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Big Sky Classical Music Festival offers variety of musical styles


Presented by the Arts Council of Big Sky and Bozeman Health Big Sky Medical Center, the seventh annual Big Sky Classical Music Festival is slated for Friday, Aug. 11, through Sunday, Aug. 13, with performances at Center Stage in Town Center Park and at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center. The festival features three nights of world-class music, two of which are free and open to the public. 

The first night of the festival on Friday, Aug. 11, features an intimate recital at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center. One of the foremost trumpet players on the scene today, Mary Elizabeth Bowden, will be joined on stage by pianist Molly Morkoski and violinist Angella Ahn. 

Classical trumpeter and Gold Medal Global Music award winner Mary Elizabeth Bowden has been described by Gramophone Magazine as “brilliant” and “radiant in new repertoire for trumpet.” Bowden, a Yamaha Performing Artist, is highly regarded for her artistry and virtuosity as a soloist, and has been praised for the clarity, purity and power of her sound. Among the pieces that will be performed are Eric Ewazen’s “Trio for Trumpet, Violin, and Piano.”

Pianist Molly Morkoski has performed as soloist and collaborative artist throughout the U.S., Europe, the Caribbean, and Japan. Her playing has been recognized by The New York Times as “strong, profiled, nuanced … beautifully etched … an energetic and focused player…with flexibility and warmth.” The Boston Globe has called her “outstanding.”

Angella Ahn is the violinist for the Ahn Trio. Her trio, comprised of Angella and her two twin sisters, was born while all three studied at the Juilliard School of Music. The trio now tours the world, playing in venues that include New York’s Lincoln Center, Vienna’s Musikverein, Leipzig’’s Gewandhaus, Argentina’s Teatro Colon, and The Beijing Concert Hall. She is currently professor of violin and viola at Montana State University, as well as the artistic director of the Big Sky Classical Music Festival.

The show begins at 7:30 p.m., and tickets can be purchased at 

Saturday, Aug. 12, features a free outdoor concert in Town Center Park with Mambo Kings. The quintet, together since 1995, are enjoying success as upstate New York’s foremost Latin jazz ensemble, and rapidly earned a national reputation for their explosive blend of Afro-Cuban rhythms and jazz improvisation. Since their orchestral debut in 1997 with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Conductor Jeff Tyzik, Mambo Kings have appeared at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival and with pops orchestras in Baltimore, Vancouver, Detroit and Dallas.

The concert will start at 6 p.m. with an opening ensemble followed by Mambo Kings at 7 p.m. Food and beverage vendors will be available at Town Center Park.

On Sunday, Aug. 13, the Big Sky Festival Orchestra will perform a free outdoor concert in Town Center Park. The orchestra will be conducted by Maestro Peter Bay Austin Symphony Orchestra, and features some of the top Montana musicians, as well as Concertmaster Jessica Matheas, also from the Austin Symphony Orchestra, and several musicians from the Utah Symphony. Soloists Mary Elizabeth Bowden on trumpet and Angella Ahn on violin will be featured during a performance of Hummel’s “Trumpet Concerto in E-flat Major.” Other selections on the program include Mozart’s “Symphony No. 31 in D Major,” Vaughan Williams’ “Lark Ascending,” and Schubert’s “Symphony No. 3 in D Major.”

The concert will commence at 5 p.m. In the case of rain, the event will take place at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center and will start one hour later. Food and beverage vendors will be available at Town Center Park.

Other free events throughout the weekend include an open rehearsal/discussion with Mambo Kings on Saturday, Aug. 12 from 1-2 p.m. in the Talus Room at Big Sky Resort. There is also a masterclass with students from the Montana State University String Camp from 10-11:30 a.m. in the Talus Room that is also free and open to the public for observation. Finally, the MSU String Camp Orchestra will be performing a free concert at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 13. No tickets are required. 

For more information about the festival, please call (406) 995-2742 or visit

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