SummerFest: Six Music in the Mountains concerts offer range of venues, styles |

SummerFest: Six Music in the Mountains concerts offer range of venues, styles

Jennifer Dahlgren
Special to The Union

Music in the Mountains has announced the lineup of a diverse offering of six concerts in its 36th annual SummerFest starting later this month. Hearkening back to the organization's early years, the 2017 festival will offer a mix of chamber music, large symphony pieces and popular music.

From Mozart to Rachmaninoff, patriotic pops, Leonard Cohen and Up, Up and Away artists Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr., there could be at least one concert to match the tastes of every Nevada County concertgoer.

The Festival begins with two chamber music concerts, one in a lush garden setting and one at the historic St. Joseph's Cultural Center. Years ago, Music in the Mountains regularly performed a variety of concerts at this venue, which is well-suited for chamber music. This first concert, scheduled for June 25 at 2 p.m., features the String Quartet and resident artist piano soloist Natsuki Fukusawa, performing works by Dvorák.

The Mozart Garden Party is a new format this year, staged on the grounds of the Castrejon Estate on Rough and Ready Highway. The event includes dinner by popular Chef Antonio along with drinks and signature cocktails. The All-Mozart program features the Music in the Mountains String Quartet and Neil Tatman, Principal Oboe.

On June 30, Music in the Mountains will present 1000 Kisses Deep — The Songs of Leonard Cohen, a Paul Emery Music production. This picnic and pops event will be held outdoors at the fairgrounds, featuring local musicians paying tribute to the great singer-songwriter.

"For many people Cohen's music is just beginning to resonate," Emery said. "His melodies are timeless. His poetry is deep and profound, and constantly offers new insights and reactions years after their first hearing."

Recommended Stories For You

The next evening, July 1, Music in the Mountains presents another outdoor concert featuring Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., perhaps best known for their performances in The 5th Dimension, along with the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra. Nostalgia will be the sentiment of the evening as the duo performs some of their many hits such as Up, Up and Away, The Age of Aquarius, Wedding Bell Blues and Stoned Soul Picnic.

Sunday July 2 the full Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra will perform an outdoor concert under the stars featuring music by Russian composers.

"Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture is always a hit and many patrons asked us to bring it back," said Pete Nowlen, artistic director.

"And our renowned resident artist, Natsuki Fukasawa, will be on hand to perform the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No 2, one of the most beloved piano concertos ever written."

Music in the Mountain's SummerFest closes with its traditional Patriotic Pops concert on July 3 at the fairgrounds. The full SummerFest Orchestra and Chorus will perform patriotic favorites like Sousa's Stars and Strips Forever and an Armed Forces Salute plus a segment featuring American Song with pieces from composers like Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Steven Foster and even The Beach Boys.

This year, for the first time, Music in the Mountain is partnering with local animal welfare organizations to promote pet adoption through the FurFest. Rescue partners will be at the July 3 concert with information and photos of available pets.

For more information and tickets, visit