In summer 2009, at the invitation of Music Director Keith Lockhart (Boston Pops, BBC Orchestra), Neal Berntsen began an association with the Brevard Music Center in Brevard, North Carolina. Mr. Berntsen serves as Principal Trumpet for the Brevard Music Center Orchestra, performs chamber music, teachestrumpet and coaches chamber music at the festival.
In the summer of 2015 Mr. Berntsen will premier and record THE ANCIENT CALL for trumpet and orchestra written by Iranian-American composer Reza Vali at The Brevard Festival. The world premier will be conducted by Kieth Lockhart. The piece incorporates the Persian Scale using quarter-tones. Mr. Berntsen will perform the piece on a specially modified vintage Mt. Vernon Bach C Trumpet, which will enable him to execute the Persian scale.
For 74 years, Brevard Music Center has given students the opportunity to better understand and prepare themselves for the professional world of music. Founded in 1936, BMC has since matured into one of this country’s finest summer institutes and festivals. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, BMC welcomes to its 180-acre campus each year students, ages 14 and older, and 65 distinguished faculty artists for an intensive program of study and performance.
Brevard Music Center presents over 80 concerts throughout its seven-week festival, showcasing three orchestras and their impressive repertoire, taken from great orchestral masterworks. In addition to the talented students and faculty, world class visiting artists have appeared at Brevard, including such musicians as cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinists Joshua Bell and Midori, pianists André Watts and Emanuel Ax, soprano Renée Fleming and mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade.