Highlands, North Carolina, as seen from Sunset Rock.

Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival opens this weekend, runs through August 11

EarRelevant Staff | 3 JUL 2024

The Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival launches its 43rd season this weekend, running from July 6 through August 11 this year, promising a summer filled with world-class music and performers, set amid the cool breezes of the western North Carolina mountains with fine dining, art, theatre, film, golf, and shopping in Highlands and Cashiers.

Cashiers and Highlands are 11 miles apart on US Highway 64, and a day trip to either is viable from points around the region. Cashiers is about one and a half hours drive from either Asheville, NC, or Greenville, SC, with Highlands only another 20 minutes away.  Highlands is about 130 miles from Midtown Atlanta, GA, a two hour and 30 minutes drive; Cashiers is another 11 miles or 20 minutes farther.

Concerts take place weekly on Saturdays and Mondays in Highlands and on Sundays and Tuesdays in Cashiers.


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The Festival begins on July 6 with the opening concerts featuring violinist Scott Yoo and Friends performing works by Beethoven and Brahms. The regular season concerts will showcase a variety of engaging artists over the course of five weeks, with pairs of concerts each week in both Highlands and Cashiers.

The season will culminate on Sunday, August 11, with the Gershon/Cohn Final Gala Concert & Dinner in Highlands, where an array of pieces, from Weber to Enesco, will be performed by a stellar lineup of musicians.

The 2024 Festival will also offer special concerts outside of the regular series, including Family Concerts with an Ice Cream Social.


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Here is a list of the Festival’s upcoming concerts:

2024 HCCMF Concert Series

  • Saturday, July 6 – 5 PM, Highlands
    Sunday, July 7 – 5 PM, Cashiers
    Scott Yoo, violin; Ani Aznavoorian, cello; Yinzi Kong, viola; William Ransom, piano
    BEETHOVEN: “Spring” Sonata
    BEETHOVEN: String Trio in D Major
    BRAHMS: Piano Quartet in G Minor
  • Monday, July 8 – 5 PM, Highlands
    Tuesday, July 9 – 5 PM, Cashiers
    Andres & Roberto Diaz, cello & viola; Ani & Marta Aznavoorian, cello & piano; Kate & William Ransom, violin & piano
    HINDEMITH: Duet for Viola & Cello
    DVORAK: Romance for Violin & Piano
    VARTABED: Armenian Folk Songs for Cello & Piano
    DEBUSSY: Petite Suite for Piano, four hands
    ARENSKY: Quartet for Strings
  • Saturday, July 13 – 5 PM, Highlands
    Sunday July 14 – 5 PM, Cashiers
    Sara Sant’Ambrogio, cello; Yuriy Bekker, violin; Helen Kim, violin; Yinzi Kong, viola; Jasmin Arakawa, piano
    DEBUSSY: Cello Sonata
    FAURE: Elegie
    RAVEL: Violin Sonata
    SAINT-SAENS: Piano Quintet
  • Monday, July 15 – 5 PM, Highlands
    Tuesday, July 16 – 5 PM, Cashiers
    James Zellers, flute; Jesse McCandless, clarinet; Yuriy Bekker, violin; Jasmin Arakawa, piano
    ROSSINI: Clarinet Variations
    SCHUBERT: Flute Variations
    PAGANINI: Violin Variations
    SCHUMANN: Symphonic Etudes, Variations for piano solo
  • Saturday, July 20 – 5 PM, Highlands
    Sunday, July 21 – 5 PM, Cashiers
    David Shifrin, clarinet; Zuill Bailey, cello; Victor Asuncion, piano; Risa Hokamura, violin
    BRAHMS: Clarinet Trio
    MESSIAEN: Quartet for the End of Time
  • Monday, July 22 – 5 PM, Highlands
    Tuesday, July 23 – 5 PM, Cashiers
    Zuill Bailey, cello; Risa Hokamura, violin; Victor Asuncion, piano
    DVORAK: Cello Concerto
    BRAHMS: Violin Concerto
  • Saturday, July 27 – 5 PM, Highlands
    Sunday, July 28 – 5 PM, Cashiers
    Chee-Yun, violin; Elizabeth Pridgen, piano
    BRAHMS: Sonatensatz
    BRAHMS: Sonata in D Minor
    SAINT-SAENS: Sonata in D Minor
  • Monday, July 29 – 5 PM, Highlands
    Tuesday, July 30 – 5 PM, Cashiers
    Dover Quartet with Yinzi Kong, viola
    MOZART: String Quartet in Eb Major
    JANACEK: Intimate Letters
    BRAHMS: Viola Quintet in G Major
  • Saturday, August 3 – 5 PM, Highlands
    Sunday, August 4 – 5 PM, Cashiers
    Viano String Quartet with William Ransom, piano
    BEETHOVEN: String Quartet in C Minor
    BARBER: String Quartet in B Minor
    DVORAK: Piano Quintet in A Major
  • Monday, August 5 – 5 PM, Highlands
    Tuesday, August 6 – 5 PM, Cashiers Library
    Alice Hong, violin; Charae Krueger, cello; Julie Coucheron, piano
    LISZT: Un sospiro
    PART: Fratres
    CHOPIN: Polonaise Brillante for Cello & Piano
    MENDELSSOHN: Trio in C Minor
  • Sunday, August 11th at 5 PM
    Gershon/Cohn Final Gala Concert & Dinner
    Highlands Performing Arts Center
    David Coucheron & Alice Hong, violin; Vijay Venkatesh & William Ransom, piano; Jonathan Colbert, bass; Grace Gahng Gavin, cello; Joseph Skerik, viola
    WEBER: Invitation to the Dance
    LISZT: Tarantella for Piano
    GARDEL: Tango for String Quartet
    SAINT-SAENS: The Elephant Waltz for Bass & Piano
    ENESCO: Rumanian Rhapsody #1 for Piano and String Quartet

