Colby College in Waterville opens its doors again this summer to one of the most exciting music festivals in the nation. The Atlantic Music Festival returns after an impressive first season in 2009, and once more offers an incredible series of free orchestral and chamber concerts, presented by some of the best and brightest artists on the classical music scene.

Noted young composer Solbong Kim is music director of the Festival. Kim was inspired to bring a very select group of gifted performers together to make and share beautiful music in an idyllic Maine setting, and to offer this series without charge, enabling the Festival to reach the widest audience of listeners possible.

This year’s musical celebration begins in Strider Theatre on the Colby campus Saturday, July 17th at 7 PM, with Beethoven’s Symphony #2, Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture and the Pulchinella Suite by Stravinsky, presented by the Atlantic Music Festival Orchestra under the baton of stellar young conductor Benjamin Shwartz. Chamber music fills the bill on Wednesday the 21st and Thursday the 22nd (both in Lorimer Chapel at 7 PM) and Friday the 23rd (in Strider Theatre at 7 PM). Wednesday’s audience will enjoy the very talented AMF resident artists playing works by Barber, Adams, Cabell, and Copland. Thursday’s fare includes Mahler’s beautiful Piano Quartet and Bernstein’s jazz-inspired Clarinet Sonata. Highlights of the Friday concert? A performance of Mendelssohn’s beloved Octet for Strings, and Stimulus Package, brand-new music by an AMF favorite, composer George Tsontakis.

The Atlantic Music Festival continues with performances through August 6th. All concerts have free admission, but due to the increasing popularity of these events, reservations are suggested to ensure seating. Seats may be reserved, and more information–including a complete schedule of events–can be found, on the AMF website (www.atlanticmusicfestival.org) or by calling the Festival office: 1-888-704-1311.