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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Newport Music Festival


Various venues / Newport / Music

To hobnob with the Vanderbilts, the Astors, the Wideners at their summer “cottages” in Gilded Age Newport was to know drop-dead luxe at a peak of refinement that left grand dukes and duchesses from St. Petersburg, if you please, feeling as abashed as country cousins. This summer, masked and socially distanced music lovers are invited to 17 thrillingly eclectic outdoor concerts at The Breakers, the Castle Hill Inn, the Norman Bird Sanctuary, Rough Point, and other picture-perfect historic settings. Alongside the Three B’s, the new executive director Gillian Friedman has programmed composers who check off no end of diverse boxes. There’s Joseph Bologne, a swashbuckler from Guadeloupe who won fame in 18th-century Europe as the “Black Mozart.” There’s Teresa Carreño, of Venezuela, who began concertizing in New York at the age of eight and studied voice in Paris with Rossini. There’s the 40-something New York native Jessie Montgomery, composer-in-residence for the African-American-and-Latinx string ensemble Sphinx Virtuosi. Quite a breath of fresh air. —M.G.

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