The Manchester Music Festival is a nonprofit organization with a unique, dual mission: classical music performance at the highest level and classical music education at all levels, both aspects seeking to engage the public and encourage enjoyment of this art form throughout the year.
We fulfill our mission with a summer school for young professional musicians who study, teach and perform. We have a variety of educational programs at area schools. We present up to 40 concerts annually in the Manchester, Vermont area.
Beginning with a desire to hear and play beautiful music in a refreshing summer setting away from the city, the Manchester Music Festival was formed in 1974 by Carrolll Glenn, violinist, and her husband Eugene List, pianist. The couple established a concert series at the Southern Vermont Arts Center's Arkell Pavilion and founded a music school. They called their summer adventure the Southern Vermont Music Festival.
In 1981, Carroll Glenn was offered a chance to play in China a remarkable opportunity for an equally remarkable musician. She had been a child prodigy at 11 the youngest student ever admitted to Juilliard. Carroll Glenn met pianist Eugene List while both were students at Juilliard. They married and toured the world together playing with major orchestras in the US, Europe, South America and the Far East. List himself was a celebrated musician who was given the honor of performing the American premiere of Shostakovitch's Piano Concerto #1 in 1935. Furthermore, List was a favorite of US presidents, especially Harry Truman. On quite a few occasions, List played at the White House and he was even summoned to perform at the Potsdam Conference for Truman, Stalin and Churchill. Since the early 1960s, the couple had visited Manchester, sometimes performing or giving master classes at the Southern Vermont Arts Center.
The untimely deaths of Carroll Glenn and Eugene List led to the appointment of Michael Rudiakov as Director in 1985. The Music Festival flourished under Michael's guidance, expanding its educational and performance programming, and growing from a summer festival to a year-round organization, now nearly as active in the "off " season as in the summer.
Concerts and educational projects take place year round. Concerts outside the region serve to gain new friends for the Festival and enhance its reputation.
In 2000, Robyn Madison was named Managing Director of the Festival. The Board of Directors selected Ariel Rudiakov to be Artistic Director in 2001 following the death of his father, Michael. In 2002, the Manchester Music Festival moved into its new home in Manchester Village and began an exciting new era.
The Manchester Music Festival is supported by ticket sales and fees, which cover approximately one-third of the annual budget. The balance comes from individual donors, foundations and corporate gifts.