Wintergreen Performing Arts Summer Music Festival 

Music in the Mountains

Handel's Water Music plays softly in the background while you lie on a blanket in the cool grass with a glass of chilled chardonnay in hand. The moon shines just enough light to see the people around you, but the night is dark enough to slip into a dream unnoticed. This is the Wintergreen Performing Arts Summer Music Festival, a three-year-old event that brings music to the mountains.

This summer the Richmond Symphony has joined with Wintergreen Resort to present two weekends of classical concerts, July 2-3 and July 9-10, as the resident orchestra of the festival.

"Wintergreen has been talking with us for some time now about playing in their festival," says Bruce Cauthen, the symphony's marketing director. "This is a great new marketing opportunity for Richmond. During the summer, people travel from all over to come to Wintergreen and now the symphony will get some exposure in a partnership with a well-known destination that is enjoyed by so many."

Gerardo Edelstein, Richmond Symphony's assistant conductor, will conduct the concerts and serve as artistic director for the festival. The first weekend features music of the Baroque period, including popular pieces by Bach, Handel and Vivaldi. The second weekend showcases romantic and contemporary pieces by Bartok, Barber, Russell Peck and Tchaikovsky.

"Although this is still serious music, the environment is much more relaxed," Edelstein says. "Outdoor concerts are great shows for families because it is so casual."

More than 400 people attended last year's concerts. This year, concert-goers will have the opportunity to watch performances from the lawn at Wintergreen as well as indoors at the John D. Evans Center for Performing Arts. Boxed dinners, wine, beer and soft drinks will all be available at the resort for a picnic on the lawn.

All performances start at 8 p.m. with a pre-concert lecture at 7 p.m. Tickets for each concert are $20 for inside seating, $15 for the lawn and $5 for children 12 and under. Call (804)325-8292 for details and

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