Pine Mountain Music Festival announces its 24th season – In the Company of Friends. Opening on July 17 and concluding on August 3, the Festival features 25 performances across nearly a dozen towns in central and western Upper Peninsula. This season, new friends as well as old friends will perform a wide variety of music in an astonishing variety of settings. Solo and in ensemble, our Company of Friends will inspire and entertain.

An opening gala will feature Lucy Thrasher with Holly Janz and Anne Jennifer Nash, accompanied by Susan Byykkonen. Opera and musical theatre selections will be performed in an engaging ambience.
Tenor Miles Mykkanen, from Bessemer, will appear in a solo recital accompanied by pianist Joseph Mechavich. Miles will perform a dazzling vocal array of music by Grieg, Sibelius, Strauss and Stephen Sondheim, among others.

Jerry DePuit returns for his 11th year with the Festival to lead a Cabaret with Lucy Thrasher and Friends: Anne Jennifer Nash and Holly Janz. They will perform compositions by Kurt Weill, Cy Coleman, Kander and Ebb, Lennon and McCartney, Stephen Sondheim, Harold Arlen, Jacques Brel and more.

Returning after a much-loved 2007 concert, David C. Jonies’ will perform a program featuring the works of Handel, Saint-Saëns, Dudley Buck and Marcel Dupré.

The UPstarts! series celebrates its third year. Featuring emerging young professionals from the Upper Peninsula, this concert series will introduce strings for the first time this summer. Featured young artists are violinist Carrie Dlutkowski, from Atlantic Mine, and soprano Tory Wood, from Escanaba, who will be accompanied by Susan Byykkonen.

Joshua Major will direct Lee Hoiby’s one-act opera, The Italian Lesson. Scheduled artist Susan Nicely, due to unforeseen personal circumstances, is unable to appear in this production. Cindy Sadler will perform in this brilliant solo soprano show, based on Ruth Draper’s monologue. Joseph Mechavich will provide the accompaniment for this captivating and charming opera. The evening will also feature Lucy Thrasher, Anne Jennifer Nash, Holly Janz, Miles Mykkanen, and accompanist Joseph Mechavich in a special presentation of Handel arias directed by Joshua Major.

The Bergonzi String Quartet, celebrating its 20th year with the Festival, will present another series of exciting performances. The Fab Four’s repertoire this season includes Mozart and Janáček. In addition, guest artist and Festival founder Laura Jean Deming will join the Quartet to perform Schubert’s Quintet in C major.

The 2014 Season is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding is provided by The Shaw and Betty Walker Foundation, Payne & Dolan Company, and Portage Health.

The Pine Mountain Music Festival features a season of opera, symphony and chamber music each summer in the Dickinson County area, the Marquette area, the Keweenaw Peninsula, and other locations in the Upper Peninsula. Based in Hancock, Michigan, it is supported by donations, ticket sales, and grants. Visit the web at pmmf.org, or call 906-482-1542 for more information.