Season's Highlights




Friday (6 PM) & Sunday (5 PM) concerts are at the Highlands Performing Arts Center


Saturday and Monday concerts (both 5 PM) are at the Albert Carlton Library in Cashiers


  • Grand Opening Receptions
  • 55 internationally acclaimed musicians
  • Solo works to large chamber ensembles
  • Special Events
  • Feasts of the Festival
  • Salons at Six
  • Open rehearsals
  • Final Gala Concert and Dinner

Board of Directors

Kathy Whitehead, President
Susan Belcher
David Blum
Tom Bown
Lynne Browne
Minnie Bob Campbell

Richard Crowell
Olivia Holt
Tim Hughes
Frank Langford
Hays Mershon

Kevin Naylor
Keturah Paulk

Martha Pearson

Marilyn Staats
Dr. Richard Strub
Bobsie Swift
Caroline Theus



WELCOME to our 34th Festival Season!

The world's greatest music, internationally-known performers, beautifully intimate settings, the cool mountains, fine dining and art, theatre and film, golf, shopping- ¬make your plans now to join us for an unforgettable summer at the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival as we celebrate our 34th season of chamber music at its best!


Creative programming and extraordinary, internationally-known musicians are a signature of our Festival. We kick off the season with our annual free Picnic Concert at a new venue this year, the beautiful Cashiers Commons on June 24th. And you won't want to miss our first Feast of the Festival on June 26th featuring a delightful TWO piano concert with the talented and gorgeous Julie Coucheron and myself at the showcase home of Susan and Chip Robert.


The season proper begins on June 28/29 with two extra-special performances- "Music and Art of the Hudson River School @ the Bascom"- featuring the Serafin String Quartet playing American treasures surrounded by masterpieces of painting. Enjoy a champagne reception before the concert and a gourmet wine dinner after, all at the Bascom! Seating is very limited, so call now for tickets to these special programs.


Other highlights include the Festival debut of the Ariel String Quartet, one of the top young Quartets in the world. Originally from Israel, they just won the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award and are in residence at the Cincinnati Conservatory. I am particularly excited that Russian violinist Roman Kim, who is being called "Paganini reincarnated" for good reason will make not just his Festival debut, but his US debut with us! You will NOT want to miss an extraordinary pairing- BOTH the Eroica Trio and the Gary Motley Jazz Trio TOGETHER in another of our ongoing popular "Jazz Meets Classics" series. We welcome back brilliant pianists Elizabeth Pridgen and Victor Asuncion for Beethoven and Chausson, and the summer would not be complete without our friends William and Alexandra Preucil, the Vega Quartet, harpist Valerie von Pechy Whitcup, and David Coucheron. And, you can catch four "Rising Stars from the Juilliard School" featuring four brilliant young artists on the cusp of major careers.


Special programs will include our Bach @ Buck's programs in Highlands AND Cashiers; additional engaging Salons at Six; and bring the kids (of ALL ages!) to enjoy our Family Concert featuring Babar the Elephant set to gorgeous solo piano music by Poulenc- performed by pianist Elena Cholakova and narrated by the legendary voice of classical radio in Atlanta, Lois Reitzes. An ice cream social will follow to complete the afternoon of fun- all for free! This year we also offer a special series of four classes focusing on Chamber Music in collaboration with the Center for Life Enrichment.


Whenever we are able to present the Festival Chamber Orchestra, the concerts are always a major highlight of the season - and so our final Gala Concert (and wonderful Dinner after!) on Sunday, August 9th will feature the Orchestra in more "Mozart in the Mountains"- two of Mozart's greatest Concertos- for french horn and for clarinet, with the incomparable clarinetist Laura Ardan and Brice Andrus, horn, as soloists. Samuel Barber's heartrending Adagio for Strings complements the Mozart. The Gala sells out often, so make your plans now not to miss this one!


These are only some of the highlights of our 34th season - and of course, we offer Festival Feasts, numerous free concerts, and additional Festival events- take a look through our website for complete program information and make your plans NOW to join us in Highlands and Cashiers this summer for another unforgettable Festival!



William RansomWilliam Ransom
The Anna and Hays Mershon Artistic Director

Phone: 828-526-9060


Fax: 828-526-4893




Empty Image William Ransom
Artistic Director
Nancy Gould-Aaron
Executive Director
Lucas Drew
Artistic Director Emeritus



Tel: 828-526-9060 Email:
507 Chestnut Street/P.O. Box 1702 - Highlands, NC 28741


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