Upcoming Special Programs

  • Wednesday, July 10 @ 2:00 PM: In collaboration with the 1st Presbyterian Church, “Tenor Timothy Miller Sings Songs of Love” – music of Schumann, Gershwin, and Puccini – with pianist William Ransom at 1st Presbyterian Church of Highlands. Free admission.
  • Friday, July 12 @ 11:00 AM: Presenting a free concert to accompany your coffee are Sara Sant’Ambrogio, cello; Yuriy Bekker, violin; Yinzi Kong, viola, Buck’s Coffee Cafe – Crossroads, Cashiers. Free admission.
  • Wednesday, July 17 @ 3:00 PM: A free family concert, in collaboration with the Highlands Community Child Development Center, entitled “Paddington Bear’s First Concert” and “Three Little Pigs.” Frank O’Donnell, narrator; Julie Coucheron, piano; Jessica Wu, violin; Martin Gueorguiev, cello. The concert will be followed by an ice cream social donated by Kilwins. Albert Carlton Cashiers Library, Cashiers. Free admission.
  • Thursday, July 18 @ 3:00 PM: A free family concert, in collaboration with the Highlands Community Child Development Center, entitled “Paddington Bear’s First Concert” and “Three Little Pigs.” Frank O’Donnell, narrator; Julie Coucheron, piano; Jessica Wu, violin; Martin Gueorguiev, cello. The concert will be followed by an ice cream social donated by Kilwins. 1st Presbyterian Church of Highlands. Free admission.
  • Wednesday, July 24 @ 5:30 PM: “Martinis & Mozart”: Featuring the Vega String Quartet and James Zellers, flute. Joseph Skerik, the Vega’s new violist will make his Highlands/Cashiers Festival debut. The event takes place at the Orchard House @ the Old Edwards Farm. Refreshments will be served before the concert; a cash bar will be available. ($100/person includes two (2) drink tickets,
    call 828-526-9060 for required reservations.)

More information and tickets for concerts are available online at h-cmusicfestival.org  


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