Lawrence Brownlee, Julia Bullock, Renée Fleming Headline Reimagined Mostly Mozart Festival Season

By Logan Martell

Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival has announced a new partnership with WQXR to broadcast this year’s reimagined season of performances, running from August 10 -16, 2020.

The Opening Night Mashup will kick off the festival with a program featuring Mozart’s “Requiem” and Estonian composer Arvo Part’s “Te Deum,” meant to set the tone for this year’s season of connection and self-reflection.

Also steaming is “Inside Blue,” an hour-long documentary on Jeanine Tesori’s acclaimed new opera about police brutality and racism, “Blue.” The broadcast will feature musical highlights from the opera’s 2019 premiere at the Glimmerglass Festival, along with commentary from Tesori, librettist Tazewell Thompson, and musicologist Naomi Andre.

Taking the festival through the city will be “Mostly Mozart Across the Boroughs,” a series of pop-up, outdoor performances featuring artists such as Anthony McGill, Curtis J. Stewart, Mazz Swift, Sugar Vendil, and The Villalobos Brothers.

The festival will also be streaming archived concerts from past Mostly Mozart Festival seasons, with artists such as Lawrence Brownlee, Martin Frost, Renée Fleming, and Pekka Kuusisto, alongside archival performances from their “A Little Night Music” series.

Another highlight will be “Black Experience in the Concert Hall: The Mozart Effect.” Terrance McKnight of WQXR will host a discussion with Black classical musicians on their relationship to the composer’s music and their experiences in the industry. Featuring Julia Bullock, Sanford Allen, Bobby McFerrin, Lawrence Brownlee, and Alvin McCall.

Bringing the festival to a close will be a recreation of Beethoven’s “Akademie.” While this piece was originally set to be performed by the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra under the baton of Music Director Louis Langree, the performance was recorded on March 1, 2020, with Langree conducting the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and being joined by the May Festival Chorus under Robert Porco.