and composer Michael White

Juilliard professor and composer Michael White

“Explore the Elements” and attend the seminars to learn something new about music. Seminars include those by Juilliard professor Michael White and by representatives of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (Richmond). There will be a week focused on the end of the Civil War, featuring University of Richmond outgoing president Ed Ayers, Civil War music historian Steven Cornelius, and composer Daren Hagen. Enjoy one of the interactive offerings during Community Barn Week and try playing an instrument, singing, writing, or dancing for yourself!


Wintergreen Summer Music Academy takes place in conjunction with the Festival. It offers students from around the world, who have applied and been accepted throughout the fall and spring, the opportunity to learn from distinguished guest artists and Orchestra members who serve as faculty. These students have the privilege of taking masterclasses and lessons from this talented faculty, including renowned soprano Arianna Zukerman, conducting pedagogue Victor Yampolsky, cellist Zuill Bailey, violinists Elisabeth Adkins and MingHuan Xu, and violists Ralph Fielding and Ann Marie Brink. Attendees at the Festival enjoy performances by the students as well as the ability to watch the masterclasses.

Composer Daron Hagen

Composer Daron Hagen

WPA is honored to present twenty world premieres during the Festival. There will be an exciting world premiere score composed by Daron Hagen, one of America’s most prominent, prolific, and respected composers, to accompany Charlie Chaplin’s 1915 The Tramp. Juilliard professor and composer Michael White will be in residence for the performance of four world premiere pieces. There will also be one world premiere quartet by the Fellowship String Quartet invoke, twelve string quartets by our twelve Academy composers, and at least two songs composed for our Academy vocal students. In keeping with this 20th anniversary year, we can boast 20 world premieres!

What would a Festival be without food and wine! The Festival includes popular cooking classes with top chefs from around the Commonwealth, as well as wine tastings every Saturday afternoon and post-concert patio parties every Friday evening.

Founded in 1995, the core commitment of Wintergreen Performing Arts for these 20 years remains strong: to present beautiful music, exciting performances, and stimulating programs to audiences from Wintergreen and throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

Wintergreen Resort, the home for the Festival, is set in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, which are typically 10 degrees cooler than the surrounding valleys and towns. What better vacation in July in Virginia than to spend a week at the Resort during the Festival! The Resort includes 45 holes of championship golf and a tennis center offering 19 outdoor clay courts and three indoor deco-turf courts. The adventurous will find a zipline that soars downhill 900 feet approaching speeds of 40 mph, bungee trampolines, a mechanical bull, and summer tubing. The Resort’s 20-acre Lake Monocan Park provides canoes, kayaks, fishing, and bike rentals.  Miles of well-marked nature trails provide spectacular views of the mountains and the Rockfish and Shenandoah valleys.

Wintergreen Resort provides accommodations for those who wish to spend a few days or a few weeks and experience the Festival and the Resort offerings fully. They include 230 villa-style condominiums and rental homes, from studio suites to nine-bedroom homes, each offering a fully equipped kitchen and a comfortable living area, most with fireplaces and a balcony or deck.

The Wintergreen Spa delivers soothing relaxation and is furnished with thirteen individual massage and treatment rooms, two of which feature horizontal Vichy showers, plus a staff of licensed professional therapists and a full service salon. Adjacent to the spa, the Aquatics and Fitness Center has top-of-the-line fitness equipment, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and outdoor hot tubs.

For more information about the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival please visit www.wintergreenperformingarts.org. For Wintergreen Resort lodging rates during the Festival, please call 855-491-1486. Discounted lodging, packages and special offers are available. For general Wintergreen Resort information, visit www.wintergreenresort.com.

# # #

About Wintergreen Performing Arts, Inc:  Wintergreen Performing Arts, Inc. (WPA) is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that produces a high-quality summer music festival, as well as other performing arts programming throughout the year. The presentation of symphonic and chamber music is at the core of its mission, but by attracting first-rate artists to serve as performers and educators, it diversifies its musical programming as well as offers educational opportunities in the literary, culinary, creative and performing arts to the communities of Central Virginia. Education is a major part of the organization’s mission reflected both in the Wintergreen Summer Music Academy and in the variety of cultural programs it presents. It strives to enrich the lives of a broad audience of individuals, who participate as residents or visitors, in the unique Wintergreen experience. Dr. Erin Freeman serves as Artistic Director and Karen Quillen serves as Managing Director. Wintergreen Performing Arts is supported in part by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

About Wintergreen Resort: Wintergreen Resort is an 11,000-acre, four-season resort located in the Blue Ridge Mountains southwest of Charlottesville, VA. This beautiful hideaway is the ultimate vacation and conference spot, with nearly 230 condominium-style accommodations; 45 holes of championship golf; snow skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing; an award-winning tennis program; a full-service, destination spa; 40,000 square feet of meeting and event space; and savory dining options. The resort is located adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway in beautiful central Virginia near Charlottesville, just 90 minutes from Richmond, VA, three hours from Washington, DC, and Raleigh, NC, five and a half hours from Philadelphia, and eight hours from Atlanta.

Media Contacts:

  • Betsy Dunkerton, Wintergreen Resort, 434-325-8150, bdunkerton@wintergreenresort.com
  • Karen Quillen, Wintergreen Performing Arts, Inc., 434-325-8292, karenquillen@wintergreenperformingarts.org