Mostly Mozart Festival reinvents itself for radio

Posted on: August 5, 2020

“Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and WQXR, New York City’s classical music station, are partnering to present a seven-day, on-air pandemic edition of the annual Mostly Mozart Festival,” writes Sarah Shay in Tuesday’s (8/5) Musical America (subscription required). “This summer marks the first time that the Festival has been cancelled since its founding in 1966. Scheduled for August 10-16, the series will mix music with conversations about some of today’s most compelling social issues. It opens with a number of pop-up concerts throughout all five of New York’s boroughs, streamed live on WQXR’s Facebook page. ‘Camp Wolfgang’ will feature a day-long program for children; WQXR hosts will program music by and share stories about the composer throughout the day; evenings will offer full-length archival concerts as well as a range of discussions that explore racism and inequality and Black artists’ contributions and innovations to classical music.… The closing night recreates Beethoven’s legendary 1808 concert … Original plans for a live performance will be replaced by a March 2020 recording by the Cincinnati Symphony and the May Festival Chorus, led by Louis Langrée, music director of the Symphony, the May Festival, and the Mostly Mozart Festival…. ‘Black Experience in the Concert Hall: The Mozart Effect’ will bring together violinist Sanford Allen, the first Black instrumentalist in the New York Philharmonic; vocalist and conductor Bobby McFerrin; vocalist Julia Bullock; tenor Lawrence Brownlee; and Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra cellist Alvin McCall to discuss their relationship to Mozart’s music and their experiences in the classical music industry.”