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The Atlantic Music Festival, a month-long celebration of the world’s finest classical music, performed by stellar young musicians, will take place at Colby College for the first time this year. The 15-concert season opens July 4. Below is a list of concerts, all of which are free. More information about the calendar and the festival is available at

Atlantic Music Festival Independence Day Celebration
Saturday, July 4, 4 p.m.
Lorimer Chapel
Benjamin Shwartz, conductor, featuring pianist Benjamin Hochman and AMF Orchestra
As the curtain officially rises on the 2009 Atlantic Music Festival, the San Francisco Symphony’s Benjamin Shwartz conducts a delightful holiday program of Mozart, Beethoven and original arrangements of patriotic favorites. This performance marks the debut of the American Music Festival Orchestra and will be marked with plenty of musical fireworks.

Jazz at AMF
Sunday, July 5, 6 p.m.
Given Auditorium, Bixler Art and Music Center
Featuring jazz pianist and composer Richard Sussman and saxophonist Steve Slagle

I, Too, Sing America
Wednesday, July 8, 7 p.m.
Lorimer Chapel
America as a nation, and as an idea, has captured the imaginations of generations of composers — and inspired this concert. In 1893 Dvorak’s journey to Iowa was the genesis of the beloved American Quartet. In 2008 the Carl Sandburg poem “Fourth of July Night” led young composer Sheridan Seyfried to create Then Velvet Dark. Works by Copland, Carter and Barber round out the evening’s tribute to the United States.

Thursday, July 9, 7 p.m.
Lorimer Chapel
This concert celebrates summer by featuring beautiful music of the season. Mendelssohn’s Scherzo from A Midsummernight’s Dream and Samuel Barber’s lovely Summermusic, along with works by Britten, Mozart and AMF Composer-in-Residence David Ludwig, will be presented by the festival’s outstanding chamber musicians.

Perfect Harmonies: The Music of George Tsontakis
Friday, July 10, 7 p.m.
Given Auditorium, Bixler Art and Music Center
George Tsontakis, conductor, featuring composer George Tsontakis and AMF Ensemble
George Tsontakis is another world-renowned current composer featured at the festival this year. His awards include two of the richest prizes in music, the Grawemeyer and the Ives Living. Tsontakis’s music is by turns lyrical, playful and deeply touching. Concertgoers will hear his Third Piano Quartet, and Tsontakis himself will conduct his Gymnopedies.

AMF Orchestra
Saturday, July 11, 7 p.m.
Strider Theater, Runnals Building
Solbong Kim, conductor, featuring flutist Jasmine Choi and AMF Orchestra

Jazz at AMF
Sunday, July 12, 6 p.m.
Given Auditorium, Bixler Art and Music Center
Featuring jazz saxophonist Steve Slagle and AMF guest artists

Triumph over Tyranny
Wednesday, July 15, 7 p.m.
Lorimer Chapel
Even at times and in places where tyranny reigns, the artist’s soul can never remain captive. Over the years, some of the world’s greatest composers have created masterworks while enduring much adversity. Beauty can be found in the midst of anguish, as the AMF audience will hear in this powerful performance of works by Ligeti, Prokofiev and Shostakovich.

Musical Families: A Concert for All Ages
Thursday, July 16, 7 p.m.
Lorimer Chapel
Strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion… these are the musical families being shared with families in the audience. The musical treats include Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat for strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. The lively concert is recommended for ages 3 to 103.

Viva Virtuosi! An Evening of Solos and Duets
Friday, July 17, 7 p.m.
Given Auditorium, Bixler Art and Music Center
These are all showstoppers, showcasing the virtuosity of the composers and the performers alike. Breathtaking works by Paganini, Ysaÿe and Schubert highlight fabulous music for piano and strings. This exhilarating musical experience will bring you to your feet.

Saturday, July 18, 7 p.m.
Given Auditorium, Bixler Art and Music Center
Many prominent classical composers have been influenced by the swinging rhythms of jazz. This crossover program brings the best of two musical worlds to the Atlantic Music Festival. Bolling’s Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano, Bolcom’s Rags and a Gershwin favorite join Ravel and Rachmaninoff for a terrifically eclectic concert.

AMF Outdoor Concert
Sunday, July 19, 6 p.m.
Location TBA

Paris, Paris!
Wednesday, July 22, 7 p.m.
Lorimer Chapel
An evening of memorable music by phenomenal French composers includes Debussy, Poulenc, Saint-Saëns and Franck are just some of the masters included in this concert of inimitable style and flair á la Français.

Vienna Dreams
Thursday, July 23, 7 p.m.
Lorimer Chapel
The city of Vienna has inspired much of the world’s most beautiful music. The AMF invites visitors to travel in their dreams to 19th-century Vienna for a performance of chamber masterworks by Schubert, Beethoven, Mozart and Brahms.

Closing Concert: AMF Orchestra
Friday, July 24, 7 p.m.
Lorimer Chapel
Sarah Hicks, conductor, featuring violinist Jamie Laredo, cellist Sharon Robinson and AMF Orchestra