About The NMF

The National Music Festival advances the lives and careers of promising musicians by providing access to world-class education and performance opportunities.

The Festival, a division of OuterArts Maryland, Inc., combines world-class mentor musicians and gifted pre-professional apprentice musicians for an intense Festival experience the first two weeks of each June. All apprentices receive full scholarships and housing, mostly with host families in private homes. The two groups rehearse and perform side by side in orchestral, chamber, solo recital, choral, and chamber opera repertoire. In two weeks, these musicians present over 30 concerts and dozens of free open rehearsals for music lovers from around the world.

OuterArts Maryland, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization, also operates The Phanos Project (founded to promote and perform the music of Cypriot composer Phanos Dymiotis, who lived in Baltimore and performed often in Kent County), the Fiddlesticks! Youth Strings Program, and an instrument loan program for Kent County children. Other projects currently being planned include an intergenerational youth/community orchestra, a winter strings workshop for college and graduate musicians, and several workshops to take place during the Festival, including a chamber music workshop for adult amateur musicians.

Each year the Festival serves approximately 110 apprentices and employs approximately 30 mentors (including the Artistic and Executive Directors, who also teach). Musicians come to the Festival each year from more than 15 countries and 30 U.S. states. The average age of apprentices is 22, although some are older and have already completed their advanced degrees and begun their careers.

Concerts and free open rehearsals take place in a variety of venues including churches, theaters, art galleries, and local businesses. In addition to its performances, open rehearsals, and broadcasts on National Public Radio, the National Music Festival will record compact discs to be distributed globally. Current recording projects include the music of Phanos Dymiotis and music for orchestra with narration (Liane Hansen, narrator).

The Festival’s performances and pre-concert talks provide affordably priced entertainment and education to its patrons, including children. All rehearsals are free and open to the public. Attending rehearsals is a particularly good way to introduce young children to concert music!

The National Music Festival is based on the concept developed and implemented by Richard Rosenberg more than twenty years ago as the Hot Springs Music Festival in Arkansas.  The Hot Springs Music Festival, with Maestro Rosenberg conducting, recorded six compact discs for Naxos Records. All six recordings feature American music, and two were nominated for Grammy Awards.

The words of an alumna sum up her experience at the National Music Festival:

My first experience at NMF was a fantastic experience. Not only was the repertoire incredible, and the schedule packed, but everyone involved was dedicated to the cause of creating beautiful music for the community. I learned more about playing in orchestra in two weeks than I have in any other program.

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