The founding violinist of the Emerson Quartet begins the role at Manchester Music Festival along with executive director Jenny Lin for the 2024 season


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The Manchester Music Festival (MMF) has announced that violinist Philip Setzer, founding member of the Emerson Quartet, has become artistic director and will partner with pianist Jenny Lin, who will assume the executive director role beginning 1 October 2023.

’The Board of Directors is extremely pleased to have this wonderful team of Phil Setzer and Jenny Lin leading MMF to its 50th Anniversary,’ MMF board chair Lou Zellner said. ’I can’t imagine a partnership better equipped to chart an exciting course for MMF’s future.’

As Setzer’s time in the Emerson Quartet comes to a close, he now turns his focus to teaching and bringing chamber music to MMF.  

’It is a great honour and privilege to be appointed the new artistic director of Manchester Music Festival,’ Setzer said. ’2024 will be the 50th Anniversary of MMF, which is, in itself, an impressive achievement. I hope to continue its vision of bringing great classical chamber music to that beautiful area of Vermont. 

’I also look forward to bringing my own vision in terms of programming,’ Setzer continued. ’My basic concept will be to invite the audience to join me for a journey each summer that will include a thread throughout the programs – tying them together – and adding an event each week that would be a discussion about that week’s programme and the journey at large.  We also have a wonderful Young Artists programme and I will interweave their programmes with the main series of concerts.’

Currently serving as the distinguished professor of violin and chamber music at SUNY Stony Brook and visiting faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music, Setzer has given master classes at schools around the world, including the Curtis Institute, London’s Royal Academy of Music, San Francisco Conservatory, UCLA and The Mannes School. Setzer is also the director of the Shouse Institute, the teaching division of the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival in Detroit. He has also been a regular faculty member of the Isaac Stern Chamber Music Workshops at Carnegie Hall and the Jerusalem Music Center, and his article about those workshops appeared in The New York Times on the occasion of Isaac Stern’s 80th birthday celebration.

Through her new position at MMF, Lin hopes to work alongside Setzer to create a successful festival for students and audiences alike.  

’I am deeply honoured to accept the role of executive director for the Manchester Music Festival, especially as we approach such a monumental milestone,’ Lin said. ’As the Festival celebrates this golden anniversary, I look forward to working alongside Philip Setzer, one of the greatest artists of our time, in supporting his vision to create memorable musical experiences and inspire the next generation of musicians. I am eager to build on the rich legacy of the festival and explore new opportunities to expand its reach and impact.’

The Manchester Music Festival is a summer music festival which includes a teaching programme at its core. Performers featured have included well-known chamber musicians including Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, The Knights, Emerson Quartet, violinist Nurit Bar-Josef and Emily Daggett-Smith, cellists Edward Arron and Amit Peled, and pianists Ran Dank and Aaron Diehl.  

Additionally, MMF offers a full-scholarship Young Artists Programme for string players and pianists ages 18-26 during the festival season. In 2023, MMF launched the Rising Stars Programme for exceptional alumni of the Young Artists Programme. The Rising Stars perform alongside the guest artists at MMF and will receive advanced coaching from Setzer and guest musicians. 

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