A large audience gatherin the field of the Penn State Arboretum for a Penn's Woods Music Festival live concert.

Penn’s Woods Music Festival kicks off June 11

The Penn’s Woods Music Festival (PWMF) will take place June 11-25 on the Penn State University Park campus. The festival kicks off on Saturday, June 11, with the free “Music in the Gardens” concert at 7 p.m. at the Arboretum (rain date June 12), followed by ticketed chamber music and Festival Orchestra concerts June 15-25 at the School of Music Recital Hall and Olsan-Stone Terrace outside the hall. Visit pwmf.psu.edu for the full schedule and repertoire and to buy tickets, which are $25 adult/$10 student. All concerts June 15-25 will be livestreamed.

“Penn’s Woods has been an important part of our community since 1986,” said David Frego, director of the Penn State School of Music. “It is a joy to showcase the talents of professional musicians from the community and from the ranks of the School of Music faculty and students, as well as others from across the country.”

Our vision – to inspire a passion for live music – continues to drive us.”
-David Frego

The Saturday concerts on June 18 and 25 in the Recital Hall will feature the Festival Orchestra, under the direction of Gerardo Edelstein. Wednesday concerts on June 15 and 22 will feature chamber music in the Recital Hall, and Friday concerts on June 17 and 24 will feature jazz on the Olsan-Stone Terrace. All concerts start at 7 p.m.

The series spotlights a combination of familiar and new music selected by Edelstein, director of orchestral studies and conducting and music director of the festival.

“I am very excited to return to the School of Music Recital Hall with the full Penn’s Woods Festival Orchestra to perform two fantastic concerts featuring great soloists and very diverse programs,” said Edelstein. “There will be something appealing to everyone, from the more familiar works by Beethoven and Mendelssohn to the premier of ‘Overture’ by Jesse Montgomery, one of today’s leading female composers and performers. Lee Hinkle will be the soloist for the riveting marimba concerto by Maurice Wright, and Melody Quah will perform Chopin’s lyrical and passionate Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, op. 11.”

Part of the festival’s mission is fostering up-and-coming generations of music lovers through PW4Kids, coordinated this year by Festival Advisory Council member Rebecca Horwitt, childhood education assistant at the Penn State Arboretum. The festival will offer two free concerts for children and their families featuring Revamped, the violin duo of Sally and Mark Minnich, on August 3 at Schlow Library and August 14 at the Arboretum.

The festival also will feature several informal performances, known as Penn’s Woods Plus, at Café Lemont on June 12 at 11 a.m. and at 3 Dots Downtown on June 14 at 7 p.m. These unique salon-type concerts are designed for interaction and conversation and are perfect for the musically curious.

The 2022 Penn’s Woods Music Festival is co-sponsored by the Penn State School of Music in the College of Arts and Architecture, WPSU, Designer’s Studio and Happy Valley Adventure Bureau. For more information, visit pwmf.psu.edu.