"This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before."
The Atlantic Music Festival, set on the breathtaking campus of Maine's Colby College, launched its vision in 2009 with a goal of creating an environment where promising young musicians from all over the world could come to perform music, learn from established masters, and harness their full artistic potential in a supportive and idyllic setting.
During the last decade, I had the pleasure of welcoming many of you to the Atlantic Music Festival community. We were stirred by the passion, beauty, and youthful exuberance of our artists and witnessed history in the making, as world premieres by some of tomorrow's most promising composers were heard alongside timeless treasures by Beethoven, Mozart, and Brahms.
Many of you wondered how we drew such extraordinary talent to Waterville, Maine. The caliber of our renowned faculty and guest artists, as well as the beautiful setting of Colby College, were indeed factors. But in drawing to AMF musicians of such exceptional dedication, nothing was as powerful as our call to use music as a means of cultivating an awareness of our musicians’ place within our respective communities. I Am Four Years Old Campaign launched in 2012 continues to be an affirmation of this vision.
In addition to our educational programs, the festival has established a unique tradition of nurturing young emerging artists through our generous fellowship program. The opportunity for young musicians to study, create and perform in an environment free from financial burden unleashed results far above and beyond what I ever expected. AMF took a bold step by offering this program beginning its first year; most festivals are unable to provide such an ideal circumstance to their musicians. In the last decade, over 500 musicians have received fellowships and now occupies key positions within major orchestras, ensembles, and academic institutions.
And most exciting of all, AMF will continue to present our spectacular and memorable concerts to the public free of charge. Our season, which includes more than fifty such performances, is packed with world premieres, vocal, solo, chamber music, and orchestral works, including symphonies and concertos.
The Atlantic Music Festival’s ability to carry out its vision is dependent upon the generosity of its patrons and sponsors--those of you who identify with the importance of our mission and join with us in carrying it forward. Your tax-deductible contribution allows AMF to provide fellowships to young musicians of exceptional dedication and ability, brings world-renowned concert artists to Maine, and turns Colby College into a vibrant cultural center. Aside from financial support, there are many other ways to help AMF through volunteering, so please contact us if you would like to help. Simply attending our concerts and sharing the magic of music with us is in itself a profound show of support.
And so I invite you, along with your families, friends, and colleagues, to come and witness the Atlantic Music Festival: a breeding ground for new ideas and music making of the highest order--a landmark for the sound of the 21st century. I’ll see you there!