This year, 250 students from over 25 countries will receive instruction from an assembly of world-class faculty while the community benefits from accessible public concerts featuring many of the industry's most talented artists. MMF was created to provide educational and performance opportunities for talented, emerging classical artists during the summer season when the culturally rich metropolis of Miami is all but devoid of classical music. The Festival consists of institutes in orchestra, opera, piano, and conducting, as well as the pioneering Career Institute and the return of the Wagner Institute after receiving critical acclaim in its first year.
Douglas Humphreys, Professor and Chair of the Piano Department at the Eastman School of Music made his way to the MMF for the first time for his piano recital June 14, 2017. Currently listed on the Artists roster of Steinway and Sons, Mr. Humpherys often performs in Europe, with solo concerts in Moscow, Novgorod, Berlin, Hamburg, Prague, Venice, and Dublin, and additional engagements in Germany, the Czech Republic, Montenegro, and Serbia. He has performed throughout the United States and Canada at numerous universities and festivals, and is frequently a guest artist at conferences of the Music Teachers National Association. Most recently, he was a guest artist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and performed on the DiMenna Center Piano Series in New York City.
He has taught hundreds of master classes at universities and conservatories including the Central Music School of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, most of the major conservatories in China, the Hong Kong Academy of the Performing Arts, the Korean National University of the Arts, National Taiwan Normal University, and the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Spanning the last three summers, he has been a faculty member at Bowdoin International Music Festival, the Beijing International Piano Festival, the Shanghai International Piano Festival and Institute, the Gijon Festival in Spain, the Philadelphia Young Pianists Academy at Curtis, the Washington DC International Piano Festival, the Interlochen Piano Festival, the Atlantic Music Festival, the Northern Lights Music Festival, and the Dakota Sky Piano Festival.
New additions to the Miami Music Festival this season include an Independence Day Celebration with the MMF Symphony Orchestra, featuring popular and patriotic symphonic favorites; a residency with composer Jake Heggie and the South Florida premiere of his groundbreaking opera Dead Man Walking; and the highly anticipated return of the MMF Wagner Institute, which will bring MMF to the stage of the incomparable Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County for the first time.
“This year, we’re celebrating our fourth season with many firsts and premieres, in addition to our faculty’s masterclasses and participation in numerous public recitals which is a testament to our continued growth as an important institution to the expanding arts community in Miami,” said Michael Rossi, MMF’s Founder & Artistic Director. “We’re also thrilled to announce our expansion of the only Wagner Institute in the U.S. Our institute is one-of-a-kind and we’re proud to have established it in Miami with exceptional talent such as Grammy Award-winning American soprano Christine Brewer, acclaimed American bass-baritone Alan Held and eight professional Wagner artists. There is a wonderful range of performances and events for everyone to enjoy.”
The Festival will present over 70 public events this summer including the MMF Wagner Institute, four full opera productions, four symphonic concerts, five piano performances by guest artists, numerous piano recitals and chamber music performances by MMF participants, Opera Aria Nights, special performances of Zarzuela and musical theater, and more than 30 masterclasses.
The program includes:
• June 29 & July 1 @ 7:30 p.m. - The Tales of Hoffmann
This delightful French fantasy is woven together by the eponymous Hoffmann, who recollects the stories of his three past loves to a revelling tavern crowd late one night. Tales is a captivating journey through a lifetime of memories, including Hoffmann’s encounters with beautiful courtesans and ballerinas, an alluring but animatronic soprano, and unforgettable villains like the mad scientist Spalanzani and the sinister Dr. Miracle. Both funny and fanciful, Offenbach’s last opera offers a spell-binding night of music and magic for the whole family.
• July 4 @ 6:00 p.m. - Independence Day Celebration
Celebrate the 4th of July with the MMF Symphony Orchestra! Music from Bernstein’s iconic West Side Story and the familiar strains of Aaron Copland’s Hoe-Down and Saturday Night Waltz capture the uniquely American spirit of the holiday. Tchaikovsky’s bombastic 1812 Overture, music from Star Wars, and patriotic favorites round out a fun evening of orchestral hits sure to please the whole family.
• July 22 @ 7:30 p.m. - The Miami Wagner Institute
Götterdämmerung, Prologue and Scene 1
Die Walküre, Act 1- Complete
Die Walküre, Act 3- Scene 3 (Wotan's Farewell and Magic Fire Music)
“Superlative,” according to The New York Times, the Grammy Award-winning soprano Christine Brewer joins bass-baritone Alan Held, hailed as “one of opera’s finest singing actors,” in a sumptuous evening of music from Wagner's epic Ring Cycle. Now in its second season, the Miami Music Festival’s Wagner Institute brings to life the composer’s grand musical drama as Brewer and Held come together with the Institute’s extraordinary young professional artists, the 100 musicians of the MMF Symphony Orchestra, and conductor Michael Rossi in a staged performance at the Adrienne Arsht Center John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall.
• July 27 & July 29 @ 7:30 - Dead Man Walking
In this South Florida premiere based on the impactful book and film of the same name, acclaimed composer Jake Heggie takes on a true story that helped frame the modern debate on the death penalty in America. When a Catholic nun in New Orleans agrees to correspond with a death-row inmate convicted of murder, her perspectives on life, death, forgiveness, and capital punishment are forever altered. With a libretto by the Tony Award-winning playwright Terrance McNally (Masterclass, Ragtime), Dead Man Walking brings one of the most powerful contemporary American operas—and one of opera’s most important contemporary composers—to South Florida.
• July 28 & July 30 @ 7:30 - The Marriage of Figaro
The music and characters of Mozart’s beloved Marriage of Figaro have captured the hearts of opera lovers since Figaro’s premiere in Vienna in 1786. Servants Figaro and his promised Susanna prepare for their wedding, only to find that his employer, Count Almaviva, has impure intentions. Fearing that the Count wants to seduce Susanna, Figaro sets about scheming to outsmart him. Meanwhile, the lovely Countess, to whom Susanna is ever faithful, begins to suspect the same and devises her own trap to catch the Count in his mischief. The classes battle in a light-hearted comedy sung in Italian and featuring some of Mozart’s most beautiful melodies.
Through their continuous and generous partnerships, MMF is proud to call Barry University its home campus and The Betsy South Beach its official hotel, with major concerts performed at both venues, along with the Adrienne Arsht Center.
Miami Music Festival is made possible through partial grant funding and sponsorship including assistance from Barry University, Pohanka Auto Group, The Betsy – South Beach, Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, Culture Builds Florida, the City of Miami Beach, Steinway Piano Gallery-Coral Gables, The Plutzik Goldwasser Family Foundation, and Miami Salon Group.