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Newport Music Festival Announces Fall Chamber Series at Emmanuel Church and Free Community Concerts

Performances by Thalea String Quartet, The Westerlies, violinist Kristin Lee, pianist Sara Davis Buechner, and more

Tickets on Sale August 3, 2021 at

“The new executive director, Gillian Friedman Fox, is stitching together a rich tapestry of works” – The New York Times

“continu[ing] the festival’s long legacy of bringing the best classical music to Rhode Island’s shores.” – Culture Trip

Following its successful, sold-to-capacity 2021 summer festival, Newport Music Festival announces today that it is expanding its programming by launching a September through May Chamber Series at the organization’s new home base, the Recital Hall at Emmanuel Church (42 Dearborn St., Newport), and free Community Concerts to be held in green spaces around Aquidneck Island. The first concerts to be announced include three Chamber Series Concerts and the first Community Concert to be held at Miantonomi Memorial Park (120 Hillside Ave., Newport). Performers include Thalea String Quartet, The Westerlies, violinist Kristin Lee, pianist Sara Davis Buechner, and more. Tickets will go on sale on August 3, 2021 at

Newport Music Festival Executive Director Gillian Friedman Fox says, “I am so grateful for the foresight and leadership of Board President Suzanna Laramee and Emmanuel Church Rector Della Wager Wells, who have spent the past year working to bring this collaboration to life. The Recital Hall at Emmanuel Church is the perfect year-round home for the Newport Music Festival and opens doors for additional programming, education initiatives, and social gatherings that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. By relocating the organization into the heart of Newport and launching a meaningful Chamber Series and Community Concerts line-up, we are further cementing our role in the cultural fabric of the community.”

Each of the Chamber Series concerts will be approximately 90 minutes long, without intermission, and be followed by a talk-back with the artist. To maximize the impact that musicians have when they visit Newport, NMF will coordinate educational programs with each visiting, creating a residency model that leaves a meaningful footprint in the community, offering under-resourced children the opportunity to have interactive encounters with a variety of musicians.

“Emmanuel Church and the Newport Music Festival both have the mission of lifting the human spirit and welcoming all people, from all places, and in all seasons,” says Wells. “Emmanuel is alive with activity and the gift of inspiring music.”

Newport Music Festival Chamber Series & Community Concerts – Fall Schedule

Thalea String Quartet – Chamber Series Concert

Friday, September 10, 2021 at 7:30pm

Recital Hall at Emmanuel Church | 42 Dearborn St. | Newport, RI

HAYDN String Quartet No. 28 in E-flat Major, Op. 20, No.1 "Sun"

DANIEL BERNARD ROUMAIN String Quartet No. 5 “Rosa Parks”

DVORÁK String Quartet No. 12 in F Major, Op. 96 "American"

FLORENCE PRICE Five Negro Folksongs in Counterpoint

Launching the inaugural Chamber Series at Newport Music Festival’s new Recital Hall, Thalea String Quartet brings together artists of Nigerian, Venezuelan, Japanese and Canadian heritage. With repertoire as diverse as its members, and every bit as exuberant, Thalea connects with audiences on a musical, emotional, and personal level, from first-time listeners to chamber music aficionados. This evocative program pairs two well-known masterworks by Haydn and Dvorák with American 21st century composers Daniel Bernard roumain and Florence Price and celebrates the variety of expression communicated through the string quartet form.

The Westerlies – Free Community Concert

Sunday, September 12, 2021 at 2:30pm

Miantonomi Memorial Park | 120 Hillside Ave., | Newport, RI

The Westerlies present a bold and ferociously unique vision of brass, as works originally written for string quartet, solo piano, and the human voice are reinvented through the kaleidoscopic lens of The Westerlies. Works from their recent critically acclaimed quartet album Wherein Lies the Good are presented alongside a reimagining of Caroline Shaw's landmark string quartet Entr'acte. Imbued with the spirit of improvisation and a folk-like approachability, Wherein Lies the Good presents The Westerlies at their best, cutting new trails across the vast expanse of the American musical landscape.

Kristin Lee – Chamber Series Concert

Friday, October 8, 2021 at 7:30pm

Recital Hall at Emmanuel Church | 42 Dearborn St. | Newport, RI

DEBUSSY Violin Sonata

FRANCK Violin Sonata

POULENC Violin Sonata

LILI BOULANGER Nocturne for violin and piano

RAVEL Violin Sonata No. 2

A recipient of the 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, as well as a top prizewinner of the 2012 Walter W. Naumburg Competition and the Astral Artists’ 2010 National Auditions, Kristin Lee is a violinist of remarkable versatility and impeccable technique who enjoys a vibrant career as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and educator. This recital program, with pianist Kwan Yi, celebrates French classical music from the Romantic era through the Impressionist and Neo-Classical eras.

Sara Davis Buechner – Chamber Series Concert

Friday, November 19, 2021 at 7:30pm

Recital Hall at Emmanuel Church | 42 Dearborn St. | Newport, RI

Festival favorite and Yamaha artist Sara Davis Buechner returns to Newport in this solo piano recital. Celebrated for her musical command, cosmopolitan artistry, and visionary independence, Buechner will perform a memorable evening of works by Dvorak, Gershwin, Mozart, and Federico Longa.

Ticket Information:

Tickets for the Chamber Series performances go on sale to the public on Tuesday, August 3, 2021. Single tickets start $45 and a 3-concert package is available for $125. Tickets can be purchased, and seats can be selected online at, or by calling the Box Office at 401-849-0700.

Tickets for the Community Concerts are free with advanced registration, at Patrons are invited to bring their own chairs and blankets.

Additional concerts will be announced later this season.

About the Newport Music Festival:

The Newport Music Festival’s mission is to inspire memorable life experiences through world-class artistry in unique, intimate, and historic venues, and endeavors to be recognized and respected as the premiere musically inspired, live performing arts festival. Since its founding, the Festival has produced more than 2,000 concerts and hosted more than 1,000 musicians and singers, including the American debuts of over 130 artists. The last decade has brought a broadening of the festival’s musical landscape. From Bach to Bernstein to world premieres by established and emerging composers, as well as rare discoveries of forgotten minor masterpieces, the festival offers a unique experience for those looking for a magical experience at the “city by the sea.”

The Newport Music Festival (NMF) has played a significant cultural role in Rhode Island since its inception in 1969. Originally founded as the Rhode Island Arts Foundation at Newport, Inc., NMF was established to advance classical music and is most well-known for hosting three weeks of concerts in the summer, in the stunning historic mansions throughout Newport and Aquidneck Island.

A classical music festival first, the Newport Music Festival is committed to celebrating the diversity of artistic expression within the classical genre. To this end, in 2021, the organization launched a new commissioning initiative – each year, the Festival will commission a new work by a Black, Indigenous, person of color, or woman composer as a commitment to the future of classical music.

In its evolving role as Newport’s foremost year-round performing arts organization, NMF delivers cultural value and equitable opportunities to enhance the quality of life to a diverse range of constituents through longstanding community partnerships with AARP, the Edward King House, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, Newport Art Museum, the Newport public schools, and Star Kids Scholarship Program. NMF regularly presents free concerts and community-based programming to reach a broader and more diverse patron base and offers free concert tickets through partner organizations to ensure that price is not a barrier to entry. NMF also presents a Chamber Music Series spanning from fall to spring, and holiday concerts in early December.

Photo Credits (L-R): Kristin Lee by Sophie Zhai, Thalea String Quartet by Titilayo Ayangade, The Westerlies by Kevin W. Condon, Sara Davis Buechner by Yukiko Nishirmura.

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