PMMF announces 24th season

IRON MOUNTAIN – Pine Mountain Music Festival announces its 24th season – “In the Company of Friends.”

Opening on July 17 and concluding on Aug. 3, the festival features 25 performances across nearly a dozen towns in the central and western Upper Peninsula. This season, new friends as well as old friends will perform a wide variety of music in a variety of settings.

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-Sans, Dudley Buck and Marcel Dupr.

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 soprano Susan Nicely in Lee Hoiby’s brilliant one woman show, “The Italian Lesson,” 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 Janacek. 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 Co., 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.

Events in Dickinson County include:

– 6 p.m. July 17, Opening Gala.

– 7: 30 p.m. July 23, David C. Jonies organ recital.

– 7:30 p.m. July 25, UPstarts!: Featuring emerging professional musicians from the U.P.

– 7:30 p.m. July 30, Bergonzi String Quartet.

Events in Iron County include:

– 7:30 p.m., July 22, Cabaret with Lucy Thrasher and Friends.

– 7:30 p.m., July 29, Handel and Hoiby Opera Concert.