For six decades, Eastern Music Festival (EMF), a nationally recognized classical music festival and summer educational program, is produced each summer on the campus of Guilford College and other venues in the Greensboro, North Carolina, area. EMF is distinguished by its accomplished faculty, exhilarating repertoire, and world-renowned visiting artists under the artistic direction of Gerard Schwarz. A powerful teaching institution, EMF provides encouragement and guidance to hundreds of young musicians from across the country and around the globe as they take their first steps towards careers in the performing arts. EMF’s five-week 60th anniversary season is June 26 – July 31, 2021.
When Sheldon Morgenstern established The Guilford Musical Arts Center, now Eastern Music Festival, in 1961 on the campus of Guilford College, he had one goal: to start a summer music camp where the study would be oriented towards the student, something he had not experienced at other such summer camps. With the assistance of Dr. Clyde Milner, then-president of Guilford College, and a group of equally passionate friends and family, Morgenstern was able to raise enough money and support to hold the first camp during the summer of 1962. Seventy-two students and fourteen professional faculty members participated in the first year. Since that time the number of students has grown to include over 200 young artists and 75+ professional faculty musicians from across the country and abroad.
His passion for teaching music led him back to Greensboro and to the campus of Guilford College. From 1961 until 1997, Morgenstern remained the music director and primary conductor for Eastern Music Festival. His passion continues to live on in the hearts of our faculty and staff, young artists, and supporters.
Throughout its 60-year history, EMF has maintained and realized its quest for excellence – in performance, education, programming, and execution. Faculty members participate in the students’ curriculum in a variety of ways, including teaching private lessons, coaching chamber music, teaching theory, or leading masterclasses.
Eastern Music Festival’s nearly 10,000 alumni include many who have continued in professional careers in music, as well as a variety of careers in the performing arts, business, health care, higher education, and law.
Did you know?
EMF is thrilled to be among the first arts organizations in our community to return to live and in-person concerts and events this summer. After canceling the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, EMF is coming home to the Guilford College campus from June 26 through July 31, 2021. EMF anticipates a safe, socially distanced summer season after months of considered planning for the health and well-being of the students, faculty, staff, and audience members. This summer’s EMF will look a little different. The 2021 season will include over 35 performances featuring works for ensembles of varying shapes and sizes. Concerts and recitals will be performed in compliance with current local, state, and federal health guidelines, including fewer performers on the stage, social distancing, and wearing face masks. Most performances will be in Dana Auditorium on the Guilford College campus and limited to 200 socially distanced seats per show, in accordance with current venue capacity restrictions.
Individual tickets will go on sale Thursday, May 20, 2021, online at easternmusicfestival.org/tickets. All tickets will be reserved-in advance touchless/paperless to ensure the safety of patrons and staff. Complete program details and featured soloists to be announced later this spring and will be available online at easternmusicfestival.org/calendar.
(In 2021, all programs, dates, artists, venues, and prices subject to change.)